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Saturday, June 19, 2010

SAXONBURG, PA FIREMAN'S CARNIVAL

Mark Sedlak, 8, of Saxonburg, goes down a slide Thursday at the Saxonburg Firemen's Carnival. Erica Hilliard For the Valley News Dispatch

Saxonburg Firemen's Carnival packs in decades of fun
By Tom Yerace, VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
Friday, June 18, 2010
As their seats plunged about 30 feet, Nicholas and Chelsea Dyer's faces looked as though their hearts had leaped into their throats.
The "Super Shot" at the Saxonburg Firemen's Carnival can have that effect on its riders.
The effect on Mike and Becky Dyer of Lower Burrell, the parents of Nicholas, 6, and Chelsea, 10, was much different.
They could hardly stop laughing.
"They were hilarious," Becky said.
His feet safely on the ground and his father's arm around him, a smiling Nicholas said, "It was fuuunnnn."
The Dyers were among hundreds of people who packed the carnival grounds Thursday night to enjoy the 79th edition of a Saxonburg --- and Alle-Kiski Valley -- tradition.
"Mike lived in Saxonburg, he grew up in Saxonburg, and when we dated, this is where we came," Becky said. "Now we bring the kids."
"This is the first year we let the kids ride the rides themselves, and they're fun to watch," she said.

Nevaeh Barlow, 7, of Butler, plugs her ears Thursday as the fire trucks pass during the Saxonburg Firemen's Carnival parade along Main Street. Erica Hilliard For the Valley News Dispatch

With rides and food ranging from strombolis to fried Oreos, the weeklong carnival serves as Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Department's major fundraiser.
It's billed as having the largest firemen's parade east of the Mississippi.
The parade took place Thursday on a cool,bright evening that drew several
thousand people to line the parade route through town.
"They were all along Water Street, they were all along Butler Street and Main Street," said Carol Neubert, the carnival chairwoman who manned an ambulance in the parade. "They were standing three and four deep on every street."
Among them were Gary and Melissa Costel and their three sons, Andrew, 8, Michael, 6, and Timmy, 5, who live in Penn Township and were attending the parade and carnival for the first time.
"The kids are finally old enough to come," Gary said.
Andrew was looking forward to seeing the fire trucks.
"I have about eight or 10 little ones," he said.They're more excited about going to the carnival," Gary said. "They spotted the rides."
Farther down the street, Charlene Johns of Cabot, Winfield Township, said she's attended the parade every year since she was little and never tires of it.
"It's fun, plus there's friends and family, and my son's a fireman. So we show up to support them," Johns said.
Watching the parade in front of his millwork business on Main Street, Chuck Matus said, "The (visitors) are really good. Saxonburg is the kind of place that people love to come to.
"I think it reminds them of the good, old small-town days."
Neubert pronounced the carnival's first four days a success and hopes for the same today and Saturday.
"I think it's going just fine," she said. "The weather has cooperated, thank God."



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