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Old Home Week worth talking about

August 07, 2010|By DANA BROWN
  • Bicyclists ride through the square in Greencastle, Pa., Saturday on the Tour of Antrim Township Bike Ride during the final day of Old Home Week.
By Dana Brown, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The 37th Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week triennial celebration came to a close Saturday, but the strengthened spirit of community will carry on well beyond this past week, organizers said.

Bob Johnston, co-chairman of the headquarters committee and Old Home Week registrar, said he didn't yet have an official total, but from his observations, he could say this year's celebration drew larger crowds than the triennial celebration held in 2007.

Johnston said people came from as far away as Germany, Spain, Mexico and Greece to visit Greencastle this week. They all had a connection to the town, Johnston said.

"It's a unique thing," he said. "I don't know how to describe it, it's so unique."

Next week at this time, Greencastle will be "just a sleepy old town," but people will still be talking about it, Johnston said.

For some, Old Home Week provided opportunities to strengthen their connection to Greencastle-Antrim.

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"I'm a newcomer, and I am really into this," Kathryn Greene said.

"This whole week has been so incredible. Everybody's so kind and enthusiastic, and it's real. People are really enjoying this," she said.

And they ate a lot of food.

Dave Ebbitt, Boy Scout Troop 99 concession stand co-chairman, said by midweek, the crowds had gone through 1,500 sodas and 1,200 waters, and 400 to 500 sandwiches had been served.

"Numbers are way higher this year," Ebbitt said.

Ebbitt, who is an emergency room physician, said working at the concession stand on the square was a challenge, even for him.

"This was a madhouse," he said. "But it's been fun."

Ebbitt, who co-chaired the concession stand committee along with his wife, Jody, and Steve and Laura Gallagher, said the Scouts and their families put in about 1,100 hours of volunteer time to keep food and drink at the ready for the crowds attending Old Home Week festivities on the square.

Ebbitt said one patron even joined them for every meal, each day of the week.

"I've heard no complaints," Ebbitt said.

Steve Gallagher said the week was "such a positive thing."

"There's really nothing that motivates it other than community," Gallagher said. "What makes it special is that it doesn't happen every year."

For Rose Hudson, though, Old Home Week wasn't long enough.

"We're gonna need it for two weeks next time," she said.

Along with traditional favorites, the weeklong homecoming celebration featured many new events, reunions and festivities.

The appointment of the next Old Home Week Association president offered a first. Carol Christophel was appointed the first woman to serve as president of the association's 108-year-old triennial celebration for 2013. The announcement was made Friday at the public meeting of the association's board of directors.

"I'm ecstatic over that ... it has very special meaning," Christophel said.

She said she hopes to make the 2013 Old Home Week celebration even bigger than this year's.

"If that is even possible," she said.

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