This year marks the 115th Old Home Day celebration, and organizers have a full slate of activities planned.
The festivities began Wednesday, Aug. 13, with a senior barbecue and Windham Swing Band concert, and events are scheduled for every day, Thursday, Aug. 14, through Sunday, Aug. 17.
The theme for this year’s festival, submitted by Deanna Poulin’s fourth grade class at South School, is “Londonderry…Where Memories Are Made.”
Children are in the forefront Thursday, Aug. 14, with entertainment from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the Town Common geared to ages 10 and under. The kids will be treated to a Fun Bounce, face painting, Bektash Clowns, military vehicles, costumed characters, popcorn, hot dogs and hamburgers.
Friday, Aug. 15, features a concert from The Voice, which performs covers of current and classic rock tunes. Prior to the concert are pie eating and bubble gum blowing contests. The concert starts at 7:15 p.m. and will end at 8:45 p.m.
Also that evening the local police and fire department softball rivalry will be revisited, with a game at 6 p.m., rain or shine.
The Friday activities come to a close following the concert with a fireworks show. The Londonderry Fire Department has contracted with local fireworks company Atlas Fireworks to stage a pyrotechnic show with over 5,000 explosions. There is no rain date for the fireworks.
On Saturday, Aug. 16, a continental breakfast for early risers will be offered at the Londonderry Methodist Church, hosted by Orchard Christian Fellowship, prior to the Lundgren 5K Road race, which starts at 8 a.m. Riders can soar above Londonderry in a tethered hot air balloon from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Matthew Thornton field; attend a baby contest and play games at the Matthew Thornton gym; walk across the street to the Grange Hall from noon until 3:30 p.m. for a pie baking contest; watch demonstrations all day by the Londonderry High School robotics team, the PVC Pirates; and visit the many vendors and non-profit groups with booths set out all over the Town Common. Entertainment is featured on the bandstand in the afternoon, and a baby changing station is set up at the Londonderry Methodist Church across from the Common on Mammoth Road.
And just down Pillsbury Road from the Town Common, the Londonderry Historical Society offers Capt. Morrill’s Company colonial re-enactors as well as a farmers’ market and a chance to get a close look at the historical artifacts and buildings at the Society.
Saturday’s biggest event is the annual Old Home Day parade, which begins at Londonderry Middle School and ends at Mack’s Apples in a route along Mammoth Road. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m., rain or shine, and features plenty of political candidates, non-profit groups, bands and businesses.
New this year is a beer tent at the Lions Hall across from the Common, with beer supplied by the 603 Brewery. The beer tent is back after a 20-year absence; proper ID is required. The Lions will offer sausage sandwiches under the Lions Pavilion and family Bingo will be held at the Matthew Thornton gym from 3 to 4 p.m.
Londonderry’s youngest stars will have two ways to shine on Saturday, as Londonderry Sings, an Idol-type competition now in its fifth year, will take the bandstand stage from 1 to 3 p.m. and Applestock, in its sixth year, will perform from 7 to 10:30 p.m.
Activities on Sunday, Aug. 17, begin with a Christian church service at 11 a.m., followed by a free corn roast with plenty of hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks and dessert to follow from 12:15 to 2 p.m. A jazz combo will entertain.
A complete listing of Old Home Day events can be found in a supplement included in today’s edition of the Londonderry Times.