The Blueberry Festival will wrap up this weekend with a dozen or more events. There’s something for everyone this weekend, but if we were going to pick one event that’s not to be missed, it’s the village stroll and block party in Wilmington Village. With live music, food, and fun at every stop, you can’t go wrong.
We’ve said it before, but what makes the Blueberry Festival so successful is that it has the enthusiastic support and involvement of local residents. Tourists and visitors can tell when an event is staged for their benefit, and people who come to the valley are looking for something a little more genuine. The Blueberry Festival delivers, and to visitors in the valley, it seems as if they’ve stumbled upon a real hometown celebration. And they have.
And the rest of the summer’s celebrations are just as genuine. Next week, Wilmington welcomes old and new Wilmingtonians to their 13th Old Home Week. Held every 10 years since 1890, some say Wilmington’s Old Home Week may be the oldest in the country. Old Home Week was originally intended to welcome Wilmington ex-pats, many of whom had left to seek their fortunes as the country expanded westward.
This year, the Wilmington Old Home Week Committee has made a concerted effort to reach out to new residents and second-home owners with an invitation to join in the festivities. Wilmington is lucky to have a substantial population of second-home owners who are always ready to step forward with a donation or a helping hand when their adopted town needs them. Their lives have become intertwined with Wilmington and the valley through the friendships they’ve made and the investment they’ve made in the community.
We’d like to join the committee in encouraging second-home owners to get involved in the fun – go to the town barbecue, the ice cream social, the town banquet, and be sure to be standing in Baker Field for the town photograph. Share your memories of the first time you “discovered” Wilmington, and tell us what has kept you coming back year after year. Second-home owners’ contributions to the town of Wilmington are as significant as those of the people who came here 100 years ago, to stay a few years or a few generations, and Old Home Week is a celebration for part-time Wilmingtonians, too.
Old Home Week won’t even be over when the Deerfield Valley Farmers’ Day begins. Starting a little earlier than usual this year, the fair will kick off on Sunday, August 15, with the always-popular demolition derby. The fairgrounds and midway will open on Thursday, August 19, and the classic car show and truck pull will cap off the fair on Sunday, August 22. The timing is a departure from most years – the derby usually marks the end of the fair.
And if that’s not enough local flavor for you, it will only be a little more than a month after the end of the fair that Dover will hold their bicentennial celebration. Over the first weekend in October, Dover’s 200th birthday bash will include everything from a street fair to a square dance, historical presentations and, of course, fireworks.