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Traditional Smoke Eaters Jamboree features popular party band

WARRENSBURG - A renowned rock 'n roll band is expected to draw a substantial crowd to this weekend's Smoke Eaters' Jamboree, a traditional and popular event in Northern Warren County.

The acclaimed party band The Refrigerators is appearing on Saturday night, the second night of the Jamboree - a combination of a carnival and old-time country fair that people eagerly await annually.

Event organizer Kevin Geraghty said that booking The Refrigerators, a band with a substantial following, was sure to attract a lot of people to the 46th annual Smoke Eaters' Jamboree.

"The Refrigerators are one of the top party bands in central New York, and we know they will be a big draw," he said. "They usually sell out their venues - This is going to be a real treat for people in the Warren County area."

For 46 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 24 and 25 at its traditional site, the Warrensburg Recreation Field off Library Ave.

The Jamboree's continued success is because it offers such a wide variety of activities for people of all ages, said Geraghty, president of the fire company.

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 ever-popular blackjack tables.

The children traditionally amuse themselves with carnival rides, a midway and a variety of games both days. There's an entrance donation of $3 each day. The midway and carnival rides are offered by Green Mountain Amusements.

The gates open at 6 p.m. Friday. While the younger set enjoys several clowns circulating on premises, adults can cast bids beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday in an auction of both new and used goods - and various services donated by area businesses and individuals. For decades, Jim Galusha of Thurman has called the shots at the Jamboree auction.

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, Geraghty said.

"The Jamboree has remained very popular through the years," he said. "It continues to be one of longest-standing events in the North Country."

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