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Connellsville Township firemen prepare for FunFest

Lori C. Padilla | for the Daily Courier
Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Department FunFest will be held Thursday through Saturday, featuring a hotdog eating contest this year. Entry fee is $5, with registration taking place before the 4 p.m. parade on Saturday. Contestants will eat as many hot dogs in a bun as possible in 5 minutes. Winner will be awarded $100. Co-chairmen Jon Gilpin (left) and Nick Napolillo will serve as judges for the contest.

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For the 11th year, the Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Department will hold FunFest, a three-day event that has added new onsite parking and a hot dog eating contest.

“FunFest has had its ups and downs over the years with the economy, weather conditions and other community events happening at the same time,” said Joe Kosinski, township fire department public relations/media liaison officer and safety officer. “But in general we have seen a consistent growth over the last 10 years.”

New this year will be expanded onsite parking. Kosinski said over the years, the onsite parking has always been something that has been a bit of a problem for organizers. But the fire department recently purchased some surrounding property and will now be able to expand the parking.

“We really think it will help increase our attendance,” he said.

A new event this year will be the hotdog eating contest, which will take place following the parade on Saturday, which starts at 4 p.m.

Kosinski said for a $5 participating entry fee, a contestant will have five minutes to eat as many hotdogs as they can. The winner will receive a $100 prize and the title of FunFest '14 Champion Hot Dog Eater.

Other events for FunFest will include:

• Thursday: 6 to 10 p.m. DJ, food and games; 6 to 8 p.m. spaghetti dinner

• Friday: 4 to 11 p.m. car show with DJ and Stacks Smokin' Barbeque; 7 to 11 p.m. (band) Fayettenam.

• Saturday: 4 p.m. parade with hot dog eating contest to follow; 7 to 11 p.m. (band) Whiskey; Stacks Smokin' Barbeque and chain-saw wood carving demonstrations; 10 p.m., fireworks sponsored by the CTVFD Ladies Auxiliary.

Free entertainment will include a kiddie train, inflatable bounce house, dunk tank, games, Chinese auction, cake wheel and prizes. The food booth will include funnel cakes, hamburgers, hot sausage, hot dogs and much more.

A craft and vendor show will take place all three days.

Kosinski said the biggest event for FunFest is the fireworks on Saturday.

“We have always had a fantastic fireworks display to close out the event and this year of course will not be any different,” Kosinski said. “We always have a band playing before the fireworks so folks are coming in and listening to them before the big display. Folks don't like to miss a good fireworks show, so they come in early, set up their chairs and wait for the show to start.”

Kosinski said FunFest is one of the major fundraisers for Connellsville Township VFD as well as a way for the department to give back to the community it serves.

“Next year Connellsville Township VFD will host for the annual Fayette County Fireman's Convention and we will be combining FunFest ‘15 with that event, so you can expect things to expand again next year,” Kosinski said.

FunFest '14 will be held at 905 Fireman St. in Connellsville. For information, call 724-628-3490 or email www.station7ctvfd.com

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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