It is the 133rd Hancock Old Home Day this weekend. Festivities begin tomorrow evening and continue with a packed agenda all day Saturday and Sunday morning. Magic shows, ice cream social, the Annual 5k Betty Pels Run for the Honey race, pony rides, music, pie eating contest and chicken barbecue. And more music. And more food.
What is Old Home Day? It’s a great returning – literally and figuratively. It’s an organized migration home and into the streets to be with your neighbors and family and celebrate roots.
Specifically, Old Home Day (or, Old Home Week) was the notion of a man named Frank Rollins, who became Governor of New Hampshire in 1899 and urged the State’s sons and daughters to come home for a week each summer, from the busy cities to where they had headed, in order to stay in touch with the values that embodied small town, New England tradition. He was trying to save New Hampshire from a massive talent drain at the time, but it is true enough to say that the values he was selling as an alternative to the allure of the cities have built Old Home Day into a lasting tradition throughout New Hampshire and elsewhere.