50th Phillips Old Home Days celebrates summer

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PHILLIPS – This year, the 50th Annual Old Home Days promises to be bigger, more surprising and will light up the sky Saturday night with fireworks as the town celebrates its summer get together.

The tradition of honoring a person or a couple during Old Home Days has taken on a new dimension this year because no one knows who it’s going to be. The idea of surprising the honoree or honorees is something new the Phillips Area Chamber of Commerce committee wanted to try.

Last year’s Old Home Days parade drew an estimated 6,000 people. Organizers expect a larger crowd this year.

And it has kept everybody guessing, said Chamber president Janet White. “People have been trying to figure out who it is. Someone thought maybe it was Obama,” White said laughing. As for someone spilling the beans, especially in this small town where everyone knows everyone else’s mother, White reports “so far we’ve done really well. And, if it all continues to go well, everyone’s going to be surprised.” The unveiling will take place in the parade as the surprised person or couple will be asked to ride up front in a car adorned with the announcement.

As for the parade’s crowd size, last year drew, according to Sheriff Dennis Pike, an estimated 6,000 people. White is expecting many more because this being the 50th year and in an informal poll of local inns, she found many are fully booked.

“We’re hoping to have more people this year because it’s the 50th. A lot of people make this the week to come here for a vacation and a lot come home for this,” White said.

A great fireworks show will be held at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday night from North Franklin Park, thanks to many generous donations that topped the $4,000 the committee was hoping for. There will be no parking in the park but people can walk in from the surrounding parking areas nearby to see the show.

“We’re really excited about the fireworks,” White said. “People gave above and beyond what we had hoped for.”

Traditionally, the Phillips annual bash brings a week-long wide variety of activities and this year is no exception.

New this year tonight is Cruisin’ Night at Country Delight on Rangeley Road/ Route 4 in Avon. Vintage cars will be on display with prizes and ribbons awarded. The Phillips eight-grade-sponsored Talent Show is also Tuesday night at the school.

The annual Frog Jumping Contest, sponsored by the Avon Mall, is just one of the many events held during the Phillips Old Home Days.

The flower and garden show sponsored by the Phillips Conservation Commission will be accepting entries Thursday from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the library. Winona’s golf ball drop is at dusk.

On Friday, the Phillips Historical House is open from 10 – 3 p.m. to show off its wonderful collection. Train rides at Dill Woods will run 10-3 p.m. There will be fairies and other artfully magical events again this year at Morning Bridge Center on Main Street from 1-5 p.m., while next door at the Community House, the famous Ellis chicken BBQ and bean hole beans will be served up from 4-7 p.m.

The parade with the theme, “50 Years of Memories” starts at 5 p.m. from North Franklin Park and heads south on Main Street. Line up begins at 4 p.m. A street dance follows on Main Street from 7:30-10:30 p.m. In case of rain, the dance will be held a block over on Depot Street at the Alumni Gym. Lantern Run train rides run from 8-9 p.m. in Dill Woods.

New this year on Saturday from 9-3 p.m. is a craft and artisan fair in Trecartin Park. So far, 17 tables have been reserved but White expects many more by Saturday. At 9 a.m. the Paul G. Whittemore road race will be held. Register at the front of the Phillips Hardware store before the race start. Lumbering competition also starts at 9 a.m. in North Franklin Park. Bring your chainsaw and show ’em how it’s done. For more info, call Tim at 639-2025.

From 10-2 p.m. check out the neighboring Madrid Historical Society’s pride and joy, the Madrid School House. Displays and the historic building’s renovation are a must see. Bicycle race at 10:30 starts at the library on Main Street, horse pulling at 1 p.m. at North Franklin Park, and the Frog Jumping contest at Avon Mall on Route 4 in Avon starts 1 p.m. Bring your own frog, but if you don’t have a frog handy, Kirby can lend you one. Marie’s bath tub races start at 3 p.m. on Toothaker Pond. Call 639-5141 for more.

Sunday, have breakfast at the Sandy River Flying Club at Lindbergh Airport from 6-10 a.m. then head over to the (not real chickens) chicken shoot at North Franklin Park at 9 a.m. Volleyball tourney at noon at North Franklin Park and at 1 p.m. the Duck Derby. For more events, check the schedule listed below. 


Schedule of Events for the Phillips Home Days

Tuesday, August 12th

  • 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. New!!! Cruise-In Night: Country Delight in Avon. Vintage Vehicles on display, prizes and ribbons will be awarded. Sponsored by Phillips Constuction & Country Delight.
  • 7:00 p.m. Talent Show: Phillips Elementary School. Comedians, Musicians, and more! Hosted by the Phillips 8th Grade.


Wednesday, August 13th

  • 7:00 p.m. Cribbage: American Legion on Depot Street


Thursday, August 14th

  • 4:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m. Sign up for the Flower & Garden Show: Drop entries off at the Phillips Public Library. Sponsored by The Phillips Conservation Commission. FMI 639-5518 or 639-2819.
  • DuskGolf Ball Drop (weather permitting) Balls may be purchased any time from Winona Davenport.
  • 6:00 p.m. Lighthouse Christian Church: Come and enjoy the Largest Banana Split you’ll ever see!!!
  • 7:00 p.m. Fashion Revue: Phillips Elementary School. Hosted by the Phillips 8th Grade
  • 3:00 p.m. Bathtub Races: Toothaker Pond FMI 639-5141. Sponsored by Marie Pillsbury.
  • 6:30 p.m. American Legion Bingo: Legion Hall on Depot Street.
  • 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. “Lantern Run” Train rides in the Dill Woods.
  • 8:30 p.m. FIREWORKS (Rain date Sunday the 17th) Watch them at North Franklin Park.


Friday, August 15th

  • 10:00am-3:00pm Phillips Historical House: Located on Pleasant Street. Come see all the exhibits and learn the history.
  • Phillips Shared Ministry: “Bake sale”
  • 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Giant Book Sale: Phillips Public Library
  • 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Narrow Gauge Quilters: Display at the Congregational Church
  • 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Train Rides: Dill Woods
  • 12:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Healthy Community Coalition Van. Blood Pressure, health information & screenings. Hey Kids, they will also have bike helmets to fit and only a $6.00 donation is asked, you can’t beat that!!!
  • 12:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m. Flower and Garden Show: Phillips Public Library. Sponsored by Phillips Conservation Commission.
  • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Wonderland: Next to the Community House (Sanders’ front yard) It’s a delight for all ages. There will be fairy wings, crowns, magic wands, pirate hats, decorate a treasure box, face painting, balloons, coloring books & get your picture taken. There will be sno-cones & more! All for free, come by and join us for an enchanting time! Sponsored by Morning Bridge Center.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open House: Agricultural Building. Located at the entrance of North Franklin Park.
  • 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Open House: Phillips Fire Department & Northstar Ambulance Base, located at the entrance of North Franklin Park
  • 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Ellis Chicken BBQ & Bean Hole Beans: The Community House lawn, YUM! YUM!!!
  • 5:00 p.m. The 50th Annual Phillips Old Home Days Parade: Watch on Main Street. All entries must line up at the North Franklin Park by 4:00 p.m.
  • 6:30 p.m. American Legion Bingo: Legion Hall on Depot Street.
  • 7:30 p.m. -10:30 p.m. Street Dance: Main Street Dreamin’Big DJ & Karoake. Rain location is at the Alumni Gym on Depot Street. Sponsored by 5K Pizza
  • 8:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m. “Lantern Run” Train Rides: Dill Woods. Saturday, August 16th
  • 6:00 a.m. -11:00 p.m. Breakfast with Sandy River Flying Club: Lindberg Airport
  • 9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. NEW!!! Craft/Artisan Fair: Trecartin Park. Call 639-4118 to reserve your space, spaces are limited.
  • 9:00 a.m. Paul G. Whittemore Road Race: Main Street. Register early in front of the Phillips Hardware, all ages welcome. Sponsored by Kinney Construction & Bruce Manzer, Inc.
  • Lumbering Competition: North Franklin Park “Bring Those Chainsaws!”Bucksaw, crosscut saw, dot split competition and more. Men & women compete! Call Tim FMI 639-2025. Sponsored by E.R. Caton & Son Trucking.
  • 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. New!!! Madrid Historical Society: Madrid, Maine. Come see displays of The Madrid School. 
  • 10:00 a.m. – Noon: Phillips Historical House: Located on Pleasant Street. Come see all the exhibits and learn history.
  • 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Narrow Gauge Quilters: Congregational Church. See all the wonderful quilts on display.
  • 10:30 a.m. Bicycle Race: Sign up in front of the Library. Ages 0-17. Early registration is helpful. All entrants will be signed up to win a bicycle, two bikes have been donated by Steve & Mary White. Sponsored by Steve White’s Plumbing.
  • 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Flower & Garden Show: Phillips Public Library. Sponsored by the Conservation Commission (pick up arrangements between 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.)
  • Giant Book Sale: Phillips Public Library
  • 1:00 p.m. Horse Pulling: North Franklin Park. Sponsored in part by “Tuttles Auto Sales” our friend “AL”
  • Kids Frog Jumping Contest: Avon Mall, Rte 4. Bring your own FROG!!! Kirby will have frogs available for those who don’t. Sponsored by Avon Mall. FMI 639-3264. $5.00 Entrance Fee to the North Franklin Park on Saturday (Under 12 free)


Sunday, August 17th

  • 6:00 a.m.- 11:00 p.m. Breakfast with Sandy River Flying Club: Lindbergh Airport.
  • 9:00 a.m. Chicken Shoot: North Franklin Park. No, it’s not really chickens! Stop by and check it out. Sponsored by North Franklin Sportsman Club.
  • 9:30 a.m. Sunday School: Lighthouse Christian Church.
  • 11:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. Sunday Services: Lighthouse Christian Church.
  • 11:00 a.m. Bob Parkers Childrens Parade: Main Street. Sponsored by the “Red Hat Has Beens”& The Phillips. Shared Ministry Womens Group. All drawings and raffles will be drawn after the childrens parade. Rain location: Alumni Gym on Depot Street.
  • 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Train Rides: Dill Woods.
  • Noon. Bill Robichaud Memorial Volleyball Tournament: North Franklin Park. Register at 11:30 a.m. $15.00/ Team. Contact Nancy FMI 639-3033
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Phillips Historical House: Pleasant Street. Come see the exhibits and learn history.
  • 1:00 p.m. Duck Derby: The bridge in town. Ducks may be purchased at the Phillips Public Library. Sponsored by Phillips Public Library.
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