LAKE WINOLA — Residents of and visitors to Lake Winola sat or stood on the sides of Route 307 on June 28. Some were in the parking lot of Pump N Pantry. Others were on the front lawn of Winola Plaza. All were awaiting the firetrucks, twirlers, marching band, and everyone else involved in the Firefighter’s Parade, which kicked off the 91st annual Lake Winola Firemen’s Carnival. The parade was led by many fire engines, including ones from Clarks Summit Fire Co., Dalton Fire Co., Factoryville Fire Co. and Newton-Ransom Volunteer Fire Co.
Members of the Tunkhannock Tigers Marching Band played “Land of 1000 Dances” on their instruments as they marched from Route 307 to Lake Road to go around the lake, and then return to Route 307.
“This is our first year marching in it,” said freshman Emma Mock, who played the flute and who was joined by her friend Iesha Hartman, who played the trumpet.
Nearby churches advertised their upcoming VBSs (Vacation Bible Schools) in the parade. Members of Lake Winola United Methodist Church dressed as pirates to promote their VBS theme called “Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus.” Mill City Assembly of God made its trailer into a camping tent to promote its VBS theme called “Gear Up for Jesus.” A school bus was also in the parade to advertise the upcoming restaurant Snapper’s Bar & Grill, which will open soon in the old Lil’s Bar & Grill across from the Winola Plaza.
The parade ended at the parking lot of Lake Winola Fire Co., where the carnival took place.
Carnival-goers got to see the airboat, which was purchased by Lake Winola Station 12-2 this past April and will be used on the Susquehanna River for the new program Rescue in the River. Firetrucks were also on display and were especially enjoyed by 2-year-old Ronin Klein, whose family drove all the way from Mesquite, Nevada to Lake Winola.
“He loves firetrucks,” Ronin’s father Chad said.
The Kleins heard about the event from a local realtor who is letting them temporarily rent a house in Dalton.
“This is our first time at a small-town event,” said Chad. “The weather is nice. When we got here, it was 120 degrees (in Nevada), so it’s nice and cool here and everybody’s friendly.”
The carnival was also visited by the 2018-19 Wyoming-Lackawanna Dairy Princess Emma Loch, of Nicholson, who was crowned dairy princess at Tunkhannock United Methodist Church on May 5.
“I’m really excited to promote the dairy industry because that’s something that’s close to my heart,” she said. “I want to remind people to have three servings of dairy every day.”
The carnival provided food and games, all manned by volunteers of the Lake Winola Fire Co. and the Lake Winola Fire Auxiliary. Assistant fire chief Gene Dziak cooked chicken for the chicken BBQ while his wife Gail made the BBQ sauce.
“The turnout tonight is good,” Gail said about the first night. “We do chicken barbecues all three nights.”
The chicken barbecue was also helped by Gene’s and Gail’s son Eddie and his friend Luke Carpenter.
Friends of the Lake Winola Fire Auxiliary made and donated baked goods to help the community and local businesses also contributed to the carnival. Ice cream was provided by Blue Ribbon Dairy in West Pittston, while DaVinci Pizza, formerly located in Lake Winola and currently in Scranton, provided pizza. Entertainment was provided by local bands — Not the Highway Man! Friday night and Mace in Dickson Saturday night. All proceeds from the foods, games, and music raised money for the Lake Winola Fire Co.
Proceeds were also raised from donated raffle gifts, including a wood carving of a bench, along with a Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer freight train set, by Kevin Treat the Sawptician.
“The weather is going to be good,” Dale McGovern, president of Lake Winola Fire Co., said Thursday about the carnival’s remaining days, during which the Lake Winola Wiggle XVII and 5K Run & Walk took place.
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