GREENCASTLE - A tradition that dates to 1901 and recurs every three years, Greencastle's 39th Old Home Week, August 6-13, will have so many activities that it could be hard to choose which ones to attend.
Here are several that are really "musts."
Saturday, August 6
Starting with day one, Saturday, August 6, is the official opening of the 39th Triennial on the Square. The invocation and benediction will be given by Rev. Martin Horn, senior pastor of Evangelical Lutheran Church. The guest speaker will be Benjamin Thomas Jr., who will speak on the importance of community service. There will be special music performed by Dave Reeder and Harrison Scott.
Sunday, August 7
Sunday night is the "unofficial" opening on the Square. Strung with lights to brighten the night sky, it starts at 11 p.m. and goes until 1 a.m. This event will ring in the 39th Old Home Week with an enormous sing-a-long, and will be held rain or shine - or heat.
Monday, August 8
If you haven't registered and received a 2016 badge, Monday morning is a good time to do so, as several events require having one. For instance, to take that day's bus tour of the town and township in the afternoon, a badge is required. Registration is at the headquarters in the Conn Building next to the BB&T Bank on the square.
Tuesday, August 9
Tuesday, August 9, and Wednesday, August 10, feature the evening pageant at the Greencastle-Antrim High School Auditorium.
It opens with a pageant prelude, four pieces played in memory of four musically outstanding Greencastle residents who have passed away since the last Triennial - Winifred Harvie, David J. McCandless, Sam Forney and Richard Besecker, said Saundra Wingert, musical director.
"Following that, there will be ... scenes recreating episodes in Greencastle history," added Pat Beard, pageant director. "We try to keep it light-hearted." There are some 40 actors involved, from a babe-in-arms to a "gentleman of senior status." Among the scenes is one of George Washington supping at a local tavern, and Dolly Harris flaunting the Union flag at Confederate soldiers.
Wednesday, August 10
Wednesday is the day for the giant group photograph on the square of everyone in Greencastle who wishes to attend. "About 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time, the square is empty and then, all of a sudden, people start coming down the streets. It's magical," said Fred Klink, chairman for this event. This will be the third or fourth Old Home Week for Klink, a Greencastle resident.
"A gentleman comes from Washington, D.C., with a camera that he balances on a tripod and rotates 270 degrees, encompassing about two-thirds of the square. He has been doing this for some 30 years," Klink said.
Wednesday will also be the date for the rededication of the Memorial Water Fountain in the Jerome R. King Playground. The fountain was presented to the Borough of Greencastle by the "Old Boys" in 1914 and is commemorated on this year's Old Home Week badge.
Afterwards, the Ol' Boys Baseball Game gets underway with all players 35 years of age and older. "There are about 35-40 of us and we play for about two hours," said Todd Barkdoll. "We try to make sure everyone has a chance at bat." The event takes place at Barkdoll Field at the Jerome R. King Playground. The field is named for Barkdoll's father, Charles "Whitey" Barkdoll. There will be popcorn.
Thursday, August 11
Everybody loves a parade, and the Old Home Week procession that steps out at 6 p.m. will have everything to love about a parade: majorettes, dancers, floats with various individual dressed in costume, all kinds of fire apparatus and other vehicles. The route winds through the center of town for approximately 2 miles and draws close to 6,000 cheering spectators.
Friday, August 12
On Friday, August 12, the alumni banquet will be held at Blue Heron Events Center, followed by a band concert with the United States Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus at Kaley Field at the Greencastle-Antrim High School.
"We are really pleased that they are coming this year, as it will be the first time in nine years since they have played here," said Candy Mowen. There are some 60 members of the band and 30 of the chorus; they will play before the fireworks begin.
Saturday, August 13
Besides being the rain date for the Old Home Week parade and fireworks show, the final day of the celebration will feature the last of the class reunions that have been running throughout the week, a drive-through at historic Martin's Mill Bridge, Music on the Square and an official ceremony to close a week that will enter the annals of this tradition, unique to Greencastle.
For a full schedule of the whole action-packed week, visit the website at www.oldhomeweek.org.