New-look Rocky Grove festival starts today

 The 83rd annual Rocky Grove Fireman’s Festival begins today.

The event has been scaled back this year due to a lack of manpower and is now called a festival instead of a fair.

But fair-goers can expect plenty of the same activities they’ve grown accustomed to over the many years the event has been held and may be pleased to find out that the controversial price of admission from last year’s fair has been axed.

This year will forego the admission fee in lieu of a parking pass, which will cost drivers $3 per car.

Full-scale rides will be replaced by attractions from local party business Jones Party Magic such as inflatable bounce houses and slides as well as a pull-along ride for children.

The popular hot sausage booth manned by the Rocky Grove fire department’s ladies auxiliary will be around, and various games will be manned by members of the fire department as well.

Tonight’s festivities will be capped off by fireworks at dusk, which has been called the biggest attraction of the weekend.

In case of unfavorable weather or rain, the fireworks display may be delayed until Saturday.

Saturday’s activities will feature a parade at 10 a.m. that will follow the same route it always has, meandering through Wiley Avenue and eventually looping back to the fairgrounds.

A competitive tractor pull will take place later in the afternoon at 4 p.m.

The event concludes Sunday.