Frewsburg’s Old Home Week Rolls Back into Town

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1938 Ford LaFrance fire truck owned by Chippewa Fire Department, the actual truck      featured in the 1983 Hollywood classic Christmas Story.
1938 Ford LaFrance fire truck owned by Chippewa Fire Department, the actual truck featured in the 1983 Hollywood classic Christmas Story.

Article Contributed by
Jamestown Gazette Staff

A grand old tradition in Frewsburg, New York is the town’s Old Home Week parade and fair. The festivities begin on Wednesday evening, June 15 with the opening of the popular food building, carnival rides for kids and Al Bauxhall’s longtime favorite “I Got It” game still featuring great prizes, according to JoAnn Patterson, fair organizer, 28 year veteran and life member of the Frewsburg fire department.

Thursday evening will see the same but will up the tempo with live music. With so many carnival venues around Western New York this summer, according to Patterson, the carnival team will deliver a new and varied lineup of rides and attractions for Friday and Saturday nights, probably including the traditional Ferris Wheel, merry-go-round, car rides and much more, but a complete lineup of rides and carnival games that will remain an exciting, opening-night surprise.

“Don’t miss the Friday Night Haddock Fish Fry,” Patterson said. “It will be the unforgettable, with our special beer batter fish fry made from the secret recipe passed down from generation to generation of Frewsburg firefighters. We’ll be serving it up until it all runs out, which eventually happens every year.” Patterson added with a wink and a smile, “If you get here after we’ve served the very last one we might just have to give you a hook and line and ask you to catch your own. So don’t be late!”

“Of course we will have all the other usual carnival food people expect, too,” Patterson promised. “We’ll have hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Italian sausage, and more along with snacks and beverages for children and adults alike.”

“We moved the parade up this year from 5 o’clock to 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, June 18, to avoid trouble with traffic that we have seen in the past,” Patterson said.

The Pièce de Résistance in the Saturday afternoon parade this year will be the one and only 1938 Ford LaFrance fire truck owned by the Chippewa Fire Department out of Ontario Canada. This is the actual truck featured in the 1983 Hollywood classic Christmas Story. It is the one that arrived to rescue Flick and his frozen tongue from the icy flag pole in that now iconic scene. Not only will this famous firetruck roll in the parade, but the Chippewa Fire Company will offer rides all around town and fun photo opportunities for fairgoers.

Frewsburg’s own fire brigade and emergency equipment will also be featured in the parade along with other regional fire and emergency response crews, trucks, wreckers, ambulances and more. Local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will be marching along with great old cars driven by Der Kobblers and the roaring Street thunder of the Brothers by Choice Motorcycle Club.
Old home week wraps up on Saturday night June 18, as always, with the ever popular, crowd-pleasing fireworks display after sunset. “Come on down,” Patterson said. “You’ll love it.”

Old home week in Frewsburg New York is a long-standing tradition rarely missed by fans of carnivals, parades and the hometown fire departments, the pride of so many local communities.