HOPEDALE – Things will be heating up as the Hopedale Volunteer Fire Department plans to bring back a tradition.
The Hopedale Fire Department Festival and Parade is set for June 28-29 and will feature a variety of food, fun and festivities for the whole family. It all begins that Friday with a fish fry and kitchen that opens from 5-9 p.m. and includes Joe’s Fish, Fries and Coleslaw.
“We’re trying to bring it back and get more of the community involved,” said Fire Chief Michael Moore. “We are restarting a tradition. Joe’s Bar is sponsoring the fish fry and is a little bit of Hopedale history.”
Festival royalty will be crowned at 7 p.m. with a prince, princess, baby princess, junior queen and queen to be named. Mitchell said the younger candidates were selected based on a penny a vote while the junior queen and queen were selling tickets for their contests.
The first-ever “Hopedale Idol” karaoke contest gets under way from 7-9 p.m. with the four finalists returning the next evening to earn a trophy for their talent. Inflatable rides and games from Movin and Groovin Productions will be on hand from 6-10 p.m. with music by DJ Scootin Scotty at 9-11 p.m.
Saturday’s itinerary includes a pancake breakfast from 7-10 a.m., a flea market from 7 a.m. to noon and lunch and other kitchen offerings from noon to 4 p.m.
VFD member Delena Mitchell said yard sales, crafters and other vendors are sought to take part in the flea market and there is a $10 charge per table. Meanwhile, burgers, hot dogs, sloppy joes, fries and even popcorn, funnel cakes and other fare will be offered. Carryout will also be available both days. In addition, the Hopedale Softball team will sell fried Oreos. A cornhole tournament will take place at noon with a classic car, motorcycle and tractor cruise-in from noon to 4 p.m. Trophies will be awarded for classes in the cruise-in.
Units line up at Rabbit Road at 4 p.m. for the parade at 5, which will wind along Main, High, Central and Virginia streets before heading back to the fire department. Moore invited community emergency squads and others to participate. The kitchen opens from 5-9 p.m. and a chicken barbecue will be held at that time, but those with hearty appetites can join in the fun for a hot dog eating contest a little earlier at 4 p.m. The Hopedale Idol finalists will get their chance to shine again during the contest at 7-8 p.m. while the inflatables, games and DJ are again scheduled from 6-10 p.m. and bracelets will be sold for the rides.
Officials added that 50-50 and raffles are being held as part of the event, which is a fundraiser for the department.
“We’re excited about the amount of community support we’ve had with volunteers and sponsors,” Moore continued. “Next year we plan to add a 5K.”
He noted that an open house will be planned at the department in the future to help promote a smoke detector program since the VFD received 100 detectors to distribute to the community. There is also a move to bolster the number of volunteer firefighters, which currently stands at 20.
“We’re hoping we can build it to where it used to be,” added Mitchell.
For more information, call 740-317-2352 about the royalty contest, 740-219-4904 to pre-register for Hopedale Idol, 740-491-8130 for the parade and 491-8130 or 491-8701 for other details.
Pictured are contenders for Hopedale Fire Department Festival and Parade royalty, front from left, baby princess candidate Lillian Thomas, princess candidate Sophia Woodburn and baby princess candidate Maliha Adams. Back: junior queen candidate Brooke Mitchell, queen candidate Sabrina Mitchell, princess candidate Caliegh Spano and prince candidate L.J. Mitchell. Not pictured are princess candidate Cami Basich and junior queen candidate Marley Basich. For more information, call 740-491-8130 or 491-8701.
NH Photo/AMY GAREIS
For more area events, read this weeks print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.