By Vallean Jackson
Old Home Day is the roots of the town and has been a foundation in the Londonderry community for more than 100 years that unifies and celebrates the citizens throughout the community both past and present.
According to Catherine Blash, the Londonderry Director of Senior Affairs, “This year the Senior Picnic will take place on Aug. 18th at the Lions Hall with the start time of 4 p.m. It can be said it is a barbecue because of the style of food we are having, but the event is predominantly just known as the senior picnic. Traditionally, the senior night is the kick off for Old Home Day festivities, and we could not be more excited to be able to continue tradition this year,” said.
The outdoor event is catered to the senior citizens of the community and it is completely free for admission. However, it is asked that those interested in participating pick up their ticket from the Londonderry Senior Center between the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., or from Kirby Brown at the town hall.
Free bingo will also offered before food is served with a chance for attendees to win plenty of great prizes. In previous years, the prizes consisted of various gift certificates from businesses, but out of respect of this past year’s hard hit of COVID, Blash took a different approach to award participants.
“To be fair and respect businesses aim to recover from the hit of COVID, it has helped me to think outside of the box and helped me to create various gift baskets that can be won. Each gift basket is designed with goodies that can be enjoyed from cozy socks, coffee, to cleaning supplies, and more. The centerpieces being done by Countryside Florist will also be up to be raffled for a prize as well. So if someone does not win a gift basket, they will also have an opportunity to take a centerpiece home.”
The Londonderry Senior Center is known for their around-the-clock care for local senior citizens, but this event allows both members and non-members to participate. After all, this event is for seniors, is community orientated, and showcases those that can come together to give back to seniors. For many senior citizens, this event is a socialization factor that gives them the chance to interact with individuals their age, as well as give them something different to do to continue being active.
“There are a lot of seniors that do not get a chance to go out to restaurants, have a fun outing, who do not have a lot of family and friends, or are just alone and this helps them to not only be acknowledged but let’s them know they are not alone. I do not like seeing seniors left behind or forgotten, and my job allows me to be able to help limit that from happening as best as I can. The younger generation moves at a faster pace, and they don’t want to slow down and listen, but taking a little time to listen to these senior citizens is truly a blast that many do not recognize. A lot of them are very honest, funny, and do not mind sharing the stories of their life. It’s nice to be able to sit down and have a conversation with them.”
On the day of the event, the only thing seniors will have to do is show up and have a good time. Blash mentioned that no one is going to have to stand in line for their food, everything will be brought out to them. The members of the Lion Club will be cooking the food, Coca-cola has donated sodas and water, and some members of the Londonderry Police Department are volunteering to help serve the food. Old Home Day Senior Picnic is truly the kick off of the community coming together.
After the meal, a concert will take place on the Town Common as part of the Concerts on the Common series. Neurotic Gumbo, a classic rock band, will be on stage from 7 to 8 p.m.
In case of rain, the event will take place at Matthew Thornton Elementary School.