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Sackville’s own historic costume carnival

"Happy Farmers” 2010 family entry. Kim Ward with Lucas and Kyle Snowdon.
"Happy Farmers” 2010 family entry. Kim Ward with Lucas and Kyle Snowdon.

Sackville Firemen’s Carnival set to celebrate 109th anniversary

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was submitted by Janet Crawford.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Sackville Firemen’s Carnival will celebrate its 109th anniversary on Feb. 24, 2018 at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre.

Everyone is invited to join in the fun as costumed participants compete for the many prizes awarded by the contest judges. Doors open at 6 p.m.; judging takes place between 6:30-8:30 p.m. Admission is only 50¢ per person.

This community event, organized every year by the volunteer fire department to help raise funds for their continuing activities, encourages children, adults and families to dress up in colourful costumes and skate. The judges award over 40 prizes in 14 categories such as ‘Boys Under 6 years’ and ‘Girls Fancy Dress’.

“Springhill Miner” by Genesta Wry - 2010.  At 90 years of age, Genesta still continues to participate in the Carnival.  Accompanying Wry is Edna Richard. PHOTO SUBMITTED
“Springhill Miner” by Genesta Wry - 2010. At 90 years of age, Genesta still continues to participate in the Carnival. Accompanying Wry is Edna Richard. PHOTO SUBMITTED

If you’re looking for ideas, all thoughtful and tasteful costumes are encouraged. Participants often portray local, national and international events, and even celebrities. The Carnival theme this year is “Emergency Services” – creating a costume based on fire fighters, ambulance services or policing could be interpreted in many different ways. And

of course, there are always points for being humorous and making it a fun evening for participants and spectators.

The prizes are generously donated by community businesses and individuals. It is always a pleasant surprise to see the quality and quantity of prizes that are made available for this event. They include toys, electronics, small appliances, games, and some cash prizes as well. In addition to the 46 prizes awarded for costumes, there are also 30 door prizes and a Grand Door Prize of a 55” Television.

Since 2011, the “Creative Skate Award” has been presented annually for outstanding participation in the Sackville Firemen’s Carnival by a person or group displaying excellence in creative costuming while sustaining the skating tradition of this long-standing event. There are two simple guidelines. Anyone wishing to be considered for this award must participate on ice skates (exceptions are made for those who are prevented from skating due to age or ability). And any group wishing to be considered must ALL be in costume – no street clothes. The winner of the Creative Skate Award is acknowledged with an engraved plaque on the trophy and a $100 cash prize. This award is sponsored by Fog Forest Gallery.

Craig Bowser, Sackville’s fire chief, says: “We are fortunate to have many new families and individuals who have settled here in Town over the past few years. We’d like to extend an invitation to them to come out and join us this year.

"We are also grateful to those townsfolk who have supported us over the many years and it’s always gratifying to see them return year after year.”

The members of the volunteer fire department work hard on this project every year. Through their commitment and dedication, the Carnival event continues. Sackville is one of the last communities to still offer a costu

The Creative Skate Award consists of a cherry wood base custom made by John Crawford, and an antique skate upon which illustrations of skaters and costumes from the Carnival have been hand-painted by m.c. parker - both are well known Sackville artists.  This award, given annually, is sponsored by Fog Forest Gallery. PHOTO SUBMITTED
The Creative Skate Award consists of a cherry wood base custom made by John Crawford, and an antique skate upon which illustrations of skaters and costumes from the Carnival have been hand-painted by m.c. parker - both are well known Sackville artists. This award, given annually, is sponsored by Fog Forest Gallery. PHOTO SUBMITTED

me carnival, which was very popular generations ago.

“It is a testament to this community and our members that we are still able to offer this Carnival,” states Bowser.

However, our modern lives have made many demands on our time and events like the Firemen’s Carnival are sometimes left behind. The attendance and participation for this event have, over the past few years, started to dwindle.

“It is hoped that we can renew the interest in this community event,” says Bowser. “It would be a shame for this long-standing tradition to be forgotten.”

So, the time is at hand to create a costume for yourself or your family, sharpen your skates, and plan to come out for an evening of fun on Saturday, February 24. Challenge a neighbour for the best costume or plan a party around the Carnival. Where else can you go for an evening of entertainment and exercise for only 50 cents?

And you might win a prize!

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Green, member of the Fire Department and Carnival Committee, at m.green@sackville.com or 540-0580.

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