Show shines on 75th anniversary

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

It’s difficult to imagine too much of anything that lasts for 75 years. That kind of longevity isn’t celebrated every day. But that’s just what we have right here in our own backyard with the Rescue Hose Company Minstrel Show.

The diamond anniversary of the hobo minstrels that have provided needed funding for the rescue services of our community and have made lots of laughs to boot will hit the stage this weekend. This edition is appropriately called, “Our 75th Season…A Greencastle Minstrels Tradition!” Volunteers started the first show in 1929 and there are more than 70 volunteers involved in bringing this 75th show to the community. 

We are pretty sure that this event is the longest running minstrel group in the United States. When you think about that it’s pretty amazing. Think of all the tunes, jokes and general zaniness that has passed through the air at the venues such as the Gem Theater, the auditorium in the old high school and the carpeted, padded seats of the current high school auditorium. If only the walls could talk!

The fact that the minstrel show survives and thrives is a credit to our Greencastle-Antrim community. We are willling to poke fun at ourselves and bring our amateur voices to the stage all for a good cause. But we have a feeling that those volunteers themselves have just as good a time as the audience.

And as a news release from the Rescue Hose Co. said, even in these “challenging economic times, you can enjoy an evening of laughter and entertainment for just five bucks.” It’s a rare bargain and for a great cause. 

The cast will present programs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 4, 5 and 6 in the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium on South Ridge Avenue. Tickets remain at just $5 per person. Children 10 and under will be admitted for $3. Tickets are available at the door each evening.

Proceeds benefit the Rescue Hose Company, Inc. providing fire, rescue, and emergency medical services to the citizens and visitors of the Greencastle-Antrim community since 1896.

You can also get dinner for the evening at the school as the Greencastle Rotary Club sponsors an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner in the high school cafeteria from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday for another good cause. The cost is $6.50 for adults and $4 for ages 6 to 12. Under 6 are free. Proceeds will benefit the Greencastle Organized Youth Foundation at the former train station.

The volunteerism of those involved and the support from the public that traditionally is shown for the minstrel show have provided Greencastle-Antrim with 75 strong renditions of this community event. There certainly is no diamond in the rough here. Instead it makes the Greencastle-Antrim community shine and glisten once more.