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July 2020
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Jasper Fire’s Rolling Clown Show brightens the day


Jasper Fire Facebook / Photo

Times are stressful, but there was no shortage of clowing around with this group from the Jasper Fire Department.


Last week, the Jasper Fire Department and North Georgia Fire Safety Clowns took their annual show on the road to spread some joy during these stressful shelter-in-place times. 

Each year the North Georgia Fire Safety Clowns visit schools in the community, but were not able to in 2020 with campuses being closed since March 13. Instead, “Stumbles,” “Sparkles,” “Hot Pockets,” & “Stewie” hopped in the JFD Fire Truck for a “Rolling Clown Show,” which travelled around Jasper and through neighborhoods. 

Jasper Fire Chief Steve Roper said the show-on-wheels was successful, and thanked the clowns for making the event happen.  

“We had children with signs for us and young people as well as the elderly in their yards cheering the clowns and waving,” Roper said in a social media post. “It is our sincere hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as we did and that it may have brought a moment’s peace to a stressful time in our lives.” 

Arbor Hills resident Lea Kanakaris caught wind of the local fire department’s plans to take their show on the road and posted it to the community’s Facebook page. 

“I thought this was awesome because of how we’ve all been feeling so isolated and stuck inside,” she said. “We’ve all been home, and this was something exciting, and positive and fun. Before all this happened, we’d go out to work all week and look forward to doing something Saturday, but we don’t have that now. This gave us something to look forward to, and put smiles on people’s faces. I’m so sick and tired of technology, and it was just nice to see a human being.”

Kanakaris, whose husband is a firefighter, said neighbors started calling her when they heard sirens and horns to see what was going on. 

“My husband works 48 hour shifts, and these days me and the kids can’t get out of the car to visit so we’ll do what we call drive-bys to say hello,” she said. “I told people the clowns were like a drive by, and that the town was bringing the parade to us. It really gave you that hometown feeling. I don’t think the fire department realized what a big effect it had.”