The 119th Old Home Day celebration is just around the corner, and following in the steps of nearly 120 years of history and traditions the annual Londonderry Old Home Day parade.
According to the website for Old Home Day, the parade, which is always held on the third Saturday of August, is one of the largest parades in the state of New Hampshire. Local non-profit and state organizations, local businesses, high school bands, pipe and drum bands, and national political candidates are all included in the participants of the hour-long cavalcade.
Each year, approximately 10,000 spectators gather along the 1.2 mile long route on Mammoth Road to watch the procession. The parade route begins at Londonderry Middle School and ends at Mack’s Apples.
The theme for this year’s Old Home Day parade is, “How do you like them apples?” the winning entry from Ms. Murphy’s 4th grade class at Matthew Thornton Elementary School. Murphy’s students came up with the idea for the theme as they were studying their hometown, and had an ice cream party to celebrate their winning theme. It is now up to parade participants to live up to this theme with their unique floats.
Interested non-profit organizations or businesses should adhere to the guidelines listed on the Londonderry Old Home Day website.
Prospective participants should complete a registration form provided also provided on the Old Home Days parade page by Aug. 10.
There is a mandatory $300 registration fee for businesses, which are restricted to one motorized vehicle or float. All motorized vehicles should be antique or “rare and unique.” Non-profit organizations are not required to pay a registration fee, and a $100 grant is available to each non-profit that enters a float.
The Committee reserves the right to limit the size or reject any participant group if it deems that doing such is in the best interest and spirit of the Old Home Day celebration.
All motor and float units will be assigned an assembly area and should form in such no later than 8:30 a.m. the day of the parade, while non-motor units form in their respective assigned assembly areas no later than 9 a.m. Motorized units of any kind shall not be allowed to return to the start of the parade route until the parade is completed.
Parade participants must keep up with the pace of the parade. Failure to maintain a reasonable pace will result in participant removal to an appropriate location.
Throwing objects to spectators is strictly prohibited, however, items may be handed out. The use of spray or foam material is also prohibited.
Failure to comply with any parade rules or direct orders from the Parade Coordinator or Committee members may result in direct expulsion from the parade.
The parade is scheduled to start form the Middle School at 10:30 a.m. rain or shine on Saturday, Aug. 18. Information for parking will be provided in the parade informational packets.
Rain or shine, this year’s parade promises to please all in attendance as the town commemorates another year of the Old Home Day celebration.