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Fairplay Carnival returns after 12-year absence

Fairplay Carnival returns after 12-year absence

FAIRPLAY — It’s been 12 years since the Fairplay Carnival fairgrounds off Tighmanton Road has seen a crowd.

But starting Tuesday, June 12, through Saturday, June 16, those who have been missing the community carnival will be crowding in for rides, games and food.

Tracy McCleary, Community Volunteer Fire Co. of District 12 treasurer and co-chairwoman of the carnival, said community members have been asking about the carnival since the renamed fire company was reinstated in October 2016.

“When are we going hear the siren again, which had been down for about five years, and when are we going to get a carnival?,” she said. “We tried to get our act together last year to pull it off, but we just couldn’t find a ride company that could participate with us, which, of course, is an important factor. So we set out early this year to make preparations for this year.”

The Fairplay Volunteer Co. was suspended by the Washington County Board of Commissioners in July 2012, and the county withdrew its recognition and funding of the company in January 2013, after troubles with calls. The company was reinstated in October 2016, and then renamed Community Volunteer Fire Co. of District 12.

To celebrate the Fairplay Carnival’s triumphant return, the theme this year will be “Back in Time,” McCleary said. 

“One of the great things about the old carnival is the food, so we’re going to use old recipes trying to scrounge up as many secrets as we can for the food stand, and we hope to reintroduce some of the good things from the old days,” she said. 

That includes fresh-cut fries, country ham as well as newer additions such as pizza, sausages and chicken tenders. 

As usual, there will be plenty of rides, games and more. 

When it came to the carnival, McClearly there was a lot of community input from those excited to see about the carnival’s return.

“Everybody had their favorite food,” she said.

And when it came to requests for games, McClearly said the dime pitch, where players throw dimes into all kinds of glassware to win either the glass or a prize, was one of the top game requests.

“Everybody had favorite thing or do,” she said.

Other games include a cash/prize bingo starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

A cake auction will be at 4 p.m. Saturday. Many of the cakes used for the event will be from recipes from the 1940s and ‘50s. 

Entertainment will be twice beginning at 7 p.m. The line up is Tuesday: Don & The Starlighters; Wednesday: Jill Fulton Band; Thursday: Amish Outlaws; Friday: Made in the 80’s; and Saturday: Davisson Brothers.

The rides will also return with wristbands costing $15 all night Tuesday through Thursday; and $18 for Friday and Saturday.

It’s taken a small village to bring the carnival back to life. McCleary said there ware about 30 people on the committee, which grows to about 50 volunteers thanks to spouses, children and neighbors. 

McCleary said the carnival is more than just a fundraiser for the fire company. 

“It’s also a way to get the community back together and get back on the grounds,” she said. “We kind of feel like they’ve not been able to make it their fairgrounds and their event staffing grounds for awhile, so we hope to get lots of people to know what good work we’ve been doing with the community and for the community.”

If you go ...

WHAT: Fairplay Carnival
WHEN: 3 p.m. to midnight Tuesday, June 12-Saturday, June 16
WHERE: 18002 Tighmanton Road, Fairplay
COST: Wrist Bands nightly for all you can ride,  $15 Tuesday through Thursday; $18 Friday and Saturday; no advance sales 
MORE: Two shows every evening at 7 p.m.— Tuesday - Don and the Starlighters; Wednesday - Jill Fulton Band; Thursday - Amish Outlaws; Friday - Made in the 80's; Saturday - Davisson Brothers

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