Carnival sees rainy return, perseveres
What began with the pitter patter of many, many raindrops ended with a bang Saturday night as the Granville Hook & Ladder Company’s Fireman’s Carnival closed with its scheduled fireworks display, despite the threat of rain that hung over the entire three-day event.
“It was a pretty good turnout, pretty good. We got a lot of compliments; people were saying they were glad to see the fireman’s carnival back in Granville,” Hook and Ladder President Joe Loveland said Monday morning.
The carnival made money, Loveland said, but the fire department was not yet sure how much. He said he was sure the department more than covered its expenses.
Loveland said the fire department was leaning toward bringing the carnival back again next summer, based on the results and the reaction to it. But he said that call would not be made officially until the carnival committee meets and votes.
The first night of the retuning carnival seemed like a bad omen with rain that picked up intensity as the night wore on, likely keeping many from coming out to take a look.
Despite the weather a hearty few came down to the carnival grounds, mostly children who could not wait to try the rides, firefighters said. Many of those were back in force the following night, tickets in hand.
Hook & Ladder members said they toughed it out in the rain until 9 p.m. before closing for the night.
Hook & Ladder trustee Debbie Whitely said 32 people paid for entry during the three hours the carnival opened its doors.
Hook & Ladder Chief Dan McClenning was optimistic Friday night. He said if he was going to lose one day of the Fireman’s Carnival to rain he preferred it was Thursday, which allowed the department two more nights to make money.
Turnouts Friday and Saturday seemed to back the chief up as patrons came out early, many parents and grandparents with small children.
Crowds grew steadily as the sun went down until some of the booths had developed lines waiting for fair food favorites like fried dough.
As firefighters hoped, the fireworks show pulled people in Saturday night, Loveland said, with some staying at the carnival grounds well after the last pyrotechnic delight faded from the sky. “It was busy Saturday night; everybody was busy,” he said.
“We stayed open depending on the crowd and quite a few came back in; they were there for another hour after the fireworks,” Loveland said.
Loveland said the firefighters were pleased to bring back an event with such a long history, “It’s been a part of Granville for so many years; people were saying they were glad to see it back,” he said.
A late start on planning was responsible for one of the aspects of the parade many noted – no marching bands.
Loveland said the Granville High School band had not been available and other bands, including the Cambridge Band and a bag pipe band the department contacted, had already made commitments and were not available for the parade’s June 20 date.
Firefighters from around the area brought a large array of different-sized and -shaped firetrucks, from the Hook & Ladder’s own ladder truck to the gigantic tanker truck from Shushan.
Loveland said the department was planning a letter to the editor thanking all of those who donated to help make the carnival, particularly the fireworks show, a success.
The committee will get to work on the next carnival as soon as the idea is approved, he said.
“It will be a little more together this next time; it ended up being a few people taking over to make sure it went off,” Loveland said. “Next time we’ll share the work.”