Aug 042014

Even though the Orange Volunteer Firefighters dodged the bullet of inclement weather this year, hundreds of people ignored our screen shot of the live radar map showing dry weather for the entire day on Saturday. Instead they looked at the sky and decided it was too gloomy to take a chance.

This was, by far, the toughest fundraising carnival the fire department has seen in decades.

Fire Chief John Knight said the problem started when the Postal Service would not let the department send raffle ticket books through the mail this year.

Residents were used to receiving the tickets in advance and sending the stubs, along with a check, through the USPS.

The firefighters did everything they could think of to get the word out, and made tickets available for purchase in several different businesses and Town Hall, yet they could not recuperate from the devastating loss caused by the demands of the postal service.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department is still tallying their proceeds from the Carnival (after expenses). This information should be available to Orange Live next week.

In the meantime, here are some photos from Sunday at the Carnival.  Young kids faces have been blurred.



See more photos on our Facebook Page.

Aug 022014

IMG_6737The busiest day of the annual Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival started off a bit gloomy with steady rainfall around 6:30 a.m. But, just 4.5 hours later, the sun poked through the clouds and everyone was ready to get the show started.

The volunteer firefighters appreciate Mother Nature’s support as this is their major fundraiser of the year.

Proceeds from Fire Department food locations (the pavilion and the satellite tent near the fence on Orange Center Road) as well as the games the firefighters run (Dunk Tank, Speed Ball, High Striker, etc) go to the department to help pay for equipment and training expenses.

Under the main raffle tent, you will find $5 tickets for the big raffle, in which you have a  chance to win one of 10 prizes, including a $5,000 Visa Gift Card! The drawing will be held on Sunday, Aug. 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Orange Fairgrounds.

Clear skies ahead!

Clear skies ahead!

Also, listen for announcements for the 50/50 raffle, for a $2 investment you will win half the pot and the fire department gets the other half.

Sometimes, participation is amazing and the winner walks away with a couple of hundred dollars, but if only a few people play you could win only $20 or $30. You must be present to win, and that’s half the fun. I was extremely lucky for the first time EVER on Thursday night, happily winning $51.  — it’s not $200, but it was more than I walked in with and for that, I am ridiculously happy. It helps pay the bills!

We have a Volunteer fire department?

After nearly 20 years of covering news in the town of Orange I am still astounded when I hear someone ask, “We have a volunteer fire department?”

I don’t think anyone writes more stories about the Orange Volunteer Fire Department or the extent of their training to earn certification. Training to enter a burning building. Training to drive a fire truck. In fact our volunteers do not get any money to leave their homes on Christmas eve to fight a chimney fire. No compensation to spend hours on a scorching day putting out a brush fire that’s threatening homes or property. No weekly paycheck to wake up at 3 a.m. to cut a drunk driver out of a rolled over vehicle.

Our volunteer firefighters have real paying jobs that they will leave whenever possible, in the event of an emergency.

With a volunteer fire department you save money on your taxes and you always have highly trained group of men and women ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to keep you, your family and property safe. Fire Chief John Knight hears the calls from Knight’s Equipment Inc., Highway crew chief Donald Foyer works just a few yards away from Station 2 on the Boston Post Road and can have a truck on the road in a minute after being toned out.

It’s not raining out, so head on down to the Orange Fairgrounds and do whatever you can to support the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

If you hear a tone and see these men and women leaving their volunteer posts at the carnival, you know that they are on their way to help someone in need. (it’s happened at least once so far at this year’s carnival), but they will be back. It’s what they do.

Today’s events

Ride wristbands are good today for the matinee 12-5 and evening 5-12

If you didn’t buy advance tickets, there is an At Carnival special of $22.00 for unlimited rides: SATURDAY MATINEE noon to 5 p.m.

There also will be a FREE children’s raffle during the matinee. Children 12 years and younger can register at the main raffle booth to win free prizes.

The fireworks display is tonight at 10:45 p.m.





Aug 062013

Power washing the grease from inside the pavilion is an important job.

Power washing the grease from inside the pavilion is an important job.

What goes up, must come down. After four days of family fun at the Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival it only took a few hours for crews to clean up the Orange Fairgrounds.

The odor of bleach hung heavy in the air as a man power washed the grease from the pavilion ceiling and floor.

It was fascinating to watch dozens of workers transform the area from a giant playground back to the familiar open grassy field that will soon house the Orange Country Fair.



Jul 302013

Screen shot 2013-07-26 at 12.18.34 PMThe Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival begins on Thursday, August 1 and runs through Sunday, August 4.

As in past years, the Firemen are offering advance sales on money-saving ride wristbands for adults and children ONLINE ONLY until July 31. Remember that you cannot purchase wristbands at the carnival!

On-Line Sales End Wednesday, July 31st at Noon/12:00 PM!

Here are the online prices (and savings)

QTY: 1 – 2013 Wristband for Adult or Child = $26.00

QTY: 2 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $44.00
(Savings $8.00!)

QTY: 3 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $66.00
(Savings $12.00!)

QTY: 4 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $88.00
(Savings $16.00!)

QTY: 5 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $110.00
(Savings $20.00!)

QTY: 6 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $132.00
(Savings $24.00!)

QTY: 7 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $154.00
(Savings $28.00!)

QTY: 8 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $176.00
(Savings $32.00!)

QTY: 9 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $198.00
(Savings $36.00!)

QTY: 10 – 2013 Wristbands for Adult or Child = $220.00
(Savings $40.00!)


Time Period 1
Thursday – 5 PM to 11 PM

Time Period 2
Friday – 5 PM to 12 Midnight

Time Period 3
Saturday – 12 Noon to 5 PM

Time Period 4
Saturday – 5 PM to 12 Midnight

Time Period 5
Sunday – 12 Noon to 5 PM

** Tickets & wristbands are non refundable **

** Photo ID Required to claim writstbands at the raffle booth **
The Raffle Booth is in the middle of the fairgrounds directly across from the Main Food Tent (Pavilion). The wristbands can be picked up in the Rear Right Hand corner.

The Weather Forecast for the Carnival days from WX EDGE goes as follows:

THURSDAY: Humid! A few showers & T-Showers arriving mid-late afternoon. Some heavy later in the day and at night. Highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s.

FRIDAY: Morning showers/T-Showers then becoming partly sunny & still humid. Highs in the 80s.

SATURDAY: Partly to mostly sunny. Low humidity. Highs in the lower 80s.

SUNDAY: Early clouds give way to sun. Becoming less humid. Highs around 80.

Aug 102012

Our Amity High School Intern Lauren Ide, of Orange, spent a lot of time at the Orange Firemen’s Carnival (and editing in front of her computer) putting together this video for Orange Live. LINK

See if you can spot yourself or your friends in there somewhere.

I appreciate the talent that comes out of Amity High School. Thank you Lauren.

Aug 052012

The final day of the Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival was fairly decent with a steady flow of people and dry weather, except for one short drizzly spell early on.

The children’s raffle at 4 p.m. went very well with 8 happy winners and the big raffle drew a crowd, yet, it seems none of the 13 prize winners were present this year.

The totals haven’t been tallied yet but between the five firefighter sponsored games, food sales from the main food tent (pavilion) and the satellite tent, ticket sales from the 50/50 raffles and main raffle event, the fire department may have raised a decent amount of money.

Chairman Donnie Foyer thanks everyone for their support at the 85th annual OVFD carnival. This includes all of the civilian volunteers and the Carnival sponsors: UI/Southern CT Gas; Greco and Haines; Premier Subaru; Pez; Colony Hardware; Julia’s Bakery; Eagle Leasing; Center Auto Towing; Walgreen’s; Tamaro Oil; and Orangectlive.com

Aug 042012

Lisa Kaplan, Firefighter of the Year, cools down in the dunk tank on Saturday afternoon.

Cory Ziman is back with more photos from this afternoon’s action at the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s Carnival on the Orange Fairgrounds.

The matinee ends at 5 p.m. and the evening activities go on from 5 to midnight.

Fireworks at 10:45 p.m.

Come on down, the Food is great the volunteers are cheerful, hardworking and ready to help.

This is the MAJOR fund-raiser of the year for your 100% volunteer Fire Department.

The Auxiliary is back with homemade pie. A heaping helping is only $2.

Aug 022012

Nighttime fun at the Orange Firemen’s Carnival

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department has been working on the 2012 carnival since the day after the 2011 carnival ended.

It takes a lot of planning to keep such a big operation rolling every year, keeping the public interested in coming and finding volunteer non-firefighters  willing to help in the food tent and pitch in at various games around the fairgrounds.

Denise Mirto sent a shout-out for food tent volunteers a couple of months ago and has been successful, but I’m sure she can still use a few extra hands on Saturday or Sunday.

When you first arrive, you will be greeted by Woodbridge Volunteer Firefighters, who are assisting in the parking areas making sure everything is nice and orderly out there.

Under the Raffle Tent you will find many familiar faces, selectmen, various committee and board members and residents who come back year after year and donate their time to the fire department, just as the firefighters donate their time to the town every hour of every day.

At Wednesday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting First Selectman Jim Zeoli called the Carnival the “cheapest fire insurance that an Orange Resident can have.”

“If every household spent a couple hundred bucks at the carnival, it is the cheapest insurance they can have for fire service,” Zeoli said. “If we had a paid Fire Department it would cost us millions of dollars every year.”

There are many rides, games, and food options at the carnival, and everyone has their favorite, but did you know that the Fire Department only benefits from the proceeds at the games and food that they run?

The games are the Frog Bog, Dunk Tank, High Striker, Speedball and Blower ball – the little game of chance next to the raffle tent. The 50/50 raffle benefits both the civilian winner and the fire department, who split the pot a couple of times a day.

Of course, you can’t beat $5 for a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of 13 great prizes, including trips, an iPad, gift certificate to the American Diamond Exchange and a generator – just in time for hurricane season.

The main food tent (under the pavilion) and the satellite food tent straight up the aisle next to the fence on Orange Center Road also are Fire Department run.

The one big change that you may notice is that the High Striker game has a new host. Long time chairman, Joe Oleschuk busted his elbow this year but he’s still working the game.


Saturday, Aug. 4
Open 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday Matinee Ride bracelets are good from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday Evening Ride Bracelets are good from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
(Pick up your bracelets at the rear of the main Raffle Tent – photo ID and signature are required at pick up)
At carnival ride special is $22 for unlimited rides for the matinee ONLY.
Individual ride tickets are available at the ticket booth.
A free raffle for children during the matinee – Children 12 years and younger can register at the main raffle booth to win free prizes.
Fireworks at 10:45 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 5
Open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Ride bracelets are good from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Pick up your bracelets at the rear of the main Raffle Tent – photo ID and signature are required at pick up)
Individual ride tickets are available at the ticket booth.
Raffle drawing at 4:30 p.m. at the Orange Fairgrounds.

The weather is supposed to be great all weekend so, come on down and support your Volunteer Fire Department.

Aug 012012

The 2012 Raffle Prize poster.

What’s your favorite part of the Orange Firemen’s Carnival? For some it’s the rides, others live for the food. Some can’t resist the games, and everyone gathers in a clearing for the fireworks.

But, seriously, who wouldn’t want to win one of the raffle prizes?

Each year the volunteers somehow manage to gather the most awesome prizes you’ll ever see in one place. This year there are 13.

Last summer as I got my feet wet at the announcers post with my dear friend Bob “The Voice of the Firemen’s Carnival” Crocco, I couldn’t help but notice just how many people make a bee-line for the Raffle Tent to get their $5 ticket before they do anything else.

I remember how badly I wanted the iPad last year, but this year, being unemployed, the $200 Stop & Shop gift certificate is looking mighty good.

Buying raffle tickets is easy, you may see any Orange Volunteer Firefighter, go to Town Hall, firehouse or Knight’s and take a chance at winning one of these terrific prizes.


A $5 donation gives you a chance to win one of 13 wonderful prizes.

1st Prize
Mexico Riviera Maya Riu Palace. 7 days, 6 nights, all-inclusive, including round trip air out of New York, NY taxes and transfers for two adults. (based on availability at time of booking)

2nd Prize
Disney Caribbean Beach Resort. 7 days, 6 nights with 4 day-hopper passes and round trip air out of Hartford, CT to Orlando, FL for 2 adults and 2 children under 9 years. (based on availability at time of booking)

3rd Prize
Bahamas Atlantis Resort Coral Towers. 7 days, 6 nights with round trip air out of New York, NY to Bahamas for two. (based on availability at time of booking)

4th Prize
Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Norwegian Epic. 7 days, 6 nights cruise with round trip air out of New York, NY to San Juan, PR for two people in balcony category, includes insurance. (based on availability at time of booking)

5th Prize
Gift Certificate from American Diamond Exchange

6th Prize
Generac 7500 Watt Electric Start Generator- Knights, Inc., 286 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

7th Prize
iPad Wi-Fi 16 GB – Best Buy, 53 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

8th Prize
Plasma 43″ Samsung Television Best Buy, 53 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

9th Prize
$400 Fuel Gift Card redeemable at Shell Fuel, 380 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

10th Prize
$300 Gift Certificate to Foxwood Casino, 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, CT

11th Prize
Stihl BR350 Backpack Blower·· Knights, Inc., 286 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

12th Prize
$200.00 Gift Card, Stop & Shop, Inc., 259 Bull Hill Lane, Orange, CT

13th Prize
Tickets to New Haven Open at Yale Tennis Tournament

Drawing to be held on Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. at the Orange Fairgrounds, 525 Orange Center Road, Orange, CT

Alcoholic beverages not included

Tickets $5.00/each