Some might say that the days of the fireman’s carnival have passed, but if there is any truth to that statement at all, the folks in Sweet valley are not listening. The annual Sweet Valley Fair has been going strong since the early 1950s and shows no signs of slowing down. Chalk it up to the brave fireman of the Sweet Valley Vol. Fire Company. For these guys, this is more than a town-wide celebration, it also happens to be their biggest fundraiser of the fair. This is perhaps Sweet Valley’s biggest event of the year, and the folks who put this together come with all their bells… or sirens.
While the events of the Sweet Valley Fair last all weekend, the big draw is on Monday with the fireman’s parade. Nearly a hundred engines of very imaginable type marches through the town’s tiny main street. from brush to amphibious, to the most advanced modern rescue engines, and antiques, these engines cruise through with swirling siren and horns blaring as people cheer, and the kids yell. Follow between are floats from local organizations and classic cars carrying would-be politicians and famed local business men. Following the fireman’s theme, spectators wont want to miss the much beloved Fireman’s Olympics. This homespun contest pits fighter against fighter and engine house against engine house in feats such as the water bucket brigade and a test of endurance on a 150 year old fire hand pump.
Apart from the bravado of firefighting and blaring engines, The Sweet Valley Fair enthusiastically offers the other staples of a fireman’s fair. Carnival rides dot the landscape as do concession stands full of delicious fair foods and some impressive spreads from local organizations. With the like of homemade potato pancakes, pierogies, funnel cakes, fresh cut French fries, along with sausage and cheese steak sandwiches, if you go home hungry it’s your own fault. There also happens to be a fair collection of art and craft vendors running a show through the weekend as well as a white elephant sale at the firehouse, designed to raise funds for the volunteer fire company.
Admission to the festival is free but some activities cost extra. Parking is in town.