Festive family fun will indeed remain in Newark this summer after the Newark Fire Council voted last week in favor of hosting the Newark Volunteer Firemen’s Family Festival.

Festive family fun will indeed remain in Newark this summer after the Newark Fire Council voted last week in favor of hosting the Newark Volunteer Firemen’s Family Festival.

Set for Friday through Sunday, June 7, 8 and 9, 2013, the new festival is still in its preliminary planning phase, Fire Chief Mike Colacino said. With news that Newarkfest was shutting down in the face of village requirements that exceeded the small group of volunteers’ abilities, Colacino said it became clear that the fire department had the resources to undertake he task of creating a festival that the entire family could enjoy.

“We’re always looking for something to do for the community,” Colacino said. “We knew from newspaper articles that Newarkfest was gone. We thought we could expand upon what the community was losing.”

With a 30-acre fireman’s field, Colacino said they decided they could have all the vendors and booths without having to close any roads.

“We have a facility that accommodate this and grow it,” he added. “We want a good clean festival and give the community something to do in the summer.”

They have set their expectations high hoping to get 100 vendors for the event’s first year. Colacino said they want to keep the vendors Newarkfest had, but add to them. He said they are hoping for a mix of vendors that can offer a variety of goods to attract a wide spectrum of potential shoppers.

Booth size will be expanded from the 10x10-foot space to a 15x15-foot space that will give vendors room to spread out. The rental fee will be a flat $100 per booth. Colacino said they are looking for food sales, crafts, clothing vendors. A map of the field where the festival would be held has been designed to allow vendors to select which booth space they like on a first come, first served basis.

The fire department will in no way be competing with the vendors, Colacino said. Although no decisions have been made, he said the department may do a raffle on site or perhaps hold a softball game on the new baseball field, LNB Field, named after its benefactor Lyons National Bank. Colacino said they will be holding a ribbon cutting for the field in the spring.

An invitation was extended to St. Michael’s Church and the Elks Lodge to join bring their events to the fireman’s field as well, Colacino said. However, St. Michael’s Parish Festival organizers told Colacino they have already made plans to keep the festival at the church. The Elks have held their biggest fundraiser of the year during Newarkfest for years and welcomed the fire department’s invitation, Colacino said, but because they do not an off site permit to serve alcohol outside of the lodge, they would have to decline for now. Colacino said the Elks members are exploring the possibility of getting a permit.

Former Newarkfest organizers were pleased with the fire department’s decision.

“I applaud the Newark Fire Deparment for wanting to continue a community festival,” said Gina Donnelly, former president for Newarkfest. “Obviously having their own property and a significantly larger pool of volunteers will help them in dealing with any municipal requirements placed upon them. I look forward to attending with my own family and friends in support of my community, the fire department and the vendors.”

Newarkfest Board member Jack Dubler agreed.

“We are glad to hear this good news that the fire department wishes to keep a festive event in our community,” he said. “We wish them success and will attend the festivities.”

While plans continue to be ironed out on the new Newark Volunteer Firemen’s Family Festival, anyone interested in learning more or becoming a vendor can contact Fire Chief Mike Colacino at (585) 738-3607, Public Information Officer Dick Colacino at 573-4067 or leave a message at the fire hall non emergency number at 331-1451.