Thursday, December 5, 2013
Old Hallowell Day
By Susan McMillan email@example.com
HALLOWELL -- Someone is celebrating a big birthday this weekend.
A group of dancing rubber duckies from the NoHa neighborhood group performs in front of the judges’ stand during the Old Hallowell Day parade last year. The NoHa group of dancing duckies, and a couple of bathers in towels along with Bert and Ernie, won the Grand Marshall award as best overall entry.
Staff file photo by Joe Phelan
In addition to the usual parade, music and fireworks, this year's Old Hallowell Day is the high point of the yearlong celebration for the 250th anniversary of Hallowell's first recorded settlement.
"It's old friends, old times and appreciation of a community's really, really rich history," said Gerry Mahoney, co-chairman of the anniversary committee.
The events will begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday at City Hall, where city officials and festival organizers will raise a flag bearing a seal created for the 250th anniversary.
Saturday will start with a road race at 7:30 a.m., followed by a parade at 10 a.m. and a day full of activities, culminating with fireworks at 9 p.m. Mahoney said the Old Hallowell Day committee invested in a grander-than-usual fireworks show this year.
A full schedule of events is available at oldhallowellday.org or in the program books being distributed around town.
One twist on an Old Hallowell Day tradition is the cake-baking contest, with the categories "happy birthday Hallowell," "sinfully delicious," "old-fashioned recipe" and "professional."
"Instead of a pie contest this year, we changed it to cake, for birthday cake," said Jane Orbeton, chairwoman of the Old Hallowell Day committee. "It sounded like quite a few people were interested, and there's usually quite a few pies, so I think there would be plenty of interest in cake-baking."
There will be a strong emphasis on history throughout the festivities.
The parade, for example, will include the Old Thunder Jug cannon, the Hallowell Fire Department's hand pumper tub nicknamed "the Tiger" and a trolley rented by Row House for previous Citizen of the Year award winners to ride.
Re-enactors from Fort Western, James Howard's Company and Goodwin's and White's companies also will march in the parade, then assemble afterward at the Vaughan Homestead for a militia encampment and demonstrations of life and dress from the colonial period.
Mahoney said a blacksmith will be on site and a demonstration of wood-hewing and timber-framing techniques will be presented, as well as period games for children.
For a look at the modern military, two Coast Guard vessels will be tied up at the waterfront all day Saturday. Coast Guard personnel will offer tours.
At noon Saturday, awards will be presented for parade entries, Citizen of the Year and the Timson Community Service Award.
The 2012 Citizen of the Year is Al Hague, who was treasurer of the committee that organized Hallowell's bicentennial celebration in 1962. Since then, Hague has served on several municipal boards and committees.
Hague also is a supporter of Row House, the historic preservation organization, and worked on the restoration of the Old Thunder Jug cannon and the preservation of Hallowell's last known granite quarry crane.
The Barry S. Timson Award for Community Service will go to 7-year-old twins Ava and Noah Katz, who organized a downtown cleanup day held in May as part of the 250th anniversary observations. They hope to make it an annual tradition.
The 250th anniversary celebration began in January with the inauguration of city officials and will continue into late fall.
"There will be more events in August, September and October, so it's not all over at Old Hallowell Day, the way it usually is," Orbeton said. "We want people to keep their eyes open and come join us for more events for the rest of the year."
Susan McMillan -- 621-5645