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Carnival gearing up again in Worthington

| Saturday, June 14, 2014, 1:42 p.m.
Louis B.Ruediger | Leader Times
The farm equipment parade - shown above in 2013 - is a big draw during the Worthington-West Franklin Volunteer Fire Department Carnival that has been held annually for six decades. This year, the farm equipment parade through the heart of Worthington will start at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

School is out. Summer is around the corner. And as it has for more than six decades, the carnival is coming to Worthington.

The weeklong Worthington-West Franklin Volunteer Fire Department Carnival begins on Monday, and organizers anticipate a daily turnout of several thousand people at the site along Bear and Main streets in front of the fire hall.

“There will be a Ferris wheel, merry-go-rounds — all the usual carnival rides and games,” said Terry Smith, carnival committee chairman.

The fire department has hosted the carnival since 1949. It is the biggest fundraiser for the volunteer firefighters and typically brings in about $38,000 each year, Smith said.

“It keeps us going for the rest of the year,” Smith said.

The carnival kicks off with a Kiddies Parade on Monday evening. Farmers and owners of antique vehicles will be polishing up their tractors and vintage equipment for a ride through town Tuesday during the Farmers and Antique Car Parade.

Each evening and throughout the day Saturday, there will be live music, amusement rides and races on tap. And the aroma of hot sausage, barbecue chicken and homemade donuts are sure to draw a crowd.

“A lot of what we do here is the food,” Smith said.

It's what keeps people coming back year after year, he said.

He hopes the event will attract more people with incentives that include a chance to win sizable cash prizes during the gun raffle. Adults who attend the raffle Saturday night and who give a $10 donation have a shot at winning one of nine guns, plus $5,000. Those who make a similar donation and who are not present could win $2,500.

But Smith expects the biggest turnout will be Thursday during the Fireman's Parade along Main Street.

“Thursdays are always our biggest night,” Smith said.

Residents start setting out chairs earlier in the day before the crowds begin lining up along Main and Bear streets.

“For the Fireman's Parade, you can hardly fit more people in there. People are stacked up pretty good,” he said.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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