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Wagons, whales float Old Home Week to conclusion

August 10, 1998

Old Home Week FinaleBy DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

photo: MIKE CRUPI / staff photographer [enlarge]




GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Wearing a coonskin cap and a diaper, Owen Thomas was a bit fidgety as he sat in a covered wagon poised somewhat precariously atop an inflatable raft.

The 4-month-old Mercersburg, Pa., boy was in good hands, however, as his mother Melissa and father Lew guided him slowly down the stream at the Martin's Mill Covered Bridge Park.

The family was one of a half dozen entries in the Boat Float on the Conococheague, part of Greencastle's Old Home Week, which ended Sunday.

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"We had put this together a few years ago when we thought they were going to have a boat float, but they didn't," said Linda Faith of Greencastle, Owen's grandmother. She said the miniature covered wagon was in the basement for about four years.

It held up well enough in storage to win $25 as the best entry in the fifth-grade-and-under category.

Cindy and Jessica Walck, of Rouzerville, Pa., rode the back of Free Willy to a $25 prize for the family category as their father Terry pushed. "It's an overturned styrofoam boat," said Missy Walck, their mother.

Along with being painted in orca black and white, Free Willy had a couple of interesting embellishments. A tin foil spout rose from its blowhole and its cardboard dorsal fin drooped over, just like the star of the film.

Amy Slunt, 11, and Quinn Delauney, 12, both of Hagerstown, got their entry, Wyte Wadr Wash'n,' into the water just in time to paddle past the three judges before the contest ended.

A line of laundry was strung above the two inner tubes they tied together for their float. Amy paddled with a frying pan while Quinn pushed with a pole.

"We spent about two hours on it. It was my idea," said Slunt. She said they decided to enter that morning. It won for the best float created by those 18 and under.

"They came down to get in the boat float, so we had a project," Elmer Packheiser of Greencastle said of his grandsons Gregory and Matthew Trenty, from upstate New York.

Their entry, Titanic, finished out of the running despite Gregory tossing ice cubes from the float as his brother propelled him past the judges.

"The Boat Float was something traditionally done every year," said Glenn Hykes, president of the Martin's Mill Covered Bridge Association. His group decided to try and revive the tradition and sponsor the event this year.

Hykes said it's one of several events planned by the association as it celebrates the 150th anniversary of the covered bridge.

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