Slowly but surely, the Kiski Township Volunteer Fire Department is building up the annual Kiski Township Community Days.
Now in its third year, the fire department fundraiser began Friday evening and continues through Sunday.
“Each year we get a little bit bigger, and hopefully it will keep on growing,” said Ed Fisher, festival chairman and a 24-year member of the fire department.
The first year the festival was scheduled for only one day and was rained out, Fisher said. This year the activities coincide with the more established Dayton Fair, but Fisher said he’s still optimistic.
Carnival rides for young children and more craft and food vendors were added this year. “This year we brought in a carnival to draw people in,” Fisher said.
Combined with the child fingerprinting and firefighters’ parade offered today and a country gospel band Sunday, Fisher hopes they’ll get a good turnout.
The parade, which starts at 6 p.m. at the Apollo Area Pool, will travel north on Route 56 to Florida Avenue, to Sugar Hollow Road, to Kings Road and the festival grounds.
About 35 fire trucks and other rescue vehicles are expected, Fisher said.
“I hope that draws a lot of kids,” he said.
Harry Kesler and his daughter, Linda, strolled to the Kings Road fairgrounds from their home a few doors away.
“It’s convenient,” said Linda Kesler. “It’s a nice event for the community. Kiski Township doesn’t have much else to do.”
The Keslers’ dog, Beanie the Chihuahua, viewed the activities from a prestigious spot in the basket in front of Harry Kesler’s motorized scooter. “She loves riding in there,” said Linda Kesler.
As the Keslers ambled along the rows of antique and classic cars parked beside the bingo tent, Beanie eyed the fries and gyros carried by people walking past.
Tom Heberling, of Allegheny Township, said he doesn’t mind setting up his booth, Heberling’s Ice Cream, at a smaller festival such as the Kiski Township Community Days.
“The cost is reasonable and it’s a nice little community,” he said.
At larger festivals, Heberling said he has much more competition from other food vendors and pays a lot more for a spot.
“I lost my shirt,” he remembered of a county fair last year.
But a steady flow of customers showed up at his window Friday evening, most of them seeming to favor a scoop of strawberry.
“It’s different in every town,” Heberling said of the favorite flavor.
Liz Hayes can be reached at [email protected]
What: Kiski Township Community Days.
When: Noon to 10 p.m. today; 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Where: North Kings Road, off Route 56, Kiski Township.
Cost: Free entry; carnival ride tickets, $1.50.
* Noon: Pig and chicken roast.
* 1 to 3 p.m.: Child fingerprinting.
* 6 p.m.: Firefighters’ parade starting at Apollo Area Pool and ending at festival grounds.
* 6 to 10 p.m.: Karaoke.
* 1 p.m.: Firefighters’ battle of the barrels.
* 3 to 4 p.m.: Paul Eckenrode and the Country Gospel Band.
* 5 to 8 p.m.: Karaoke.