YOUNGSTOWN – The annual Firemen Field Days are on tap for Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Veterans Park, offering the community a chance to see old friends and enjoy plenty of food, games, music and rides.
But the event also serves as the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Company’s largest fundraiser of the year.
“We’re hoping everyone will come out and support it,” said Greg Robertson Sr., a fire company trustee. “We’re still looking to buy a new ambulance, and our hope is to get one ordered this year.”
A new ambulance will cost about $150,000, Robertson said, and the fire company has been saving for it for the past three years.
The fire company returned the field days to their original Labor Day weekend slot last year, while it also celebrated its 100th anniversary. The field days began on Labor Day weekend in the early 1900s at Fort Niagara as a picnic for the volunteer firefighters.
Robertson pointed out that it has not only evolved into the fire company’s largest fundraiser, but it also serves as a fundraising opportunity for many community groups that staff booths, or even park cars, such as Boy Scout Troop 829 has traditionally done on the adjoining park grounds for a small fee.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday with rides, games and food vendors from 6 to 10 p.m.; and a beer tent and wine bar from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Fireworks are planned for 9:30 p.m., while the band “Strictly Hip” will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight.
On Sunday, rides, games and food vendors are open from 1 to 10 p.m., with the beer tent and wine bar open from 1 p.m. to midnight; and the band “Teasers” performing from 8 p.m. to midnight. A community showcase also will be featured again this year and a petting zoo will be open from 1 to 8 p.m.
Things get started early on Monday, with the fire company’s chicken chowder available at 9 a.m. at the fire hall, and its food sale in the truck room open at 11 a.m.
The parade, which travels from Fort Niagara State Park to Veterans Park, begins at noon. Rides, games and food vendors will be open from 1 to 8 p.m., with a raffle drawing at 7 p.m. The band “Joe and the Shmoes” will play from 4 to 8 p.m., and the field closes at 8 p.m.
For more information, visit www.YVFC.org.