Old Home Day

My small town (population around 5,000) celebrates Old Home Day on the Saturday before July 4th. It’s one of the best things about living here, and I make a point of staying put over the holiday. I’ve missed fewer than a half-dozen in the more than twenty years that I’ve lived in this town. There’s an ice cream social, a pet show, a frog jumping contest, a country fair with booths selling cotton candy, trail maps, and crafts (I was there with my Vintage Chicken Photographs postcard book and bags made from feedsacks.) There’s a ceremony honoring citizens, and the Minute Men fire off muskets. There’s even a soap box derby and a dunking booth!

It wouldn’t be a celebration without a parade. Ours doesn’t allow politicians. There are no marching bands. A horse and an American flag leads off.

parade horse


There are floats. Sort of.



The Cub Scouts throw candy to the cheering crowds people (it seems as if half of the population is in the parade, so there aren’t that many folks lining the route.)



People dance down the street (this group raises money to support the school.)



There are vintage cars and our new fire truck (driven by the only on-call, volunteer firefighters in the county.)

fire truck


It’s so exciting that most everyone takes a nap in the afternoon, and then returns to town for the Chicken BBQ at the fire station and then the CAKE WALK. A cake walk is like musical chairs, but the winner gets a cake.

cake walk


The cakes are donated by people who go to the cake walk. This year, 89 were dropped off at the town hall. For 50¢ you get a chance to win. I won!




On July 4th I’ll be at a friend’s cookout. I’m bringing a huge green salad (my lettuce is at its peak) and deviled eggs. Do you have plans? Let me know!


  1. Love this!! Our town has a pop. of 10,000 now but when I first came in the 1970`s it was very small like your town. We just celebrated `Canada Day` on July 1st and there are always similar activities but the car show is the big attraction during the day, then the fire department puts on a fantastic fireworks show in the harbour at dusk. It is always a great day to catch up with old friends and appreciate where we live…….Enjoy!

  2. Since we’re getting rain, rain and more rain in most of Georgia (2-4 inches predicted between Weds. and Fri.), I’ll be curling up with my Kindle.

  3. This just looks like a lot of fun. We have something similar on an even smaller scale. Always something to do and to see. Love the opening ceremony of the man on the horse with flag. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Love the float too. Glad you and your family had a good time…..

  4. I’m i NC now and like Melissa, it’s rain, rain, rain and more rain! Chapel Hill got 5 plus inches the other day with a report that it was coming down at the rate of 16 inches per hour. And I’m scheduled to have a new roof installed next week. We’ll see. So I may be spending the 4th checking for leaks. But I remember many an Old Home Day – a quilt entered in the art show, watching the kids and their pets being judged, kids getting faces painted, and the police chief in the dunking booth. Lots of fun being had by all.

    • If you came north you wouldn’t have escaped the rain! It’s been on and off for days. Luckily it held off for OHD.

  5. Yummmmmm deviled eggs from your backyard hens, I am envious! Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

  6. My small Oaktown of 400,000 has a fireworks party…not legal but since it seems that everyone here will be shooting off some monster explosion or another, the police can’t really stop the festivities. Not that the police here have been too successful as of late but that is another story. The fireworks here are seriously insane and Oaktowners like to get big ones. We’ll have some bbq and keep the hose ready in case of strays. Your cake looks delicious. Happy 4th!

  7. Our plans include moving our coop and trying to make a chicken playground, of sorts (inspired by your post this week). Then we’ll bbq and spend time with friends. Our village will have a Stars and Stripes Festival Friday night, but to tell the truth, I’d rather party down in your town! Did the librarians do cart drills again? What fun!

  8. Old Home Day looks like a truly American small town 4th of July Celebration! Thanks for sharing!
    My husband and I will be having people over, for fried chicken, deviled eggs, salads, watermelon, icecream,and other comfort foods!
    We have fireworks too!
    It is raining right now, and a chance that we may have a storm with large hail!
    I’m praying not, my garden is so pretty!
    I have squash, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, that will be ready to pick soon!
    Have a great holiday Terry!

  9. My wife and I are spending the 4th with family in Washington State…had a wonderful trip down memory lane with my sister today talking about the parades in Sudbury we enjoyed so much growing up as kids! Minuteman marching and firetrucks and drums and all that good stuff! I remember everyone walking past the stone walls of the cemetery at night going to watch the fireworks, standing there quietly oooing and ahhing in unison…Thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful, safe and dry 4th!

  10. We had a parade in our town of 4000 last night. It is the first 4 th of July parade in the country as it is always at Midnight. The town swells into the 70,000 plus range. We had rain all day yesterday as the floats were prepared . This year the theme was ladies in the Armed Services…..active and retired. It is always very patriotic, with a big nod to our military. Supposed to rain all day here in the Smokies too, but the celebration goes on. Today a River Regatta, and fireworks. Happy Fourth to all and God Bless America!!

    • Talking parades, but off subject:
      Rebecca, did you have any WASPs in your parade? Women Airforce Service Pilots? I am a fellow resident of two of these great, heroic ladies who flew and tested bombers in WW2 now in their nineties and wheelchair bound in this Assisted Living facility in Pasadena. There are not many still living. Their national WASP Association that promotes the WASP story and legacy as trailblazers for all women pilots in the military is working hard on putting together a tribute float in the next Rose Parade in Pasadena here on Jan. 1, 2014. Sorry for way off subject.         

  11. Off Topic but funny. Phoebe apparently likes to live dangerously. The hens are on the roost and she is under it! I hope she does not get pooped on! :-)

  12. “Happy 4th of July” to you Terry – and also to your family (human and otherwise).

  13. Totally off topic, but I just tuned in to Hencam, inside the little barn, and I noticed that Twinkydink was in one of the nestboxes, but appeared to be panting, and decided to leave. According to your webcam, you’re registering 90+ degrees F on your webcam at the moment, so no surprise that she was overheated in there and decided to go elsewhere. Then, when she went out into the run, she was checking out the rabbit hutch, which appears to be closed at the moment. Could she be looking for a place to lay an egg?

    • She is looking for a place to lay her egg. We had to kick Phoebe out of the coop, it was too hot for her. Phoebe is in her hutch, sitting on an ice pack. So, I don’t want a broody hen sitting on top of the rabbit! Twinkydink is 8 years old. She can figure it out.

      • Thanks, Terry. I did notice that your son removed an ice pack form the hutch, but didn’t see Phoebe in there, so didn’t make the connection. Apologies for being an alarmist – it’s just that I have a soft spot for Twinkydink … and Buffy … and Betsy.

  14. Hi Terry,
    Off subject, sorry. I wanted to give you an update on using sand in coop and run. Our run is 16 feet long, and hubby covered half with a roof. He separated the ground with a landscaping timber at half point. We put the sand under the sheltered part. We did this because we didn’t want sand where the sun could shine on it and make it hot. I remember at the beach the sand burning my feet and I didn’t want that for our girls. I remember too, that u said chickens needed good dark earth for various reasons. So we gave them both. We made the special rake and cleanup is a breeze. Sand slides right through it. Just takes a few minutes to clean it. I rake the earth part and the run is good to go. Works out same in coop. The tricky part of using sand is if it gets wet. Takes a little more muscle and vigorous shaking to get sand through the rake. It also takes a little while for it to dry out. All in all we like it. We will be going to pine chips in the coop this winter. Seems like it would be a little more warm and comfy. The river sand isn’t as cheap as we heard is was. It cost us 25 dollars for a half ton. Not sure yet how long it will last in run, but it will be replaced in coop in November. Half of ton did coop and run.

    • Very interesting! As your chickens mature, get older, and bits of manure makes its way into the sand, I’ll want to hear how it holds up.

      • I’ll keep u updated. Thanks for replying. Like the work all of you did on run at Little Barn.

        • Big clumps of poop is in sand now. Sand goes through hardware cloth and poop and other debris(feathers, mesh staples, stones, etc) stays in mesh. Hardware cloth is quarter of an inch.

      • I have sand in my run and love how easy it is to clean up. I have a sifter made out of 4 2by 4`s and hardware cloth about 2ft by 2ft sq. It takes me a grand total of 5 mins to clean my 6ft by 8ft run. The sand does need refreshing after 6 mos or so but not a whole load or anything…just a top-up.

  15. Ha Ha , Phoebe is in the nesting box and she looks like piglet!

  16. I like small town parades. Several years ago we we’re visiting a friend in Bar Harbor, Maine the first week of July. The 4th was a day long celebration that started with a pancake breakfast, then a home town parade, a lobster festival for lunch, a military band played before the day ended with fireworks over the harbor. It was the best 4th of July ever. We don’t have a parade in our city for the 4th of July. Maybe next year we’ll make a trip to Carlisle for Old Home Day so we can enjoy your festivities. It sounds like a fun filled day.