The Triton Fire Company is preparing for their upcoming annual carnival.
Members and volunteers of the fire company start food preparations a week in advance.
The main ingredients to keep patrons coming back are 1500 lbs of potatoes, 650 lbs of pork roast, and lots of enthusiastic volunteers.
“It takes 300 or more volunteers to pull off. We’re really fortunate about the number of young men and women that have volunteered” said carnival co-chair Tom Kukuchka.
Beginning Sunday night the pork for pulled-pork sandwiches starts roasting. Monday morning starts roast beef preparation, Tuesday morning is reserved for potato peeling, with the rest of the week to complete for opening day.
“The volume that we can serve in such a small time,” said Kukuchka shaking his head, “we need nine or 12 grills just for potato pancakes!”
Potato pancakes are the carnival’s top seller with Triton pizza and wings at a close second.
“This year we’re going with barbecue and garlic wings. We’ll also have different [varieties] of spicing,” said treasurer of Triton Hose company David Winski.
The fire company takes the carnival into account when calculating their yearly budget.
Each year funds are set aside to purchase extra fryers or other unforeseen expenses for the carnival.
“[There are] few fire companies that pay for a marching unit...But we do.” When bystanders hear the marching band approach they can thank their local fire company.
Kukuchka also mentioned how grateful they are for the number of families that participate in working the carnival.
“For years the Kraus family took care of the pizza tent. The Rail family runs the funnel cake stand, and Hardings Dairy Bar lets us run the meat through their smoker.”
Helping in the kitchen is volunteer Frank Gaus who has been a part of the behind the scenes since 1978.
“I help with all the meat and to get it all set up. I also do the onions because I don’t cry,” Gaus explained.
The biggest challenge the fire company runs into is finding enough people to work the food stands and do prep-work.
“One thing’s for sure, anyone in the community that wants to help out just show up at the firehouse,” said Kukuchka.
Amusements for the midway are set to arrive on Sunday and are provided by Nonweiler Amusements in Lehighton. They have been providing rides for the carnival for over 30 years.
Every year the United Methodist Church in Tunkhannock, in conjunction with the fire company, provides dinner on Monday night for Nonweiler Amusements as a way to say thank you.
The unofficial gates of the carnival open Tuesday August 5 at 5:00 p.m. with live entertainment starting at 8:00 p.m.
Over ten thousand dollars worth of entertainment has been lined up. Crowds can enjoy A.M. Radio and local band Mace in Dickson.