When the announcement was made earlier this year that the annual Pawling Fire Department carnival would be moving to Lakeside Park, some members of the community responded with consternation. Each year the carnival is one of the most anticipated events in Pawling, and residents were dismayed to learn that the festivities would no longer be taking place in the Village on Charles Colman Boulevard. However, thanks to the hard work and diligent planning of organizers at the Pawling Fire Department, the new location at Lakeside Park proved to be a change for the better, and the carnival successfully settled into its new home.
Running from August 1 – 4, the PFD carnival also had to contend with inclement weather each day. “Despite Mother Nature's best efforts, we were very successful,” said Pawling Fire Department Chief Everett White. “We had four days of monsoon rain. I've never seen weather like that here.” In the end, even the soggy conditions weren't enough to keep visitors from enjoying one of Pawling's favorite summer traditions. “We had well attended nights, all things considered. And we received tons of positive feedback,” Chief White added.
On Friday, August 3, the traditional parade would take place, with participating fire companies forming up at Town Hall and making their way down Charles Colman Boulevard to Lakeside Park. The afternoon had been dismal, but the rain subsided just in time for the parade to start on time, with spectators lining the streets to show their support. In all, thirteen companies from the surrounding area marched in the parade, with four companies absent due to weather related emergencies. Ultimately, the judges awarded top honors to the Rombout Fire Department.
The move to Lakeside Park turned out to be a positive one for the PFD carnival, as the new space provided ample room for more rides and parking. In all, visitors had their choice of eleven rides, numerous midway games, bingo, and delicious food. Most importantly, those who attended were a part of the latest chapter in one of the community's favorite traditions. “That park is a diamond in the rough,” said Chief White. “And it was great to see so many residents come out, even with the rain and the humidity. This is definitely our new home.”