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Celebration gaining steam in Greencastle

July 05, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Before 2002, Greencastle-Antrim had not had a Fourth of July community celebration since the mid-1910s, according to Bonnie Shockey, who helped restart the tradition six years ago.

"After Sept. 11, 2001, I wondered why Greencastle-Antrim didn't have a July 4 event," Shockey said.

Six weeks before July 4, 2002, Shockey got in touch with Greencastle's former mayor, the late Red Pensinger, as well as Dana Given and Jean Oliver, and the four made contacts with singers, Cub Scouts, the American Legion and other organizations to participate in that year's celebration.

"This is our sixth successful year," Shockey said of the Greencastle-Antrim Fourth of July celebration that was held Wednesday at the Tayamentasachta Environmental Center.

"Everyone seems to be having a really good time - they're not afraid of the rain," said Dody Clever, whose husband, Russ Clever, led the children's parade.

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Dody Clever said her husband led about 45 children in the parade, and they were "waving flags and he (Russ) had them stop and sing, 'Happy Birthday America.'"

Along with the children's parade, the celebration featured a children's peanut and candy scramble, musical entertainment, a flag-folding ceremony, a patriotic reading and a watermelon party.

Shockey said the Fourth of July celebrations in Greencastle-Antrim are held at the environmental center because "the first year, it was held at King Playground (and) we quickly outgrew it ... This is the next best area in town ... and the trees (walnut grove) provide shade."

"We're getting more people each year," Russ Clever said. "It's a small town - we have small-town flavor."

Current members on the planning committee are Shockey, Mandy Stottlemyer, Darlene Leasure and Greg Hoover, acting superintendent of the Greencastle-Antrim School District.

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