Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company
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2019 Strawberry Festival
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By Thorndale Fire Company
June 10, 2019

For many, the annual Strawberry Festival held at the Brandywine Hospital marks the unofficial start to summer in addition to Memorial Day. In the blink of an eye the weekend of May 31stth to June 2nd has come and gone and with it, another Strawberry Festival for Thorndale Fire Company. The volunteers for the fire company spend many hours preparing for this event by retrieving the needed equipment such as portable light towers, message boards and trailers that hold the many cones and barriers needed for this event. By Tuesday evening all the message boards and light towers were ready to go at Station 38, however Mother Nature had her own ideas in store. Around 6pm Tuesday evening a strong line of storms came through the Northwestern part of Chester County and produced what was deemed an EF2 tornado in the Morgantown area causing significant damage. Chester County Communications notified Deputy 38 that the light towers currently at Station 38 would need to be deployed to Morgantown to assist with lighting in the areas struck by the tornado.

With the light towers no longer needed in Morgantown as of Wednesday morning, plans were already in the works behind the scenes with Chester County DES Training staff to travel to Morgantown to bring back the light towers to us for use at the festival. While the light towers were brought back, some members spent the daytime Wednesday setting up all the fields for parking and setting all the remaining equipment around the area for Thursday night’s opening. Members gathered at station Wednesday evening during what would be normal training time to finish up anything the very tired crew from the daytime was unable to complete.

As Thursday came it was time to get to work. Thursday brought some rainy weather early. Volunteers had to think quick on their feet to ensure cars would not get stuck in the fields due to wet grounds. As a result of the rain, the lower field along Fisherville road had to be closed due to very muddy and wet conditions.

Friday brought nicer weather and a very steady stream of cars. Friday night is always a busy night for the festival but also for Thorndale Fire Company. In addition to crews managing the parking at the festival, our Fire Police were at Coatesville Area High School assisting with the Senior Prom Parade until about 8:30 that evening. The Friday night fireworks were a huge success despite the lower parking lot being closed again. Both Thursday and Friday, our volunteers parked thousands of cars.

Once again on Saturday there was always a line of cars waiting to park! Our volunteers did a fantastic job and made it possible to continue to park the line of cars waiting to come in. The weekend ended on Sunday with another steady day. As some volunteers collected money, directed traffic and parked cars, others were working on cleaning everything up before the evening ended. It was a great weekend that required a lot of hard work and a lot of hours by all.
During these five days, it’s imperative that the volunteers stay hydrated, fed and healthy. Squad 38 drove around constantly handing out drinks and food to those collecting money and parking cars. Without the help of some of the gracious donors, we would not have been able to provide our volunteers with the needed food and beverages throughout the weekend. The words “thank you” hardly seem enough. Thanks to these businesses and friends of the fire company, we were able to make sure the volunteers had enough to drink, eat and stay healthy during the long weekend with their gracious donations!

Belfor Property Restoration
Buffalo Wild Wings, Downingtown
Caln Pizza and Pasta, Thorndale
Chick-Fil-A, Downingtown
Citadel, Thorndale
Dairy Queen, Guthriesville
Debbie and Mike Albright
Dominos, Thorndale
Giant, Thorndale
Jack's Pizza, Coatesville
Kelly's, Thorndale
Kyle Carbo
Little Anthony's, Coatesville
Lubker Distribution, West Chester
Midway, Thorndale
Okinii, Thorndale
Olive Garden, Downingtown
Papa John's, Thorndale
Pizza Box, Thorndale
PJ Whelihan's, Downingtown
Target, Sunrise Blvd, Exton
Wawa Store #8098
Wegmans, Downingtown
Wendy's, Thorndale

In addition to those generous donors, we would like to thank the following Chester County Fire Companies for providing coverage to Caln Township while we were committed to the festival.

West Whiteland Fire Company
Honey Brook Fire Company
Po-Mar-Lin Fire Company
Cochranville Fire Company
East Whiteland Fire Compan


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