Firefighters' Peach Festival in Manchester, Connecticut.

Firefighters’ Peach Festival held Aug. 23, 2013 in Manchester, Connecticut.

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb004

In its 64th year, the popularity of the Manchester, Connecticut 8th Utilities District Fire Department Peach Festival continued Friday night, August 23, as festival-goers turned out to enjoy their annual peach shortcake treat in a new location. Traditionally held across from the old firehouse on the corner of Main and Hilliard streets, this year the event was moved up the hill to the new firehouse which serves as the district’s headquarters. 005

It can be risky business to tamper with tradition and a successful tradition at that, but the move was said to be prompted by a desire to encourage the community to view the headquarters as the volunteer firefighter district prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary in October. The new digs are more spacious and allowed for a line of firefighters to scoop out the freshly peeled and sliced peaches – that were donated by Johnny Appleseed Farm – into bowls of biscuits then topped with whipped cream.001

Whipped cream makers.

Whipped cream makers.

Throughout the evening the long tables set up in the rear parking area were filled as folks rotated in and out enjoying their dessert and rock & roll music by 384 East. The new venue also allowed for people to bring blankets and chairs to set up on the lawn adjacent to the parking lot. Fire apparatus were parked in the front of the building and a nearby handicapped parking lot was available.012011

The stretch of picture perfect weather the region has been experiencing certainly contributed to the pleasant evening. Of course, some things that remained the same were the politicians greeting visitors and shaking hands, and a raffle of various prizes contributed by area merchants. Money raised from the festival will be used to pay towards the needs of the department.