Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com010 

Let the peach peeling begin!

Each August the 8th Utilities District firefighters and the ladies auxiliary in Manchester, Connecticut put a call out to the community for volunteers to assist with peeling peaches for the annual peach festival. Now in its 65th year, the peach peeling heralds the upcoming  festival that is both a fundraiser for the volunteer fire department and has become a traditional last hurrah gathering as summer comes to a close. 004007

Firefighters serve up those yummy peach shortcakes topped with hand sliced fresh peaches and Shady Glen whipped cream. Don’t be surprised to see politicians circulating at this event.009

The 2014  festival is scheduled for Friday, August 22 at the Fire Headquarters on 138 Main Street. Previously it was held at the old firehouse but was moved last year to the new digs just up the road. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door. 012

According to the town, the festival has been held continuously since 1949 – “rain or shine” – and typically attracts about 3,000 people.

It will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Folks can find a place at the long family style tables set up behind the Fire Headquarters. Some people bring a lawn chair.

Each ticket buys admission to the festival and a bowl of peach shortcake  This is a wholesome evening where the peach shortcakes are the stars of the event that generally also includes entertainment from a live band and door prizes.

It is also a chance to help support local firefighters.