Times were tough in the mid 1970s for the Village of Johnstown Fire Department. Former Fire Chief Johnny Johnson realized that in order to provide much needed EMS service to the community, he would have to learn the art of fund raising. And quick! Golf outings and bake sales helped, but not enough. Thirty-eight years later, what started out as a local street fair to earn a few dollars has turned into a full blown old-fashioned festival with true hometown flair.
Looking for a little bit of Americana? You’ll find it on the only brick-lined street in Johnstown, at the 39th Annual Firemans Festival! Not only can you see seven young ladies participating in the Miss Johnstown competition on Tuesday, June 10 at 6:30 in the Johnstown-Monroe Performing Arts building, you’ll find Games of Chance that fund necessities for the Monroe Township Fire Department and a parade that will feature among other things, the beloved Johnstown High School Big Red Band, 190 members strong.
Saturday’s parade starts at noon. It will feature several antique cars, twenty equestrian teams including the Heartland Bank double hitch horse-drawn wagon, Ronald McDonald, a 1927 LeFrance antique fire truck and a multitude of local businesses, churches and politicians that will dazzle and delight the crowd. On Friday evening, don’t miss the Johnstown High School (JHS) band’s highlight performance and the annual Cake Auction, proceeds which benefit the band’s upcoming trip to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida.
The Cake Auction festivities start at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, June 13 with a band performance preceding the event. Nearly 70 cakes have been auctioned in years past with accompanying goodies - gift certificates, tickets to sporting events, golf packages and other items of interest. Visitors bring a folding chair for a comfy spot to view the items as they are presented to the crowd. The Outback Bowl trip to Tampa will cost approximately $775 per student and the Fireman’s Festival Cake Auction is the first of many fund-raisers that will be staged to help the band members earn money for the trip.
If you’d like to support some of Johnstown’s charitable organizations while you are enjoying the Firemans Festival, stop by to see members of the Lions Club, the American Legion, the JHS Band Boosters and Athletic Boosters, the Boy Scouts, or the JHS Cheerleaders.
The Johnstown Firemans Festival is proudly presented by Heartland Bank. Come and see our branch manager Randy Kelly and his team at the Johnstown branch, 730 West Coshocton Street. Experience what community banking is all about. You’ll be glad you did!
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, June 11
6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Musical Entertainment – Marquis 66 Classic Rock and Roll (8 p.m.-10 p.m.)
Thursday, June 12
6 p.m. – 12 p.m.
Musical Entertainment – Northwest Territory Gospel & Bluegrass (8 p.m. – 10 p,m.)
Friday, June 13
6 p.m. – 12 p.m.
Musical Entertainment – Forcynthia Folk and Rock Music (8 p.m. -11 p.m.)
Saturday, June 14
Noon – Midnight
Parade - Noon
Musical Entertainment – Illusion (8 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.)
More on the Village of Johnstown
On December 7, 1810, John Brown of Boone County, Kentucky, deeded a four thousand acre tract of land to Oliver Bigelow for $10,000 for $2.50 per acre. Since both Oliver and his brother John held large land claims in the new state of Ohio, they decided to move their families here. In 1811 Oliver Bigelow, a doctor and Revolutionary War veteran, came to the area and made plans to build a town by mapping streets, alleys, a town square and a cemetery. By 1813, he finished laying out the little village and named the town Johnstown. All assume that he named the town after Johnstown, New York but more than likely he named it after his father and brother, both named John.