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Greencastle Old Home Week starts today

August 02, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Frank Mowen is trying to come up with fresh ideas for six public speeches he has to make next week.

Mowen, 69, is mayor of Greencastle and president of the 33rd edition of Old Home Week, the celebration the town has held every three years since 1902. It begins today and runs through Aug. 8.

Mowen will officiate at half a dozen events in the next week beginning at 11:30 a.m. today in the Public Square for the official opening of the festival.

At midnight he'll speak again at the unofficial opening of the festival, also on the Square, when about 2,000 residents and former residents gather for a robust reunion.

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On Sunday he will lead the community worship service in the Greencastle/Antrim High School auditorium. On Monday he speaks again at the Civic Club luncheon. He goes to the podium Friday for the reunion at the high school and again Saturday for a few remarks at the dedication of Rescue Hose Co.'s new firehouse.

Mowen said he will tailor each speech to the event.

"I won't say the same things every time," he said.

The festival headquarters at 35 E. Baltimore St. has been busy since it opened earlier this month. Andrew and Lorraine Anderson are volunteers who man the office and sell the official Old Home Week badges and program booklets. Five dollars buys both along with entry into all events.

The badges have been an Old Home Week tradition since 1902. Older ones are collectibles.

There will be a host of family reunions during the week as former Greencastle residents come home for the festivities. Also, 27 high school reunions, including the 70th reunion of the Class of 1928, will be held next week.

The Allison/Antrim Museum will dedicate its new home on Ridge Avenue today at 4 p.m.

Mowen said the events drawing the biggest crowds - about 8,000 people each - are the Friday night band concert and fireworks at the high school athletic field and the Old Home Week Parade on Thursday night through town.

He said there will be 100 units in the parade, about double the number of previous years.

One standout event of any Old Home Week celebration is the community photograph when hundreds of residents line the Square to pose en masse for a rolling camera. It will be taken Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Mowen remembers his first Old Home Week celebration. It was 1932. "I was 3 years old. I remember looking out the front window watching the parade go by while my sister was being born in the other room."

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