Greencastle kicks off Old Home Week

July 31, 2010|By DANA BROWN
  • Kerri Barnes and her son Nicholas, of Greencastle, Pa., look over a display of past Old Home Week panoramic group photos at Old Home Week headquarters on the square in Greencastle.
By Dana Brown,

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- No one is a stranger in Greencastle this week.

For the next seven days, families, friends, neighbors, classmates and newcomers will share hugs, handshakes, memories, laughter and smiles as the community celebrates its 37th triennial Old Home Week.

"Continue the handshakes and hugs all week long," Ben Thomas Jr., president of the Old Home Week Association, told the crowd gathered on the borough's square Saturday morning for the official opening of the weeklong festivities.

"Participate to your fullest. Make yourself at home," Greencastle Mayor Robert Eberly told the crowd. "I am so proud of what's happening here."

Rick Baer, chairman of the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors, echoed Eberly's welcome.

"I am sure you will not be disappointed this week," Baer said.

Old Home Week headquarters was the center of activity both before and after the opening ceremonies. Located in Tower Bank on the square, headquarters was the first stop for those who wanted to sign the registry, purchase badges and pick up the official programs listing the events taking place during the next week.


Marley Walck, registration committee member, said there had been a steady stream of people stopping in at headquarters, which opened Friday and will remain open until next Saturday.

But the biggest attraction seemed to be the display of panoramic group photos taken during past Old Home Week celebrations. Several photos were placed on display in the windows at headquarters.

"You will see people looking at these photos for hours," Thomas said.

The group photo is a tradition for Old Home Week. During the whirlwind week of activities, people gather on the square to be photographed together for posterity.

Jason Divelbiss of Greencastle enjoyed pointing to himself as a 9-year-old in the photo taken in 1983, shortly after his family moved to the area from St. Louis.

His wife, Dana; daughter, Ellie, 5; and son, Calvin, 2, all leaned in to take a closer look.

The family plans to be there Wednesday when this year's photo is snapped, he said.

Following the opening ceremonies, Joe Hudock of Greencastle and his mother, Gloria Hudock, of Shippensburg, Pa., leisurely walked along the downtown streets checking out historical displays in the windows of several businesses.

"This is my time," she said with a laugh as she gestured to the poodle skirt and sandal shoes displayed in the window.

"It takes you back," Joe Hudock said. "Nobody does this anymore. It's nice to see it still happening in Greencastle."

Celebration starts with a hearty breakfast

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Tim Bingaman had just arrived in Greencastle from Marietta, Ga., Saturday morning after driving 10 hours to get back home.

His first stop, he said, was the Old Home Week Breakfast Kickoff hosted by Boy Scout Troop 287.

"You came all the way from Georgia just to have breakfast with us," said Denise Timmons of Greencastle, secretary for the Boy Scout troop.

A Greencastle native, Bingaman said he had put in for a week of vacation just to return to his hometown to celebrate Old Home Week.

Bingaman was happy to be back home, he said. Getting started with a full belly was a good beginning, he said.

The breakfast kickoff, which was held at Otterbein United Brethren Church in Greencastle, was a new project for the Boy Scout troop.

Timmons said it was a way to expose the troop to the community "because the community does so much for the troop."

John Alleman, commissioner for Troop 287, said the Scouts wanted to come up with something different to offer the community during Old Home Week. Since only the Boy Scouts are allowed to offer food concessions during Old Home Week, the community breakfast was a good fit.

"I'm very tickled with it," Alleman said. "It's really worked out well."

Scout Caleb Conklin, 14, of Smithsburg, said he'd been at the church since 5 a.m. helping set up for the event.

He politely directed people to the different food stations, which offered fruit, scrambled eggs, sausage gravy, bacon, fried potatoes, waffles, muffins, coffee and juice.

"I just want people to have a good breakfast," he said.

With donations from several local businesses, the Scouts were able to offer their breakfast free of charge, however, donations were welcome. Proceeds from the event will help the Scouts with funds for activities.

Because the breakfast was a donation-only event, Timmons said it was difficult to estimate how many people were served.

"Oh, my glorious," Timmons said. "I hate to put a guess on it."

Carrie Boyer, troop mom and committee chair, said by 9 a.m., they had cooked up 75 dozen eggs, 50 pounds of bacon and "lots and lots of waffles."

"That's so far," she quickly added.

Scout Preston Tabor, 17, of Waynesboro, Pa., greeted people as they came through the door.

"I expected a good turnout, but it's been packed," he said.

"It's great the community is coming out to support it," Gina Hann of State Line. Pa., said as she headed for the pastries and fruit station.

Empty plates filled the table where Shirley and Alex Clark of Greencastle sat visiting with family members.

"It was excellent," Shirley Clark said.

Betty Smith of Greencastle said she ate two plates full. Her husband, Don, only had one, she said.

"That was good," she said, adding that the waffles were one of her favorite items on the menu.

"Oh, I ate everything," she said with a laugh.

If you go

What: 37th triennial Old Home Week celebration

When: Continues today through next Saturday

Where: Greencastle, Pa.

For a complete schedule of events, go to

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