While 2020 was a bankruptcy for local volunteer firefighting companies hosting Carnival, 2021 was kind of a rollercoaster ride for organizers as they try to bypass the “current” COVID-19 restrictions and weigh the financial risk against the benefits. to say the carnival … “Here we go!”

For the Mount Airy 4 County Lions Club, it’s June 7-12 at the Mount Airy Carnival Grounds. “We’re putting this together pretty quickly,” said Carnival chairwoman Tanya Miller. She said there were some doubts but the club decided to move the carnival forward around mid-March. Usually planning for the following year starts in September.

Rosedale Attractions offer more space between driving and play configurations at the Carnival in Mount Airy and there are hand disinfection and washing stations throughout the site.

“It’s a gamble,” she said, noting that they only have one community sponsor so far and would welcome more. Live entertainment is limited to Thursday through Saturday. Reed and Son Services in Mount Airy sponsor the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band Brickyard Road on Saturday. The music for the other two nights will be announced at a later date.

The carnivals are important fundraising campaigns for the voluntary fire and rescue companies. They host dinner and bingo, rent event halls to the public, and host other activities. With these revenue streams locked down in 2020, the county’s Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services division estimated the losses to the companies could exceed $ 1.5 million. Frederick County provided more than $ 1 million from a federal CARES Act grant to help volunteer fire and rescue companies with some operational costs.

Some volunteer companies got creative with their fundraisers, such as B. Drive-through meals, online raffles and food truck days.

The Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Co. held a successful mail-in fundraiser and online raffles. The carnival is canceled for 2021, but the company hopes to resume it in 2022.

The Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department ended their annual carnival several years ago, said Chip Jewell, president. Instead, LVFD hosted smaller community events, such as the golf tournament fundraiser on June 4th and the popular athlete’s raffle and dinner in September. He said they are considering other revenue-generating options for later this year.

The Urbana voluntary fire brigade organized drive-through evenings in autumn and winter. “We did well,” said Donna Houck, a volunteer, member of the Auxiliary and Carnival Chairs.

Houck said the board would make a decision on its carnival at its meeting in early June.

Middletown Volunteer Fire Co. is also undecided, but nothing is planned at the moment.

The Thurmont Ambulance Co. is holding its carnival in the Thurmont Event Complex from June 1st to 5th with evening entertainment, rides, games and evening buffets.

Walkersville Volunteer Fire Co. recently announced that the 81st annual Mardi Gras will be July 5-10, with food, games, rides and entertainment, and fireworks on July 9th.

The Guardian Hose Co.’s Thurmont Firemen’s Carnival returns July 6-10 with rides and amusement, but there won’t be a parade.

The Jefferson Ruritan Club plans its annual Mardi Gras for July 26th through July 31st with rides, entertainment, food service, and evening entertainment.

Volunteer firefighting companies in Boonsboro, Union Bridge, New Windsor, Carroll Manor, Taneytown, Harney, Manchester, Mount Airy and Rocky Ridge, as well as the Burkittsville Ruritan Club have also canceled Mardi Gras for 2021. Winfield Community Fire Co. will make his decision soon.

For updates and other ways to raise funds, visit the fire department’s website or Facebook page.