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Action-packed weekend to launch Old Home Week 2016

GREENCASTLE - They say the best way to start off the day is with a good breakfast. Planners of Old Home Week, Greencastle's once-every- three-years community celebration, seem to agree, launching the action-packed week at 7 a.m. Saturday, August 6, with a big spread at the Kauffman Community Center sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 413. It will be a substantial meal from waffles with all kinds of toppings to sausage gravy and biscuits. Bring a hearty appetite.

There will be a large crowd for food, of course, and another for the 32nd annual 5 mile/ 5K race which winds through the streets of Greencastle; the 5-miler also includes a 2-mile cross-country section. The Kids Race, for those 12 and under, will start at 8 a.m.; the 5 mile/5K at 8:30 a.m. Both will start and finish at the Greemcastle-Antrim High School's Kaley Field. (Note there are entry fees.)

You can register Friday

To get a head start on what promises to be a busy week, stop off at the Registration Headquarters the day before the official opening. "We will open on August 5th," said Bob Johnston, who, with his wife, Jeannie, have been the registrars since 2001. "When people register, they get a book with coupons and a ticket for the photo booth," he explained. The photo booth to record your personal memory of Old Home Week is located in the offices of the Echo-Pilot on Baltimore Street. You can bring props for the occasion.

Headquarters for Old Home Week is located in the Conn Building to the left of BB&T Bank on the square.

Registration is handled by a rotating staff of 26 people - most of them couples - who work in three-hour shifts during the entire week. Also available at Headquarters will be Old Home Week memorabilia as well as souvenirs for this year. The information booth will also have an event map of all the week's activities.

Antiques and such

For those whose interests lie in adding to prized collections, drop by the first Annual Antiques & Collectibles Vendor Market at the Blue Heron Event Center on Washington Street. This also will open on Friday, August 5, and runs through Saturday, August 6. "There will be some 25-30 vendors, both indoors and outdoors, from throughout the tri-state area," said owner Denise Hutchison, "and they will have a lot of Greencastle memorabilia."

Window displays

Early on the 6th, the Window Display judges will be browsing the storefronts in the center of town. "Some 40 windows are decorated using the square as the starting point and extending a block in each direction," said Bill Gour, chair of the committee. Windows are judged in six categories - History, War, Household Items, Toys and Games, Education, and Transportation - with a first and second monetary prize in each category, plus an overall winner," he said.

At the last Triennial, the overall winner was Denise Urban, owner of Anna's Paperworks, with a display on the history of her storefront on the southwest corner of the square. The displays will be up all week, so there will be plenty of time to take a stroll and explore.

Old Home Week officially kicks off on the Square at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 6, with an invocation and benediction by Rev. Martin Horn of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The guest speaker will be Benjamin Thomas Jr., life-long resident of Franklin County and a former president of the Old Home Week Association. "My message will be about service to the community," said Thomas. "I grew up in this area and have been blessed to be a volunteer and public servant here all my adult life."

Reunions, bikes, 'Float the Jig'

Can't decide what to do next? Check out the times and places of the various class reunions, stop off at the motorcycle show on Center Square, or "Float the Jig," an event held in memory of Brandi Kaye (Rockwell) Peli, who died in 2011. She loved the Conococheague Creek, and this activity honors her by encouraging people to float the creek with any means from kayak, to canoe, raft or even inner tube.

Musical Sunday

Music always holds a prominent place in Old Home Week. This year a great deal of the organizing has been handled by Candy Mowen. "I used to help Dave Candless, with whom I have played at Old Home Week since 1978," said the euphonium player. Mowen, along with Joyce Nowell, founded the Greencastle Antrim High School Alumni Band and Friends. Their committee arranges the music for many events, such as the parade and the pageant. "There are some 6-8 scenes in the pageant," she explained, "and we play before, during, and after." There are some 20-30 people in the band,and this year, as she proudly noted, there will be three eighth-grade players.

On Sunday, August 7, several churches will hold special services, including a community worship, featuring an orchestra and choir which will perform an inspiring cantata.

Other music events include a concert in the park with the New Horizon Band at the Jerome R. King Playground Band Shell, the Dueling Pianos with their baby grand digital pianos at the new restaurant "B Street104," and Music on the Square at the Band Stand in Center Square.

Close out the evening with a rousing "unofficial" opening. For this nighttime event, starting at 11 p.m., Center Square will be brightly lit and you can raise your voices joyously in a group singalong.

For additional information, call 717-660-8651 or visit the website at

Look for more about Old Home Week in next week's edition of Weekender.