Orange volunteer firefighters will kick off their annual carnival at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Orange Fairgrounds, 525 Orange Center Road, continuing an area tradition and undertaking their biggest fund-raiser of the year.
The Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival is a tradition that is almost 100 years old, according to carnival chairman Don Foyer.
It runs Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
Advance sales for ride wristbands, sold at a discount, are available at the Orange Volunteer Fire Department website https://www.orangevfd.org/carnival until Wednesday.
Not only has the carnival grown to be an area favorite for a night out, it’s a major fund-raiser for the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.
“It’s a really important event for the fire department,” said Foyer. “We’re self-funded. The town gives us a small contribution, but this event is how we finance the department and its operations for the next year, including the purchase of equipment, supplies, apparatus, and training.”
Firefighters will be showing off their newest fire truck, Quint-32. The $850,000-vehicle is equipped with an aerial ladder, pumps, a water tank and transports equipment and personnel. It arrived in July.
“The town doesn’t buy us equipment like this,” Foyer said. “We buy it with funds raised at the Carnival and other fund-raisers. Just like when a family buys a car, we plan and save for a few years. This year, we added the truck and all of the equipment that goes in it to our fleet.”
There are new things for carnival-goers, too. Eli’s Restaurant will be on-hand selling lobster rolls. In addition to food trucks, Orange firefighters and their friends will be cooking as always, and the food lines have been reorganized to make it easier. Foyer said there always new rides and games to play.
Foyer, a firefighter for 45 years, has chaired the carnival for 10 years. It’s grown larger and has become a regional favorite. Foyer said the carnival was started shortly after the creation of the fire department in 1925. As it has grown, the carnival moved from the town green, to the area behind town hall and then to its current home on the Orange Fairgrounds.
“We’re looking forward to another great year for everyone,” said Foyer. “It never get old or boring. Every year brings new excitement.”
Orange Volunteer Fire Association
625 Orange Center Road • P.O. Box 878
Orange, CT 06477