Pa. residents celebrate pride during Old Home Week

August 02, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - As the 36th triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week draws near, residents and business owners look forward to catching up with old friends, getting together with family, showing pride for Greencastle and Antrim Township, and celebrating their history.

"There's something in Greencastle - there's a pride in the community - I call it 'the Old Home Week spirit,'" said Bonnie Shockey, director of the Allison-Antrim Museum and a chairperson for the event's Reminiscing series.

The Reminiscing series features videotaped interviews of people in the community, Shockey said. Some of the interviews are about World War II and other war veterans, stores in Antrim Township, people who grew up in the villages within Antrim Township, life during the Depression in Greencastle and Antrim Township, high school life during World War II, and farm life in Antrim Township.

"These are interviews that are important to get recorded from people themselves, in their own voices, especially the World War II generation" that is getting older, Shockey said.


New topics in the fourth triennial Reminiscing series include stories about local women in the World War II era, and stories about car dealerships that were started early in the town's history. Also, the microphone will be opened up to visitors who want to share a story of their life in Antrim Township or Greencastle.

"I think Old Home Week is such a big event for Greencastle-Antrim because it gives everyone the chance to see old friends and make new friends," said Greg Hoover, co-chair of the event's unofficial closing.

Some of the highlights of Old Home Week include:

The unofficial opening ceremony will be at 11 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, in Center Square at the corner of Baltimore and Carlisle streets. It will include instrumental music and a community singalong.

"Pageant" will be performed Tuesday, Aug. 7, and Wednesday, Aug. 8. "Pageant," which is a historical eight-scene play about Greencastle-Antrim's past, will be at 7:30 p.m. each day. The play will be performed at the Greencastle-Antrim High School Auditorium, 300 S. Ridge Ave.

The Old Home Week Parade will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9. Rain date is Aug. 11, at 2 p.m. The parade will form and begin on East Leitersburg Street.

A fireworks display will follow a concert by the U.S. Army Field Band, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. The fireworks will be displayed at the Greencastle-Antrim School Complex - Kaley Field.

Old Home Week takes place every three years, based on a tradition that began in 1902.

"The first Old Home Week was an 'Old Boys' reunion in 1902," said Jeff Shank, president of Old Home Week. "Philip E. Bear was the one who came up with the idea, and they wanted to get together every three years. The wives came and did not want it to become the 'Old Boys' reunion, so they changed the name in 1905 to Old Home Week."

An addition to Old Home Week is the unofficial closing ceremony from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, in Center Square. The unofficial opening ceremony has been around since Old Home Week began and Shockey believes it came about as a result of the "Old Boys" getting together.

"The reason we decided to try an 'unofficial closing' is because we had an 'unofficial opening,'" Hoover said. "It seemed like after Thursday evening and the parade, there wasn't much activity on the square on Friday or Saturday nights. Now, with the unofficial closing and with entertainment, we're hoping people will come down to the square and have one last opportunity to see people."

Hoover said the band Debonair will play during the unofficial closing, and those gathered will sing an unofficial song, which has yet to be determined. The unofficial opening song is "The Old Gray Mare."

For Jan Martin, owner of E.L.M. Department Store in Greencastle, Old Home Week is something he has seen all his life.

"It's a great time for a lot of folks to come back to town ... (and) to get reacquainted with people who left the area," Martin said.

Verna Barnhart does not live in Greencastle, but she has worked there for 25 years. She now works at Willow Tree Gifts and Flower Boutique.

"I enjoy meeting the people, (finding out) where they are from and how far they have come to go to Old Home Week," she said.

Old Home Week kicks off Saturday with the 23rd annual Fred Kaley Memorial 5K Run-Walk.

If you go ...

WHAT: The 36th triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 4 through Saturday, Aug. 11.

WHERE: Various locations in Greencastle, Pa.

MORE: For information and a schedule of events, go to

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