Weather no match for Old Home Day spirit
The music of the Windham Swing Band was perhaps a bit too loud for 4-year-old Emaline Lombo, who attended with her grandfather Paul Green. The free concert concluded the first night of Londonderry Old Home Day. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)
Wednesday evening's senior citizen barbecue marked the start of this year's Londonderry Old Home Day festivities.
Though weather predictions necessitated a last-minute move to the high school cafeteria, the event was heavily attended as usual, with the town's elder residents enjoying such barbecue fare as hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad and ice cream.
This year marked the first time in three years that uncooperative weather forced event organizers to bring the party, usually held at the Lions Club's outdoor pavilion on Mammoth Road, inside.
Wednesday began with gray clouds and showers, and despite the appearance of sunshine by late afternoon, the high likeliness of a thunderstorm hitting when the event was in full force led to the decision.
Earlier that morning, Old Home Day Committee members Carole Connolly and Kathy Wagner headed over to the high school kitchen to bake dozens of chocolate chip cookies for the evening dinner.
“It was raining buckets right then, and I just didn't want to take any chances,” Connolly said. “This works out better anyway because there are no mosquitoes, not to mention air conditioning.”
Members of the St. Jude Parish Maidens of Joan of Arc, a youth fellowship for young women, volunteered to serve dinner, with Lions Club members diligently manning the outdoor grills.
Kathy McKenney, one of the adult advisers for the local youth group, said the barbecue is something the teens look forward to each summer.
“It's always nice to see them mingle with the local seniors,” she said.
With dozens and dozens of the town's seniors gathered in one spot, Londonderry firefighter Trish Hammon decided to set up a makeshift booth to inform citizens about fire safety and the importance of functioning smoke detectors. Many guests stopped by her booth to collect the free batteries being offered.
As they enjoyed a hearty meal, the local seniors hobnobbed with town officials and local legislators, although Gov. John Lynch was unable to attend as planned due to a last-minute scheduling conflict.
Lynch promised to instead march in Saturday's Old Home Day parade and said he'd be sure to make a stop over at the Londonderry Senior Citizens Inc. booth on the Town Common following the parade.
Immediately following dinner, music lovers of all ages gathered in the cafeteria to enjoy a lively (and free) performance by the Windham Swing Band.
Old Home Day festivities continue through Sunday, with Kidz Night to take place Thursday evening on Town Common; the fire and police department softball match, Souled Out Show Band concert and fireworks at Londonderry High School on Friday evening; a 5K road race, parade, town fair, hot-air balloon rides and historical reenactments in the town center on Saturday, and a Christian music concert on Sunday evening.
For a complete list of events and times, visit www.oldhomeday.com.
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April Guilmet may be reached at AGuilmet@newstote.com.
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