The firefighters in Uniopolis are gearing up for their annual festival this weekend.
The 68th annual Uniopolis Firemen’s Jamboree is scheduled to start tonight and continue Saturday in downtown Uniopolis.
“This is our main fundraiser for the year,” Uniopolis Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Wenning said.
The proceeds from the festival fund the fire department’s General Fund for the year, and Wenning said they will be looking at purchasing new equipment and updating fire and EMS equipment.
The festival starts with a car show as registration begins at 5 p.m. All of the entries will line-up their cars in the Uniopolis Fire Department parking lot, and the show is to run until 8 p.m. today
D.J. Rock’n Rod will play 1950s-60s music during the car show as participants and festival goers enjoy the festival.
Beginning at 6 p.m. today a volleyball tournament is be held, and registration to play in the tournament is to take place until the start of the games.
Food will be available for purchase inside the fire department building, and will include brats, pulled pork and hot dogs.
On Saturday, the jamboree is slated to begin at 4 p.m. There will be bingo, pony rides, games, an inflatable obstacle course, human spheres and a velcro wall. Ultrasound will be providing several of the games.
Chicken dinners will be available beginning at 4 p.m., and are prepared by Bad to the Bone BBQ.
The entertainment for the evening will include bluegrass music by Famous Old Time Music Company, out of Wapakoneta.
Also, the event will include the annual raffle contest, with the top prizes being drawn at the conclusion of the jamboree at 11 p.m. Saturday.
The top prize will be $1,000 cash, and there are 16 other top prizes that include a week stay at a cabin in North Carolina, a mower, four new car tires and amusement park tickets.
Door prizes also will awarded throughout the day on Saturday, which include prizes that were donated by area businesses. All door prize winners will go back into the top prizes drawing at the end of the evening for another chance to win. Tickets will be sold at the jamboree on Saturday.
The event will take place rain or shine, and Wenning said that the weather always plays a big factor during the weekend.
“A few years ago, we had rain and our income was down,” Wenning said.
But he said that the attendance for 2010 was excellent.
“We had a decent year last year,” Wenning said. “It was one of the better years. We had great weather and very little humidity.”
Wenning said he is hoping for the same weather as last year for the jamboree this weekend.
As for the amount of money to be raised, the fire department does not set a goal.
“We never set a goal. We just put the festival on and pray that everything goes well,” Wenning said. “The money goes into the general fund for the year.”