East Longmeadow Fourth of July Carnival begins 5-day run on Friday

Jun 28 2018
Published by under East Longmeadow, Events

The East Longmeadow Fourth of July Carnival, given an infusion of new life last year after originally being cancelled, returns this year for another round of good ol’ patriotic fun.

The event – now being organized by the East Longmeadow Rotary Club and Connecticut’s R.W. Commerford and Sons – begins on Friday at Veterans Memorial Field for five days ending on Tuesday, July 3, with a traditional celebration of red, white and blue fireworks honoring our nation’s birth back in 1776.

It was Tim Commerford – whose company had provided the rides and some of the concessions when the now defunct East Longmeadow Jaycees organized the event – who came forward last year to keep the carnival going.

“I just love the atmosphere at the carnival. It’s very happy and positive and everyone has a good time,” Commerford said.

 

The carnival organizer said they will be adding a few more rides to the mix this year geared for every age from Speed Boats and a Kiddie Whip for the younger crowd to family rides like the Carousel and Dizzy Dragons to more thrilling rides such as the Sizzler, Ferris Wheel, Gravitron, Tempest and others.

He also noted there will be all kinds of food from Italian sausages and lobster rolls to hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as baked potatoes, pizza, cotton candy, fried dough, deep-fried Oreos, candy apples both red and caramel, ice cream, fruit smoothies and more.

Also, Bentley’s Bistro, who will offer their own food and entertainment at the tent, will operate the carnival beer garden.

Commerford noted there will also be vendors at the carnival selling all kinds of things from clothing to marshmallow shooters and others offering a variety of services including home improvements.

Opie Reid, a popular Springfield band in the early 1970s, first reunited for the East Longmeadow carnival back in 2000 and will appear on July 3. Opie Reid is Greg Trelease on drums and vocals, guitarist-vocalist Paul Cardone, keyboardist Gary Davis, and bassist Bob Boyd: bass and vocals. Original bassist Larry Belisle will also be joining them.

Other music acts performing on July 3 include the East Longmeadow All-Stars, Underscore and Trailer Trash.

The East Longmeadow Rotary Club stepped up again this year to raise money to hold the fireworks, which will light up the skies after dusk.

But, all the fun doesn’t end when the last firework is shot off.

The next day, on the Fourth of July proper, the East Longmeadow Parade Committee will present their own patriotic salute to the holiday with marching bands, floats, military and other units, along with a host of dignitaries marching along the parade route.

This year’s star-spangled parade kicks off at 10 a.m. and begins at East Longmeadow High School, then moves onto Maple Street through the center onto North Main Street. It continues onto Mapleshade Avenue to Elm Street where it ends at Hanward Hill.

“We’re going to have plenty of Melha Shriners in the parade from clowns to their special Haje Unit with all their cars,” said Ryan Quimby of the East Longmeadow Parade Committee.

Among the many bands performing in the parade will be the Hartford Steel Symphony, Yankee Doodle Band, Springfield Italian American Band, East Longmeadow High School Band, and Marquis of Granby Fife and Drum.

Quimby said he expects more floats to make their way along the parade route this year. Included among the nearly 20 entries will be floats from Maybury Material Handling featuring antique cars on board, Springfield St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, East Longmeadow Senior Center, Cory J. Garwacki Foundation, and Charlie Arment Trucking.

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