Boykins Volunteer Fire Department hosts Spring Carnival benefit

Published 10:09 am Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Members of the Boykins Volunteer Fire Department set up a sponsored sign heading into the town. The Boykins Spring Carnival will take place on Friday and Saturday. -- SUBMITTED

Members of the Boykins Volunteer Fire Department set up a sponsored sign heading into the town. The Boykins Spring Carnival will take place on Friday and Saturday. — SUBMITTED

It’s time to make your weekend plans, and Boykins just so happens to have a Spring Carnival featuring a midway with games and rides, lots of fair food from vendors and Bria Kelly from “The Voice.” Plus, what’s this about a firefighter’s challenge and the Ducky Dozen?

The Boykins Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department is putting on the carnival as a fundraiser, but it’s not just about them.

“We just want everyone to come out and have a good time,” said Chief Hank Fuller. “We have activities for all ages, from kids all the way up to adults.”

The event will be centered around the fire department in downtown Boykins at North Railroad Avenue on April 10-11. On Friday, it is open from 5 to 10 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Volunteer firefighter and member of the fundraising committee David Stizligz said now that it’s April, people can emerge from their homes.

“It’s been a cold winter, and a lot of people have cabin fever,” he said. “This is a good chance to get out and cure some of that.”

A carnival company out of North Carolina has signed up to bring seven rides, and after seeing some of the buzz on social media and having the fire department agree to help provide electricity, they will bring more. Stizligz said they did not know exactly what rides would be there, but he did know that there would be rides for all ages. The company will also bring normal midway-style games.

“They are only getting paid from the ticket sales, so we are asking people to come and enjoy to help support them,” he said. “We talked with a lot of carnival companies, and this one was kind enough to take a chance on our first-time event.”

For the children, pony rides and a petting zoo will be offered. The woman’s auxiliary will also be doing cake walks.

Boykins businesses and other vendors will be selling goods. Food will be available, including carnival classics such as cotton candy and funnel cake.

The fire department will be selling hot food to help with fundraising. They will be offering blooming onions, hot dogs, hamburgers, turkey legs, chicken nuggets, pork BBQ and french fries.

Earlier this year, the Boykins Fire Department also issued a challenge to other departments in Western Tidewater and Southside Virginia. Each fire department will field three of its best people, and they will be set up with a barrel in the center. The object will be to spray that barrel across the other team’s line. Before they can face off in a test of water pressure and accuracy, they have to set up the fire truck for operation.

Of all of the departments in the area, the Branchville and Courtland volunteer fire and rescue departments were the only ones brave enough to pick up the gauntlet.

That event starts on Saturday at 1 p.m. Periodically, the department will also have demonstrations, including extracting a dummy from a wrecked car with the jaws of life.

What’s this about ducks?

“Then we have the duck race, which is really turning out to be big,” said Stizligz. “We will be racing ducks down the Tarrara Creek. They will float down the creek, and the first one to cross the bridge on Main Street wins.”

The first prize for winning is $500, second $300 and third $200. Stizligz said the department started out with 500 rubber ducks, but the response was so great that they bought 100 more. The rubber ducks are $10 a duck, bought individually. There are also options for a Quack Pack, which is six ducks for $50, and the Ducky Dozen, $100 for 13 ducks.

Duck race tickets can be purchased at the fire department, The Hungry Rooster, Boykins Beans and Ice Cream and Boykins Pharmacy.

“The ducks may sell out before the event, so get them soon,” Stizligz said, adding that the duck race will be Saturday at 3 p.m.

Headlining the event on Friday evening will be rock artist Bria Kelly of Smithfield, who was made famous on “The Voice” and before had appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” She’ll be on stage from 8 to 10 p.m.

On Saturday, The Moonshine Band will be performing from 7 to 10 p.m. The Windsor, North Carolina, based band performs modern country. Stizligz said they are popular in the area because they sound just like whatever band they happen to be covering.

During the main events, alcohol will be served in a confined area starting at 6:30 p.m.

The entrance fee for the carnival of $3 for adults and teenagers 16 and older will cover the concerts. Children younger than 16 will enter for free.

On Friday evening only, the carnival company will also offer a $15 ride pass that will cover all the thrills that a person can stand.

As of Tuesday, Friday promises to be partly sunny with rain 60 percent likely to happen during the evening hours. There is a chance of rain during the day on Saturday that decreases throughout the day.

“We are praying for no rain,” said Stizligz.

Fuller said it’s all about promoting the community and helping the fire department help Boykins.

“Come support the team that is going to help you.”