Hometown gathering: Attendance up at jamboree

CRIDERSVILLE — Two young entrepreneurs say they not only enjoyed watching the Cridersville Fireman’s Jamboree parade, but they helped parade attendees stay hydrated.

Abigail and Leah Ranchel sat along Cridersville’s Main Street at their lemonade stand, as they served fresh, cold lemonade for 25 cents per cup.

“We did this to get some money. We get to sell lemonade, and it’s a great day to do that. I love to sell lemonade,” seven-year-old Leah said. “We did this last year for the parade, too.”

Leah said she enjoys the Cridersville Fireman’s Jamboree festival, and after the parade she was planning on getting some candy and enjoying the festival at the fire station.

“The people are so nice,” Leah said, of the people at the community’s event.

“I like having fun and playing with my friends,” 11-year-old Abigail said of the festival.

The 48th annual Cridersville Fireman’s Jamboree was a place for residents and friends to come together and enjoy entertainment, rides, games and food.

Cridersville Fire Chief Ron Mertz said that this is the first year for Original Cridersville Kids (OCK) to come together to see old friends and to take an annual photo.

“Its a Facebook group of original Cridersville kids,” Mertz said. “This is the first annual gathering for that. We had people come all the way from Virginia for the gathering and to take a picture.”

Mertz noted he wants this festival to be a place for alumni and former residents to come together for an annual gathering and enjoy fellowship.

“I want to make this a reason to come back to town,” Mertz said of the festival.

Overall, the festival went smoothly on Friday and Saturday.

“Last night (Friday) was fantastic,” Mertz said on Saturday after the parade. “It was a great Friday the 13th. We had great crowds and we think that we set records on sales.”

All the proceeds from this event goes into the Cridersville Fire Department’s Services Fund.

At Friday night’s car show, 123 cars, which was approximately 20 more than last year, could be viewed.

“Our goal is for our 50th,” Mertz said of the 50th annual Cridersville Fireman’s Jamboree, which will be in 2014. “We would like to see as many cars as we can fill up the street. We want a mile of cars, and our goal is to get that big.”

The weather held up for the event, as temperatures were in the 80s, which didn’t stop anyone from enjoying the festivities.

“The Cridersville Jamboree is exactly what hometown is about,” Mertz said.

Resident and Cridersville Councilor Stacey Cook agreed with Mertz about the large turnout.

“We had a pretty good crowd at the parade,” Cook said. “Last night was good and today we have a lot of kids taking advantage of the ride special. Everyone seems happy and having fun. It’s another successful Cridersville Fireman’s Jamboree.”

Firefighter Jeremy Stahler, who helped man the grand prize raffle booth, said he noticed attendance seemed to up this year, as well.

“It’s going really well,” Stahler said. “The attendance is up. It’s great. I like seeing the community come together.”