43rd Rockingham Old Home Days entertains the crowds

Old Home Days
Rockingham Old Home Days fireworks. Photo by Betsy Thurston

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – From the Moose Lodge to the festivities at the Waypoint Center, folks celebrating the 43rd Rockingham Old Home Days over the weekend of Aug. 3 were hot and happy.

Old Home Days
Winner Katie Mack finished the 5K at 22:22. Photo by Betsy Thurston

Saturday festivities began at 7:15 a.m. with registration for the Bring It Home 5k, organized this year by Bellows Falls Union High School senior, Tim Salter Roy. Gail Hynes Photography documented his project. The race began and finished at the WayPoint Center. Katie Mack won first place with a time of 22.22. Following in second and third were Amy Rounds and Molly Hodsden, 16, with times of 23:52 and 23:56 respectively. Joseph Bevilacqua, the first man to cross the finish line, came in fourth place overall with a time of 24:00.

Food vendors and activities set up at the WayPoint Center by noon, followed by donut, pizza, and ice cream eating contests supplied by Allen Brothers, Athen’s Pizza, and Dari Joy. Live music and performances by Nimble Arts, The Little Big Band, Road Trash Band, Keene Idol occupied the main stage.

Efficiency Vermont’s zero energy modular home was open for viewing on their last day at the Waypoint Center while kids enjoyed Cheryl the Clown, Touch a Truck, a bounce house, face painting, and more.

Bellows Falls Fire Department performed a rescue simulation with the jaws of life. Impressively, within 15 minutes of truck arrival, they had extricated the “victim” safely by cutting the doors off and completely and safely removing the roof.


Old Home Days
In just over 15 minutes, members of the Bellows Falls fire department had secured the vehicle, cut the doors and roof off and removed the victim safely. Photo by Betsy Thurston

The Bellows Falls Historical Society was open at their new location at 31 Westminster St., and next door Kassandra and Katie at The Threaded Trunk Boutique and Katie’s Jewelry and Gifts celebrated their grand opening with treats by Diane Bartlett. Many of the other shops in the Square particpated in the sidewalk sale Friday and Saturday, leading up to the fireworks Saturday evening.

At 17 Bridge St., the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder and Vistor Center was open to visitors, offering a unique perspective of the Connecticut River through the migrating patterns of local fish species. At the Bellows Falls Union High School, the Green Mountain Chapter of the American Truck Society hosted its annual truck show.

While a Tug-of-War between the Bellows Falls, Walpole, and North Walpole fire departments had been advertised, the event did not take place. However, Chief Crawford of the North Walpole Fire Department vows next year for sure, as Bellows Falls wants the cup back.

By Saturday evening, the roads were closed as crowds from Rockingham and neighboring towns settled in for the fireworks, provided by Brent Lisai and the Rockingham Old Home Days Committe, which began promptly at 9:30 p.m. A brilliant display burst from the island and illuminated the Connecticut River and Fall Mountain for a spectacular end to a festive day.

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