WINSTED — For 157 years, the Winsted Fire Department has brought the community together through its annual carnival and parade.
The event was held for 156 years straight until last year when the Covid-19 pandemic decimated and canceled events all over the world.
This year both the parade and the carnival were back, with the carnival being held from Wednesday, Aug. 25, to Saturday, Aug 28.
The carnival got off to a wet start on Aug. 25, with the rides not being operational due to heavy rain earlier in the week.
But everything went full steam ahead on Aug. 26 when the carnival’s rides opened up, which included plenty of thrills for both young and old, including swing based rides, a slide for young children, thrill based speed rides including “Scat” and “Cobra,” and a Ferris wheel.
The event is the department’s annual main fundraiser, with all proceeds going to equipment and to supplement the department’s services.
“This parade and carnival have always been something the community always looks forward to each year,” Department Chief James Lagasse said. “I’ve been coming to the carnival since I was a little kid. I remember going to the parades and watching my father march because he was in the Pleasant Valley Fire Department. This carnival and parade have endured for many years because it’s a community event and you see people you haven’t seen since the last carnival. This event brings friends and families together and it’s a tradition that will continue to go on year after year.”
“I think it’s lasted for 157 years because it’s a great testament to our little community,” Fire Department member Tom Sullivan said. “It shows that we all can come together and enjoy our town. People from all over the state come here to enjoy it. I remember coming here all the time as a kid, and I’m 40 now, and I still enjoy it. I would like to thank people in the community for supporting us, especially during last year.”
Sullivan added that the department is made up of volunteers and is always looking for new members.
For more information on the Winsted Fire Department, including volunteer information on how to join the department, go to https://www.facebook.com/FirefighterRecruitmentWinstedFd
Parade and carnival photos by Shaw Israel Izikson. Fireworks photos by Debbie Angell.