Rocky Ridge kicks off carnival with food & fun
Brandon Kinnaird, 13, (above) found out he
could go faster sliding down the giant wooden slide on his shorts rather
than use the burlap sack. Rockey Ridge volunteers Jean Knipple and Bill
Dinterman (above right) assemble hot ham sandwiches for patrons. Zack
Carter, 6, and sister Sierra, 4, (right) of Utica, show off the goldfish
they won on Monday night at the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company
Carnival. the carnival runs through Saturday.
(8/16) Thin slices of pale ham bubbled and browned to a
golden crisp on Steve Wolfe’s hot grill at the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Co.
carnival Monday evening.
Wolfe, a resident of Rocky Ridge, and other volunteers
were hard at work at the ham stand in Mt. Tabor Park, and the demand for the
carnival’s famous country fried ham sandwiches had only begun.
Rocky Ridge kicked off its annual carnival Monday
evening with its signature food and main attractions – country fried ham
sandwiches, homemade fruit pies, ham and bean soup and chicken salad.
By Wolfe’s estimate, more than 300 pounds of ham had
already been fried in peanut oil and stacked high on soft, white buns. The five
grills under the pavilion were working at full speed and barely keeping up with
‘‘That’s a good sign for us during the week," Wolfe
According to carnival organizer Betty Ann Mumma, there
are no written recipes for the carnival’s famous foods and everything is
prepared from memory.
‘‘I’ve been doing it for 40 years...and after you do it
so much, it’s just a routine," she said.
There is also no deviating from the main ingredients or
else the customers will know.
Nearly two tons of ham had been prepared in advance for
the carnival, and Mumma said she expects the crew to prepare more by the end of
For Bob Mumma, the president of Rocky Ridge’s Fire Co.,
the carnival is the biggest fundraiser for the company. Last year the carnival
brought in $48,000 in profits.
The carnival’s family atmosphere and its food are what
attracted Russ Clarke of Uniontown this year.
‘‘During the week I’ll try most things because they’re
all good," Clarke said.
He and his wife, Betty, usually don’t attend a lot of
the carnivals, he said, but they never skip Rocky Ridge.
While the food may have been the main attraction for
many carnival seekers, the 35-foot tall wooden slide brought fun and memories
for the Burke family of Creagerstown. The covered slide, which is 100 feet
long, has been a mainstay at the park since Rocky Ridge started the carnival
nearly 54 years ago.
As children breezed down the wavy, wooden slide on
blankets and burlap sacks, Michael Burke watched his 6-year-old son Corey sail
to the bottom and land in a pile of sawdust. Burke asked his son if he wanted a
rest. Red cheeked and full of energy, Corey shook his head no and bounded up
the ramp for another run.
‘‘It looks like he’ll need one in a little bit," Burke
The wooden slide brought back memories for Burke’s
wife, Debbie, who used to spend all her time on the slide when she was a young
‘‘I just remember going on the slide from the time we
came to the time we left," she said.
The small, compact atmosphere of the carnival and the
affordable games and hayrides were a bonus for her and her family. For a small
price they were able to try everything the carnival offered, she said.
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