For nearly three decades, Hillbilly Fever Days in Beavertown has continued to grow and offer quality entertainment, and lots of great food, games, vendors and various other activities.
Bob Rice, coordinator of the week-long event, especially credits the volunteer firemen of the Beavertown Rescue Hose Company No. 20, for making the carnival a success every year.
“The firemen have done a great job,” he said. They are largely responsible for the fairgrounds receiving updates each year. This year, they have a new office building, and a few other buildings have been removed to improve the view for those attending the carnival each year. The firemen have pitched in in various ways, including doing interior work, electric work, and mowing and weed trimming to prepare for the week.
According to Rice, Hillbilly Fever Days is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the fire company, and they greatly appreciate the support of the community. He said they are always looking for more volunteers to help each year, as well as buy food during the week — since all is provided by the fire company and all proceeds are used to support their continued service.
The food includes hot sausage, pork sandwiches, roasted peanuts, French fries, cheese steaks, and walking tacos. There are also plenty of carnival games and vendors including clothing, tooling, novelties and collectibles. Free giveaways will be offered, compliments of Pepsi, from Tuesday through Friday. The Midway will feature a bouncy house, hay rides, and horse rides. In addition, there will be raffle prize drawings and a special tailgaters raffle on Saturday night.
A parade will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night.
Rice said they strive each year to make the carnival very “family-oriented” so that adults and children alike can come and enjoy themselves.
“My goal has always been to have the best carnival around,” he said, adding that while many other small carnivals in the area are dwindling or closing, Hillbilly Fever Days, which draws both local people and people from out of state, continues to grow and is earning that desired title. “We slowly prove that every year,” he said — “that we are good, we have great entertainment, great food, and we’re a very hospitable group of people that like to get together and enjoy ourselves.”
Food stands open at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Entertainment is scheduled nightly at 7 and 9 p.m. On Tuesday, a message will be given by Pastor Carl Bergerson, and entertainment will be provided by Gospel singing group, the Isbell Family.
Scheduled for Wednesday, the Frank Wicher Band will perform for the first time at Hillbilly Fever Days.
“We look forward to every new venue that we play,” Wicher said.
The band performs around 90 concerts a year in venues through the central Pennsylvania region. For Wicher, performing has been a big part of his life for a long time
“I’ve always enjoyed playing for people, ever since I was out of high school,” he said.
Wicher calls his style of music “outlaw country”, and while he does play covers from artists including Chris Stapleton, Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash, he said he focuses mostly on sharing his original music with his audiences. He currently has three albums of original music.
The band, he said, never plays new, mainstream country music, and they strive to introduce their listeners to new songs.
To Wicher, being a performer — a musician — is about being an artist, being yourself, and sharing your creativity. And that’s what he longs to give to his audiences.
“I want them to like my originals,” he said. “I want them to have an open mind.”
Wicher is based in Northumberland and is known as a talented guitar and harmonica player. He has opened for artists such as David Allen Coe, Sawyer Brown, Montgomery Gentry, and 38 Special, and has played popular central Pennsylvania venues including the Bloomsburg Fair and Knoebel’s Amusement Resort.
Thursday night’s entertainment will be a variety of music by the Josh Squared Band, and on Friday, Sapphire will perform classic rock and roll.
The Mahoney Brothers, who have performed for Hillbilly Fever Days for the past 18 years, will once again take the stage on Saturday night, presenting the music of Elvis, The Beatles, and more. Rice said the group always draws the largest crowd — more than a 1,000 people.