ARLINGTON -- Both Arlington and Pownal have festivals scheduled for next weekend that should keep people entertained.
The Arlington Volunteer Fire Company is holding its annual carnival starting Friday at 5 p.m. at the Arlington Recreational Park, located on Route 7A. Fire Chief Jamie Paustian said this is the seventh year the carnival will feature rides, but the event has been going for at least the past 40 years. The carnival goes into Saturday, July 28.
Paustian said rides and games are being provided by Amyland Amusements. Rides include smaller types for children and larger ones for adults. On Saturday, the annual car show, once a separate event, will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also the only state-sanctioned chili cook off will be held that day from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The winner of the "People's Choice" gets $200 and the winner overall gets to compete in a national chili competition.
The event will end with the raffle of a dining set at 9:45 p.m., followed by a fireworks show from Northstar Fireworks.
Paustian said some of the funding comes from donations, with the rest from the fire department. He said they usually spend about $5,000 on the entire event and take in between $1,500 and $10,000. He said the past few years have been on the low side, with rain keeping people away one year, and heat the other.
Admission is free.
Meanwhile, to the south of Bennington, is the Pownal Valley Community Fair, held July 28 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free there, too. Volunteers will begin work at 8 a.m. and at 9 a.m. people who wish to enter into the exhibit hall or tractor pull can do so. The event takes place in downtown Pownal, where the "Pownal Express" will be running to move people around. At 11 a.m. there will be a horseshoe tournament with $5 entry fee, to be given back as prizes. Bingo is at 11:30 a.m. along with some "precision wood splitting." At noon, the Kiddie Tractor Pull will be held, then at 2 p.m. the kids' games will end and a bike and scooter will be given out as prizes.
Music includes DJ Val Martell along with the bands After the Monsoon and Vice Versa. Both bands are made up of younger people, between 15 and 18, from Williamstown, Mass., Pownal, and Bennington.
Pownal also caps off its event with a fireworks show, this one at 9:30 p.m.
-- Keith Whitcomb Jr.