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Town and Village

Coming home for parades, geocaching, and a variety show

Whitingham celebrates Old Home Week

WHITINGHAM—With less than a week to go before Whitingham’s Old Home Week festivities, the event’s legion of volunteers are all hands to the pumps.

“We often say it’s great because we remember how much fun it was and forget how much work it was,” laughs Leon Corse, who is marking his fourth Old Home Week.

Started in 1906 and repeated once a decade, the event serves to welcome people home for a visit, Corse explained.

Old Home Week runs from Aug. 11 to 14. Most of the events happen at the Twin Valley Middle High School on Route 100. All events are free except for the meals.

“This endeavor takes dozens of people,” Corse said.

A dinner and variety show kick off Old Home Week on Aug. 11.

Corse said he looks forward to the variety show, which he scripted, and to the parade.

The variety show centers on a conversation between Corse’s great-grandfather, Lester Corse, and Lester’s sister Ophelia Farrington. The year is 1906. Corse plays the part of Lester and Cheryl Boyd plays the part of Ophelia.

In keeping with the themes of family and local history, the rocking chairs used for the show came from the Corse family home.

A chorus of 16 will open the show with an original song, “Whitingham,” written by resident Vanda Warner, Corse said. (Full disclosure: Vanda Warner is this reporter’s step-mother.) The rest of the show’s music hails from the early 1900s — songs like “Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay!,” “Wabash Cannonball,” and “I Don’t Like Your Family.”

“Old Home Week is a little like a fair without the commercialism,” Corse said.

According to Corse, Old Home Week is funded by taxes, with the exception of the fireworks.

New this year is an introduction to geocaching and tour of Town Hill where the village of Whitingham first stood. Geocaching is a type of treasure hunt.

Liz Fournier, a geocaching enthusiast, co-leads the Sunday afternoon event which she called a kind of “hide and seek game.”

While none of the original town buildings remain, Fournier said, participants will find clues. Solving the clues leads to significant sites on Town Hill. There is also a door prize.

People should visit before attending the event and should have a GPS device or smartphone.

Other Old Home Week events include a Children’s Parade, history presentation, wiffle ball and horseshoe tournaments, White Elephant Bingo, and fireworks.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #369 (Wednesday, August 10, 2016). This story appeared on page A4.

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