There’s nothing quite like the sticky sweetness of fried dough coated with powered sugar, the wispy strands of brightly colored cotton candy dissolving in your mouth and ferris wheel rides to trigger a bout of nostalgia from carnivals attended in summers past. Tonight, the 64th annual week-long Mamaroneck Fireman’s Carnival will begin in Harbor Island Park, creating a memorable experience for both young and old.
In addition to a ferris wheel, a new spaceship ride, giant funhouse, and many other rides for young children, 2011 marks the first year that a dunk tank will be present at the carnival. The few unlucky candidates volunteering to be dunked by the crowd will include Rye Neck Superintendent Peter Mustich as well as several unnamed public officials and firemen, said Village of Mamaroneck (VOM) Fire Chief Chris Szymanowski.
A variety of food vendors will be scattered throughout the carnival and will include Mexican, barbeque, fried Oreos, and pizza frites (fried dough covered with powdered sugar).
In past years, the carnival has been a
One of Mamaroneck’s biggest events, with attendance roughly estimated at 20-30,000 by Szymanowski in past years, it draws a crowd not necessarily limited to Mamaroneck.
“It’s a pretty good mix of people from all over Westchester and a lot of local residents,” said former fire chief John Barney and organizer of the fireman’s parade.
“There’s people from the Bronx, midtown Manhattan, southern Connecticut—they come from all over,” he said emphasizing the range of participants.
On Wednesday, the Fireman’s Parade—which has coincided with the carnival every year except for one or two—will begin at 7 p.m., marching from Mamaroneck Avenue School down to Harbor Island. Approximately 45 fire departments and companies from New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, Westchester, and Putnam Counties will be participating in the parade, said Barney.
Members of Halstead Manor Engine and Hose No. 4—a company that recently celebrated it’s 100th year anniversary—will be marching in the parade, along with past chief Walter Webber, Jr., who celebrates 70 years of service to Mamaro, and past chief Lloyd Wright from Halstead Manor.
Following the parade, the bands that marched in the parade will get together for a “jam session” in Harbor Island Park, said Barney.
On the Fourth of July, a fireworks show starts at 9:15 p.m. at Harbor Island Park.
“This place is packed,” said Barney, referring to the massive outpouring of people on the Fourth in previous years.
Admission to the carnival is free. The carnival begins June 28 and runs every day through July 5 from 7-11 p.m. every day.