Summer doesn’t really start in Warwick, Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard once noted, until the Warwick Volunteer Fire Department carnival opens in Veterans’ Memorial Park.
And after being canceled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, along with the hope that we are back on the road to normal, that statement proved truer than ever.
Record crowds this year enjoyed four evenings of clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures from Wednesday, June 23, through Saturday, June 26, along with rides for all ages, games and traditional festival food, treats like cotton candy and other refreshments. And by purchasing a wristband for $25, available on all days, carnival goers could ride all night for one price.
After some earlier rain during the last day on Saturday, June 26, the weather cleared and the crowds showed up again, not only for the exciting rides, but also for a spectacular fireworks display.
The current carnival company, Gillette Shows, has been used by the Warwick Fire Department since 1997.
Employing a professional carnival dates back to 1988 and before that there were only vendors.
While reporting on the most recent carnival before this year, Assistant Chief Michael Contaxis said: “They are an amazing family and we love them. Jerry Gillette is a great man and friend to the Warwick Fire Department.”
- Roger Gavan