MIFFLINBURG — For over 50 years, Mifflinburg has come together each summer for a carnival that ends with Union County’s largest fireman’s parade; but what many carnival visitors may not know is that the events would not be possible without Mifflinburg’s dedicated volunteer firefighters, who have spent the past several weeks doing all sorts of prep work.
“The planning itself and all the infrastructure is all done by the fire department,” said Tod Steese, fire company president. “We have all the guys just come together and do what needs to be done.”
The carnival, which kicks off tonight, begins at 5 p.m. each night through Saturday, with bands performing from 7 to 10. The parade is slated to be held at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Community members are invited out to the fairgrounds along Route 45 for food, carnival rides, games and music this week, where carnival volunteers have been working on everything from planning and organization to minor construction.
“We’re painting stands, fixing stands that need repair, getting all the food ordered, storing that, preparing for the big parade on Saturday,” said Steese.
In addition, volunteers from the ladies’ auxilary have been setting up the food stand, which they will run throughout the week. Carol Grove, auxilary president, said all women with a father, brother or husband in the department are automatic members; but other women have joined just to help out. Grove has a husband and two brothers in the company, and several relatives helping out with the food stand.
“It’s a real family affair,” she said, laughing.
Steese is particularly excited about this year’s parade, which will feature the Reading Buccaneers drum and bugle corps, this year’s winner of the Cavalcade of Champions.
“They are upbeat, professional, and they sound incredible,” said Steese.
The fire company was able to book the band thanks to a donation from Swineford National Bank in Mifflinburg.
“Swineford National Bank actually donated the entire amount necessary to bring the Reading Buccaneers to Mifflinburg for our parade,” said Steese. “This is the first time they’ve made such a huge donation. They’ve worked with us a lot in the past.”
That’s not the only local donation bringing talent to the parade.
“M&T Bank came forward and donated the monies necessary to bring the Nittany Highland Pipe and Drum Corps from State College,” Steese said.
Steese said local support is crucial for the success of the carnival and parade.
“Every year we get a lot of support from the local churches as well as commercial units,” he said.
The parade will also feature the Mifflinburg Area High School marching band, and popular local bands will provide entertainment each night of the carnival.
Faded Daze (www.myspace.com/fadeddaze2), a classic rock cover band from Mount Pleasant Mills, will perform Wednesday; Top Shelf (www.topshelfpa.com), a four-piece variety band from Williamsport, will play Thursday; Covert Action (www.coveraction.com), a family variety band from Muncy, will take the stage Friday; and the Johnny Jolin Band (www.johnnyjolinband.com), a classic rock/country band from Williamsport, will close out the carnival on Saturday.
Staff Writer Amanda Alexander can be reached at 570-742-9671 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.