One of the things that surprised us greatly when we moved to the Phoenixville area three years ago was how much the Valley Forge region relies on volunteer firefighters. While the region supports a few full-time firefighters, most of the local fire companies are staffed primarily with volunteers.

Even stranger was the concept that most of those fire departments are also supported primarily by the funds that they raise. Apparently, volunteer fire companies are sort of a Pennsylvania thing.

So, we recommend that everyone get out and support the Lower Providence Township Volunteer Fire Company this week as they host their largest annual fundraiser, the Fireman’s Fair. The fair has been an annual event in Lower Providence since World War II, starting out as a horse show on the grounds of Superior Tube Company in Collegeville.

The fire company eventually purchased the site off Ridge Pike in Eagleville and hosts the annual family friendly fair.

The fireman’s fair started Thursday, June 8, and runs through Saturday, June 17th. Monday through Thursday evenings the fair hours are from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and until 11 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday the fair is open from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Lower Providence Township Fire Company receives a portion of the proceeds from sales of armbands and other ride tickets, and also runs several of the concession stands with its volunteers, meaning all the profits go directly to the fire department.

The department operated the Cabana, a grill with hamburgers, hotdogs, Philly cheesesteaks and more, the donut stand that serves up to 1,500 donuts a night and the Clam stand featuring fresh seafood from eastern Maryland. Tonight, Monday, June 12, the donut stand adds chocolate donuts to the line up and tomorrow will feature cinnamon apple cider donuts.

The carnival midway, with games, rides and cotton candy is also open every evening during the fair.

To support the Lower Providence Township Fire Company, which is 100 percent volunteers, visit the Fireman’s Fair just off Ridge Pike in Eagleville.