Ghosts & Goblins Festival offers something for entire family

Photos by Scott McCloskey Three-year-old Carmen Kovalik of Bellaire plays in a colorful ball pit at the fourth annual Bellaire Volunteer Fire Department Festival on Saturday.

BELLAIRE — Despite cooler temperatures Saturday, the fourth annual Bellaire Volunteer Fire Department Festival, dubbed the Ghosts & Goblins Festival this year, offered plenty of activities for the entire family.

Held in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week, observed Oct. 6-12, the festival began Friday and continues through today at the Bellaire Village Park. It features a variety of family activities and events throughout the weekend, including the annual Firefighter Olympics obstacle course challenges held Saturday afternoon.

In addition, to having a variety of food vendors and live music, the festival also offers plenty of events and activities, such as children’s bounce houses, a rock wall, a mechanical bull, a bean bag toss tournament and Bingo in the Park. The festival also featured the American Legion Post 51 Car Show on Saturday.

Bellaire Fire Chief Josh McMahon said the festival is just another way for the department to give back to the community.

“Every year we try to do what we can for the community,” he said.

This year only two firefighters, Boardman Township firefighter Cory Hinderliter and Bridgeport firefighter Bob Teasdale, turned out to take on the challenge of the firefighter obstacle course. The challenge featured more than a half dozen different stations. Both participants had to wear their turnout gear, including a helmet and eye protection, while navigating their way through a maze of obstacles during the timed event.

Hinderliter, who lives and serves near Youngstown, Ohio, said the obstacle course provides additional ways for firefighters to go over a variety of tactics and techniques.

“There’s not a lot of these competitions that are around … and they have a bunch of props here that I’ve never seen,” Hinderliter noted.

He said it provides him with additional training techniques that he can take back and share with his department.

“We’re all trying to accomplish the same goal … and this is a profession where you always have to be a student because you’re always learning,” he added.

The festivities will resume today with Bingo in the Park from 12:30-5:30 p.m. A Pet Costume Contest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., with a Kids Costume Parade schedule to begin at 1:30 p.m. From 1:30-4 p.m. is the Bellaire’s Got Talent Show. A Kids Firefighter Olympics obstacle course, scheduled for 3 p.m., will allow children up to high school age to have fun and play firefighter for the afternoon, according to McMahon. At 6 p.m. the festival will close out with live music by Poor Man’s Heaven.


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