WARRENSBURG - For more than two generations, a midsummer event is annually anticipated with enthusiasm by both children and adults in the North Country.
It's the Smoke Eaters' Jamboree, a combination of a carnival and old-time country fair.
For 48 years a fundraiser for the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co., the two-day event combines carnival rides, a midway, an auction of donated goods, top-name entertainment, a barbecue, fireworks and games of chance.
The event will be held this year Friday and Saturday evenings, July 23 and 24, at its traditional site, the Warrensburg Recreation Field on Library Avenue.
The renowned rock 'n roll band "The Refrigerators" is booked again this year for Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m., and they're expected to draw a substantial crowd.
The gates open at 6 p.m. Friday. While youth enjoy a variety of games and several clowns circulating on premises, adults can cast bids beginning at 6:30 p.m. in an auction of both new and used goods and services donated by area businesses and individuals. For decades, Jim Galusha of Thurman has called the shots at the Jamboree.
The Jamboree's continued success is because it offers such a wide variety of activities for people of all ages, Fire Co. president Kevin Geraghty said.
The adults annually enjoy the fun of placing bets on the roulette-style money wheels, attempting to multiply their handfuls of cash, or apply their skill and luck at the blackjack tables.
The children traditionally amuse themselves with carnival rides and a midway. There's an entrance donation of $3 each day.
Saturday, gates open at 5 p.m. as the Warrensburg firefighters grill up their famous chicken barbecue. Appearing for the children - before The Refrigerators and during the band's intermission - will be ventriloquist Bob Carroll and Roscoe the Clown. Saturday's events include fireworks at dusk - a colorful 30-minute show, Geraghty said.
"The Jamboree is the longest standing event in the North Country - it's remained very popular through the years," he said. "We like to see people come out have a good time, meet friends they haven't seen for a while, and enjoy the music, games, auction and other events."