During the Friday July 27 edition of the two-day annual Smoke Eaters’ Jamboree in Warrensburg, Jim Galusha of Thurman calls out bids received on a truckload of firewood, one of the many goods and services donated for the benefit event by area businesses and individuals. Judy Durkin (left rear) assists Galusha with his bid-calling This year’s Jamboree was the 50th annual for the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Company.
Photo by Thom Randall.
WARRENSBURG A robust crowd attended the annual Smoke Eaters’ Jamboree — despite a rumor that circulated on Facebook that the fundraiser for the local fire company was rained out on Saturday evening.
Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. President Kevin Geraghty said Monday
July 30 he was pleased with the turnout for the annual carnival-like event that celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
“Friday we had good attendance, but Saturday, we were a little disappointed,” he said, noting that firefighters received calls inquiring about a false message on Facebook that the event was cancelled. “We didn’t have a drop of rain, despite the weather predictions.”
Geraghty said he would be contacting the Warren County Sheriff’s Department to obtain advice on the feasibility of suing the rumor perpetrator for lost revenue.
“I don’t know anything about Facebook, but I plan on taking action against whoever did this,” he said. “We don’t ever cancel the Jamboree due to rain.”
Geraghty said the turnout was very light early Saturday evening,
although the crowd did swell later that night to about 1,300. Attendance on Friday’s installment of the Jamboree, which featured an auction of donated goods, was about 1,000, he said.
Bids were generous on the new and used merchandise and services, he said. Jim Galusha of Thurman served as auctioneer, like he has for at least three decades.
Local businesses and individuals donated such items as a truckload of split firewood, three pallets of architectural stone, an array of furniture, a new premium bicycle, as well as tools and miscellaneous household goods. The auction lasted four hours, Geraghty said, noting that the auction yielded substantial revenue, despite no boats or trucks up for bid as in other years.
“We did well without any big-ticket items,” Geraghty said.
While the adults were busy Friday evening with the auction, children enjoyed the carnival rides, two clowns, and the midway games — as well as merely socializing.
Dozens of youths, ranging from youngsters to teens, also participated in two events brought back for the 50th anniversary — a pie eating contest and a three-legged sack race, both of which prompted plenty of smiles.
Geraghty said that overall, the 50th installment of the town’s premier summer festival went well.
“On Saturday, the crowd enjoyed the fireworks and the music by the AudioStars — they sounded good,” he said. “And as in years past, we had generous support from the community.”