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Carnival season has arrived!

Danielle Ryan

(6/6) Carnival season has officially started as Mother Seton School kicked off the carnival season May 23rd. Amanda Calis, Mother Seton School Staff member stated that "The Carnival is awesome. It brings together the community, and not just for the fun. The people that come out to volunteer and help us make it so successful, many of whom are alumni or parents of alumni that graduated years ago, really represent the spirit of Mother Seton School."

The carnival is not only a fundraiser for schools such as Mother Seton, but also serves as a fundraiser for other organizations that will use the proceeds to continue their work in the community. Volunteer fire companies around the country are heavily dependent on fund-raising as a means to supplement the often surprisingly low return on donation solicitation campaigns. The most heavily attended and generally most successful fire company-sponsored events are the "firemenís carnivals."

Events like firemenís carnivals provide an important portion of the sponsoring fire departmentís annual budget. The proceeds from the carnivals ultimately go right back into the community through the services given by the companies. Len Bowers of the Harney Fire Company said their carnival is the largest fundraiser of the year, the proceeds of which are used to buy needed equipment.

According to Vaughn Zimmerman of the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Company, the profits from their Carnival also are used to purchase apparatus and equipment. "It now takes about six carnivals to buy a new fire engine pumper. This saves Frederick County from purchasing apparatus for us, saving the taxpayers money." said Zimmerman.

Local fire companies also benefit from the sense of community seen while working toward the same goal, which is providing monies for the equipment to ensure that the volunteer firefighters can respond safely and adequately to emergency situations. Many of our local fire companies can attest to the sense of togetherness that is seen among volunteers and community members while organizing these events. Each year, the volunteers look forward to the challenges of putting on a carnival and are willing to donate their talents and efforts to make it a successful event.

But to rural localities, firemenís carnivals do more than just raise funds; they serve as a social gathering place for community members of all ages. According to Jerry Free of the Rocky Ridge Fire Company, firemenís carnivals: "brings people from all over together for a time of fellowship, in an old fashioned way." It is an opportunity to remind people why rural life is so much better then city life.

If you missed the Mother Seton School Carnival, donít fret; this is just the beginning of carnival season. The Taneytown Fire Company will be hosting their carnival June 13th to the 18th; Harney Volunteer Fire Companyís carnival will begin on June 27th and run until July 2nd; Walkersville will be putting their carnival on during the week of July 4; Thurmontís carnival festivities run in July; and lastly, Rocky Ridge Carnival rounds out the carnival season with their dates set for August 15th through the 20th.

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