For the past 30 years, bingo at the Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department (GSVFD) on Backlick Road has been the past time of many. Visit on Bingo Night and one will find long tables are aligned in the main hall, filled with participants listening intently to the number caller as they mark the numbers on their bingo card, hoping for a chance to win.
Every Tuesday and Sunday night, the GSVFD hosts multiple bingo games. “All the proceeds go directly to the fire department,” said John Ryan, president of the GSVFD Board of Directors.
However, these games of bingo are not just played by the locals. Players come from all over Fairfax County, and even from Maryland.
“It’s a huge social event,” said Board Vice President Tracy Moreland. “They celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etcetera.”
The GSVFD averages about 100 players per bingo night and 40 games of bingo. Players compete for money prizes that range from $100 to the $1,000 jackpot. “I play two nights a week. It’s a great pastime,” said player Anne Prystash, who has been playing for more than 25 years.
While the games don’t officially start until 7 p.m., people begin arriving as early as 5 p.m. to stake out their bingo territory. Dinner is also served, with entrees like chicken sandwiches with french fries.
Everyone who is on staff at bingo is a member of the fire department and do their best to ensure that the environment is fun and friendly.
Bingo nights are not the only events that the GSVFD hosts. In addition to the fun game, they also offer spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts, and holiday themed events such as “Breakfast With Santa.”
The GSVFD welcomes people from all areas to enjoy multiple rounds of bingo, and in hand with unlimited rounds of community fun.
Bingo tickets cost $10 for a regular booklet and prices go up with the increase in cards. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and children under 12 are prohibited.
For more information, visit www.gsvfd.org or call the Bingo Hall at 703-569-9828. The Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department is located at 7011 Backlick Road, Springfield.