Laurelville Fireman's Fest starts July 17

The 96th annual Laurelville Fireman’s Festival is about to kick-off on July 17 with a lot of fun and entertainment for all ages. Be sure to check out the food and nightly entertainment.

LAURELVILLE — One of the longest running festivals in the area is returning and this time organizers are putting together a car show for attendees during the Fireman’s Old Time Festival that runs from July 17 through July 20.

In the past, the festival has had different events come and go. This year, Laurelville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Butch Valentine is excited to attract a different crowd.

“This will be the first year we have a car show in conjunction with the festival — we’ve got a couple of firefighters that have cars and go to several of the car shows. We’ve turned in that direction to hopefully make a little more money and draw a bigger crowd to come in and buy fish sandwiches on Saturday,” Valentine said.

The cost to register for the car show is $10 per vehicle and registration begins at 11 a.m. Valentine also said there will be door prizes, a 50/50 drawing and 10 prizes to be given away to car owners in attendance on Saturday.

The festival is sponsored by the fire department and dates back to the first festival held in 1923. There are homemade pies and cakes sold by local churches, a nightly fish fry by the fire department and free entertainment along Main Street.

Festival proceeds help the fire department operate and purchase necessary equipment for the four different stations.The Chief noted the Fire Department provides a life-saving service for four townships, including three in Hocking County.

This year they’ll be using the funds to purchase new gear for the firefighters. The department also is still raising funds to buy handheld Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) radios for 40 firefighters.

These radios will allow firefighters within the department to communicate clearly with other agencies given the remote areas they’re called to at times. Chief Valentine said he’s also been applying for grants through the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office to help bring the cost down from roughly $150,000.

The schedule for this year’s festival is as follows:

• Wednesday — a fish fry at 5 p.m.; dedication at 6:20 p.m.; midway and rides open along with Little Miss, Junior Miss, Teen Miss “Old Time Festival Contest” at 6:30 p.m.; and “Travis Brown and the Drifters Band” from 8 to 11 p.m.

• Thursday — a fish fry at 5 p.m.; midway and rides open along with “Miss Old Time Festival Contest” at 6:30 p.m.; and “Willow Creek Band — Country to 50s Rock” from 8 to 11 p.m.

• Friday — karaoke registration at 4 p.m.; karaoke contest at 4:30 p.m.; the fish fry at 5 p.m.; midway and rides open at 6:30 p.m.; and “The Coal Cave Hollow Boys” a bluegrass band from 8 to 11 p.m.

• Saturday — the baby contest at 10 a.m.; a fish fry at 11 a.m.; the first annual car show from 12 to 4 p.m.; a Big Wheel race for ages four through seven at 12 p.m.; “Matinee” ride all the rides for one price from 1 to 5 p.m.; the Kiddie Tractor Pull by Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center at 2 p.m.; the Queens Tea at 3:30 p.m.; Adelphi Community Band at Stage 4:30 p.m.; Dynamic Mention Drum Corp at Stage at 5:30 p.m.; the Grand Parade with Sue Ann Hinton as Grand Marshal at 6 p.m.; introductions of visiting queens at 7 p.m.; “6 to Noon Band” at 8 p.m.; Ohio’s Most Expensive “Cake Auction” at 9 p.m.

During last year’s cake auction, bidders purchased two cakes for $21,600. A

“The whole week is a good thing, I really don’t have a favorite part of it. My favorite part would be if we could have a week of weather without rain,” Valentine remarked.

The festival is held at the junction of state Route 56 and state Route 180. Pre-registration is required for the Baby Contest, “Old Time Festival” Contest and the talent show. Contestants must be residents of the Laurelville Volunteer Fire Department district.

For more information call 740-332-6033 or visit the Laurelville Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page.

Grace Warner is a reporter with the Logan Daily News, a Herald sister publication.

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