July 5, 2011
Field Days full of July 4th fun
Annual 3-day Cincinnatus celebration has rides, food and fireworks
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cincinnatus residents Darian Glassford, 4, slides with his father, Cory, down the Super Slide Saturday at the annual Fireman’s Field Days in Cincinnatus.
CINCINNATUS — Crowds have flocked for years to the Cincinnatus Fireman’s Field Days every Fourth of July weekend.
The draw, some families said Saturday amid the fun and games, is the family-friendly atmosphere, the different activities to enjoy and of course, the fireworks on July 4.
“This is the best year, actually,” said Cincinnatus resident Cory Glassford after his 4-year-old son finished riding the “Super Slide.”
The three-day annual carnival, has been held the past four years at the Cincinnatus Fire Department’s 18.5-acre property along Route 26, just south of the Telephone Road intersection. What keeps it running and growing strong is the dedicated band of volunteers who put it together, organizers said. The Cincinnatus Fire Department has been putting on the field days since 1946.
“Without the community support, this would be too big for us to handle,” said Cincinnatus firefighter Butch McUmber, who helped organize the field days. “It’s doubled in size since we started and the crowd gets bigger each year.”
Some staple attractions of the field days include rows of food vendors, music and entertainers, and carnival rides for every age group.
Organizers spent three days, many using their vacation time, to set up the event, but overall planning is about a year-long process that requires regular meetings, said co-chair Shawn Scoville.
McUmber, who also works as a corrections officer at the Camp Georgetown minimum-security state prison in nearby Madison County, said small groups of inmates are brought over to help as a community service work detail.
“That’s an example of what the (prison) gives back to the community,” McUmber said.
“Volunteer firefighters get burned out and if it wasn’t for the prison, we’d be lost,” added Assistant Cincinnatus Fire Chief Corey Brenchley.
That assistance may be a thing of the past. Camp Georgetown is on the list of seven state prisons set to close down in about two months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week.
Organizers of the Cincinnatus field days said that means they will have to be more reliant on volunteers and community support if the event is to continue prospering.
“It’s a tradition and it’s a thing we’d like to keep going,” Brenchley said.
Much of the funding for field days activities comes from community donations. Brenchley said organizers spent $6,500 on fireworks this year — nearly half of which came from community donations.
Locals who showed up to the field days and the organizers said the fireworks display is one of the event’s biggest draws.
Cassandra Mackrell of Pitcher and her four children said they had a lot of fun at the field days.
Her 8-year-old daughter Madison said she rode the “Go-Gator” children’s roller coaster four times and liked that ride the best because “it was fast and real bumpy.”
“I bring them to one of the (local) fairs every year,” said Mackrell. “We’ll come again.”
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