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Navesink Fireman's Fair Celebrates 124 Years

The oldest Fireman's Fair in New Jersey, the Navesink Fireman's Fair, returned last week drawing in hundreds of fairgoers.

The Navesink Fireman’s Fair came to a close Saturday night at the Navesink Fire House.

The fair, hosted by the Navesink Hook & Ladder Fire Co. #1, offered residents an opportunity to experience the firehouse and meet the crew in a relaxed atmosphere. As an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, the company uses the funds from the fair for training, maintenance, and equipment.

Members of the company ran carnival games, 50/50s, raffles and rides including rides on the Engine 111 fire truck and a train ride on the “Navesink Cannonball”.

The company also cooked and served dinner specials throughout the three-day fair including lobster and seafood dinners.

A popular feature throughout the fair was the Country Store wheel. Participants paid $0.50 for a paddle consisting of three numbers. If the wheel landed on their number, winners had the opportunity to take home baskets of fruit, vegetables, watermelon or a pie. Throughout the night, participants also had a chance to win lobster and steak dinner specials.

Another popular feature was the gift auction. Winners took home one of more than 100 baskets and prizes including Mets tickets, a private chartered fishing trip, a nook, a red bicycle and a trip on the Seastreak.

Now in its 124th year, the Navesink tradition continued making the Navesink Fireman’s Fair the oldest Fireman’s Fair in New Jersey.

The first fair, which was known as the Peach and Ice Cream festival, was held on August 12 and 13, 1886 at the Navesink Hall, three months after the company was incorporated in May of 1886.

Since then the fair has run throughout the years only taking a break for two years, once in the 1940s for World War II and in the 1950s because new gaming laws on Bingo games did not allow the fair to happen.

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