For the first time, Valley View Fire Department’s annual Fire Fest will double as a carnival, complete with rides, vendors and even the chance to get some health information.

Marnee Smith, the department’s training officer, said usually Fire Fest is held in October and features a dinner and an auction. And while those events will still be held this weekend, the department is hoping to bring in increased funds to support its operating expenses.

Fire Fest is traditionally the department’s biggest fundraiser and brings in about $11,000-14,000 in profits from community support.

“That’s what we’re hoping to at least match or surpass,” Smith said of the figures.

Smith said the station’s yearly operational costs range from $48-52,000. After the department receives $9,000 from the city of Valley View and about $7,000 from the county, the rest of the budget is supplemented through donations and fundraisers. This year 20 percent of the carnival’s proceeds will benefit the fire department.

Rides will kick off Thursday and run through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. pending the weather. Smith said she expects all rides to be operating by 5:30 p.m. daily.

Visitors can expect karaoke on the square Friday night, and a parade Saturday at 10 a.m. will feature floats and area vendors will offer the crowd crafts until 3 p.m.

“I think we’re going to have a bigger vendor turnout than ever,” Smith said.

Local crafters will sell everything from T-shirts to Christmas decorations.

In addition, carnival-goers can take a few minutes to check in on their health. Representatives from regional hospitals and doctor’s offices will be on hand to provide health information, and if enough people sign up, a CPR class will be held.

“(Visitors) should expect to receive a lot of information on health and there will be plenty of activities,” Smith said. “It’ll be educational as well as entertaining.”

Guests can also take part in a sweet deal. There will be a blood drive in which they can exchange a pint of blood for a pint of ice cream.

Cooke County EMS will be on site with an ambulance for heat protection, and a first aid station will be set up for those who need a place to cool off or grab a drink of water.

The traditional auction and dinner will be held Saturday. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and the auction starts at 7 p.m. Some of the auction’s larger items include a wooden Texas star decoration, metal cutouts and horse grooming and care supplies, all donated by local businesses.

Smith said anyone wishing to help or vend is still welcome to sign up. She can be reached at (940) 902-4545.

Those wishing to attend can purchase day passes that include unlimited access to rides for $15 in advance from fire department personnel or at Valley View’s Dollar General. Tickets can also be bought downtown the day of the event for $20.

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