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36th Old Home Week begins in less than a month

July 13, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Old Home Week, a triennial celebration of the Greencastle-Antrim community, is less than one month away.

The 36th festival's official opening has been scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, on Greencastle's center square.

Yet, the spirit of Old Home Week typically draws former and current residents together for the unofficial opening 36 hours later, according to the president of the organizing committee.

"The unofficial opening is on the square. That happens at night," Jeff Shank said.

He remembers that when he and his wife, Deb, were first married, they watched families and friends gather on the square from their home's windows above.

"It was just amazing to see the town all lit up at night," he said.

The magic of Old Home Week actually begins before the eight-day festival, Shank explained, as shrubs are trimmed, windows decorated and door trims painted.

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"The whole town dresses up," Shank said.

The printers are working on the Old Home Week programs, with the schedule of concerts, open houses, fireworks, a parade, and motorcycle, dog and car shows.

Mayor Robert Eberly fondly remembers childhood trips to town from his country home for the Old Home Week parade.

"As a child, the parades were always the amazing thing for me. ... It's always a really big parade for a small town," he said.

Increased residential development in the area could add a new element to this year's celebration, the mayor said.

"As a community, we're always looking for people to come back. The new residents, this year, we're hoping taking part," Eberly said.

Eighty to 100 people serve on committees to pull off the festival, Shank said.

"We try not to change too much because it works," Shank said, explaining that Old Home Week has been a community fixture since 1902.

Professor Philip E. Baer developed a program for an "Old Boys' Reunion" to be held in August of that year. Old Home Week has been held every three years since then.

"It's a tradition, and people need traditions now," Shank said.

The official Old Home Week picture will be taken at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, and $25 copies can be ordered there.

This year's celebration continues until Aug. 11, when music on the square from 8:30 to 11 p.m. will unofficially close Old Home Week.

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