The week in review: Final meeting held for Old Home Week 2022

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Garon Gembe is ready to make sure there is better lighting for the porta potties when he leads the 42nd triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week Aug. 2 to 9, 2025.

Committee leaders closed the book on the 41st triennial celebration with a wrapup meeting on Aug. 29.

They recapped the week and already are thinking about how to make a good thing even better three years from now.

See photos of the picture:Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week official picture taken Aug. 10

41st triennial celebration: It was another magical Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week

These Old Home Week organizers attended the Aug. 29 wrapup meeting for the 41st triennial Greencastle-Antrim celebration.

More than 50 committees support the Old Home Week president, whose one assigned task is oversight of the portable toilets. Inadequate lighting for the ones near Center Square was one of the comments shared by Sara Hollinshead, who chairs the suggestions and comments committee.

“My understanding is this is my most important job. I will try to make sure this happens,” said Gembe, who announced the first meeting for the next Old Home Week will be held Sept. 23, 2024.

What the 2022 president had to say

“What an Old Home Week this was,” said Bonnie Shockey, president of this year’s 41st Old Home Week held Aug. 6 to 13.

“It was post-COVID and everyone was just waiting for something good to happen,” Shockey said.

Bonnie Shockey, president of the 41st triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week is shown with, from left, Brad Barkdoll, treasurer of the Old Home Week Association; Garon Gembe, president of the 42nd triennial OHW in 2025; Frank Ervin, president of the 31st OHW in 1992 and chair of the OHW Board of Directors; and Vernon McCauley, secretary of the OHW Association for 2025 and president of the 43rd triennial OHW in 2028.

“It takes a village to make this happen,” she continued, expressing her appreciation for the committees that provided activities and logistics for the celebration which has been held every three years since 1902.

“It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as president of Old Home Week,” Shockey said. “It was a hectic week, but I did my best to stay in the moment and see smiles on faces … children, teens, everybody.”

How the numbers added up in 2022

Headquarters on Center Square was the OHW hub and Gary Murray reported it was open for 96 ½ hours over nine days thanks to 46 volunteers. Some 1,043 households registered and $16,247 in badge and merchandise sales were recorded.

“It was put to bed at 4 o’clock Saturday until 2025,” Murray said.

Gary and Daphne Murray are among the chairs of the Old Home Week headquarters committee, taking over for her parents Robert and Jeannie Johnston, who retired after the 2019 triennial celebration.

Judging by the amount of ice cream consumed, well over 900 youngsters turned out for the fun fair at the playground, according to Kristen Sutherin. She noted Marty Boscolo had to keep running back to Mikie’s Ice Cream to fill up.

The cornhole tournament debuted in 2019 with 53 teams. This year it was separated into competitive and fun divisions and attracted 68 teams, including 27 that registered the day of the event, according to Lisa Szaflarski.

The dog show saw a record 72 participants and about 500 spectators, while there were 60 exhibitors and over 700 visitors at the flower show.

Boy Scout Troop 99 sold more food than in 2019 at its concession stand, manned day and night on Center Square; more than 550 people enjoyed orange creamsicles at the G-A Chamber of Commerce social; 500 vehicles crossed Martin’s Mill Bridge; the official picture was a record-setter with over 2,000 people; and between 800 and 900 people visited Allison-Antrim Museum.

Mike Bock said he was impressed with the number of young people at Music on the Square.

“That’s always a good sign Old Home Week is going to continue,” he said.

What’s in store for 2025?

One of the big changes for the 42nd triennial will be the leadership of the parade.

“I’ve enjoyed my last six parades,” said John Alleman, who will hand the reins to Zach and Megan Barkdoll.

This year’s parade had 153 entries, the most in recent Old Home Week memory, according to Alleman, who recalled 15 years ago when it poured rain and the parade had to be postponed until Saturday.

This year’s parade went on despite a quick rain just as it was supposed to start.

Jerr-Dan’s entry in the Old Home Week parade celebrated the company’s 50th anniversary.

“The people at Walter Avenue got soaked,” Alleman observed.

“The judges were so happy to be a part of it,” he added. Community entries were judged by representatives of Hagerstown’s Alsatia Club, who usually see 180 to 200 participants in their Mummers Parade, while members of the Rescue Hose Co. judged fire apparatus.

The community OHW mural created at Paint in the Park is on display in the barn at Allison-Antrim Museum. Three years from now, something similar will be done so the two can be put back-to-back on a float in the parade, Julie Rohm said.

The petting zoo was a big hit, but there won’t be a candy scramble at the fun fair. Although she had 16 bags of candy for each age group, there were so many children that some just got one piece of candy, Sutherin said.

The flower show might by scaled back to one day with longer hours, according to Reagan Doyle. Some suggestions for the flower show include background music and a flower arranging workshop.

And there will probably be an app for that. An Old Home Week app was suggested in both 2019 and 2022.

Old Home Week 2022 is gone, but not forgotten

There’s already a countdown for 2025 on the Old Home Week website, which also features thousands of photos from 2022.

The site features videos, too, including the Reminiscing sessions on topics from “Growing Up in Shady Grove” and “Grove Pilots” to “Henson’s Bakery” and Greencastle Brian Fuss, CBS cameraman at the White House.

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at shardy@gannett.com