Civil War history and "blind" lawnmowers. Now there's a combination.

But they do go together ... really. Because both are new and different parts of this year's LeRaysville Labor Day Celebration.

The LeRaysville-Pike Volunteer Fire Department is planning its annual three-day fund-raising celebration, set to begin this weekend. The event includes the old favorites - like softball, and a parade, dinner and midway - but this year features some new twists.

For one thing, the parade will include a group of Civil War re-enactors. "Then they're going to set up on the grounds," explains department President Jim Alderson. They will also be camping there. Visitors at their camp can learn about old-time military life, including soldiers' cooking and shelters.

Then, you can return to the modern day and watch Blind Lawnmower racing.

Or even try it!

The firefighters have rigged up a riding lawnmower with a push-bar on the back. In the contest, one person pushes and tells a blindfolded rider where to steer to get through an obstacle course.

"It's a timed event," Jim notes.

The team with the best time each day wins $25. The races run 2 to 4 p.m. or later, all three days, and the entry fee is $5 per team. All ages are welcome.

Some lucky visitors will be in the money, too, thanks to cash drawings on Sunday and Monday. Sunday's prize will be $100, with the winning ticket drawn at 10 p.m. The winner must be present. Monday's drawing, at 5 p.m., will be for $250. The winner does not have to be present that day. Tickets are available from firefighters.

Another new event - actually an older one making a comeback - is a square dance set for 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday on the fairgrounds. Local resident Sara Romanik will provide music.

All three days of the celebration, held on the firemen's grounds just off Route 467, feature a midway (starting at noon Saturday and Sunday and after the parade on Monday); a Chinese auction in the fire hall; karaoke by Bob Brenner; and the co-ed, slow-pitch Joe Donovan Memorial Softball tournament. (Fourteen teams are signed up.) Saturday and Sunday include a chicken barbecue at 11 a.m.

On Sunday, the Ross Park Zoomobile will visit from 2 to 4 p.m. Then at 6 p.m. runners will dash their way through town in the annual 5K race. Registration begins at 4 p.m. on the grounds. Cost is $10, and there will be age groups awards.

Fireworks by Endless Mountains Pyro will light up the sky at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Monday, Labor Day itself, begins with the annual parade through town at 10:30 a.m. (with a Civil War theme), followed by a ham dinner in the community hall. The clang-clang of the annual horseshoe tournament starts at 1 p.m. on the grounds.

Fire Chief John Keegan and his Heart 'N Soul band will also perform after the parade Monday.

The celebration winds down late Monday with the Chinese auction drawing, starting at 5 p.m.