MILLHEIM — It’s festival season and for some nights of good old-fashioned fun, head over to the Millheim Fireman’s Carnival this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The event is held on the fire company grounds, directly behind the station, and opens daily at 6:00 p.m.
The official start of the weekend occurs tonight at 7 pm when the fire whistle is blown, signaling the start of the annual parade.
MVFC Vice President, Carnival President and Active Firefighter Hunter Homan is excited to see the event return to normal and explains the role it plays in the Penns Valley.
“It’s important because it brings the community together and helps raise money for the fire company to better itself,” he said. “Much of the money raised goes towards the purchase of new equipment and equipment that we use every day.”
This year’s entertainment will suit all ears with Qwik Rock DJ Ricky LaPean on Thursday night, DJ Joe Quick on Friday and 1950s doo-wop group Rama Lama on Saturday.
There will be nightly drawings for grand prizes, as well as a drawing on Saturday night to win pro-style bagged cornhole boards. The drawings for the 100 prize tickets will also be on Saturday night.
A popular part of the carnival for all ages is the games. Some of the most favored are the duck pond, soda ring toss, bouncy house, poker booth, balloon darts, a money tree, and everyone’s favorite: the dime toss.
No Central Pennsylvania carnival would be complete without a tractor, and the Millheim Fire Company will have two during carnival weekend. The garden tractor pull is Saturday morning with registration at 9am, with the pull at 10am; and the kiddy pedal pull is for children ages 3-9, and will take place in the evening with registration at 6pm and the pull at 7pm
Most people attend local carnivals to visit old friends and eat good food. The Millheim Carnival will have plenty of both.
While attendees catch up with old friends on one of the benches facing the main stage, they can nibble on some carnival-style food. The grounds will be filled with delicious fried and sweet treats like hot sausage sandwiches, cheese steaks, French fries, funnel cakes, pizza, fried Oreos, hamburgers and hot dogs, and fresh-squeezed lemonade.
On Saturday night, starting at 10 pm, one of the biggest fundraisers within the carnival takes place: the cake auction.
This year, there will be a special cake donated in memory of Millheim Fire Company member Kevin Lingle.
Kevin and his wife, Hope, who is also an active member of the fire company, were in a car accident last June and sadly, Kevin succumbed to his injuries.
The tragic accident occurred just a few miles from Millheim, but within the coverage area of the Millheim Fire Company, which means that all of the EMS workers and members of the fire company who responded to the scene were close friends of Kevin.
His sudden absence has left a huge void not only in his circle of family and friends, but also in the Penns Valley community, and especially in the Millheim Fire Company.
Kevin was a visible presence at all fire company events and was instrumental in planning the annual carnival. Because of this, the organizers realize over and over again how much they miss him as they plan the day and take on some of his roles.
Clarise Homan is one of those members and considers Hope and Kevin to be some of her closest friends. “Kevin was a very loved and very dedicated member of our fire company, as well as one of my best friends,” Clarise said as she held back tears. “There were a lot of tough firsts in the fire company without him last year. And now this is our first carnival without him. He will always be missed.”
The cake auction will feature over 40 cakes, all delicious, all made with love, and all appreciated. However, the one with Kevin’s name on it will touch the hearts of the fire company members, as his name is spoken under the white lights of the stage, which Kevin has walked through many carnivals before.
Heather Homan, fire company secretary and friend of the Lingles, stands behind Kevin’s cake donation and remembers his special place within the organization and in her own family. “On June 30, 2021, the lives of the members of the Millheim Fire Company were changed forever. We lost a long term dedicated member and a man who was like a second father figure to me. He was a leader in many of the fundraising events and we are left to continue without him. He will remain forever in our hearts.”
For more information about the Millheim Fire Company or the cake auction, call or text Hunter Homan at 814-360-5864.