Old Home Day Aug. 23 3014

Petersham Grange No. 95 teamed up with the local Lions Club on Aug. 23 to co-sponsor the community’s 2014 Old Home Day . The Grange returned to its traditional role of coordinating the Ag Fair  this year after a 19-year hiatus during which Lions’ Club member Ken Simmons managed the event.

Grange members planned and organized the traditional Agricultural Fair part of the day’s events. Area residents are encouraged to bring produce, craft items, baked and canned items and floral arrangements for judging and  an auction. This year, the fair included an update on the Grange Big Pumpkin contest and a chance to “guess the weight” of one of the pumpkins. About 20 families are still in the running in the Big Pumpkin Contest which will have a final event and announce a  winner on Labor Day weekend. More than 60 families signed up for the contest last spring when the Grange provided giant pumpkin seeds to those who joined in by signing up at the Memorial Library. Lecturer Ellen Anderson is keeping a database of the contestants, soil and growing conditions and pictures of the pumpkins.

The winner of the pumpkin guessing contest was second grader Alex Armstrong with the closest guess. Alex guessed 138 pounds and the pumpkin came in at 136 pounds when it was weighed. Some 96 people each chipped in a quarter for their guess and the Grange raised $24 for the treasury.

Simmons oversaw the auction, which drew about 50 participants and raised a total of $667 for Grange programs. Other sales of member-donated produce, including local garlic from member Bob Hayward and members at our Grange-sponsored community garden, have produced about $200 over the past three weeks at the Grange pop-up tent at the local Friday Market.

Old Home Day wound up with a Lions’ Club chicken bar-b-que for more than 60 people. The Petersham Brass Band played its 801st concert on the town bandstand on the common.

Petersham Grange No. 95 will hold its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 in the Congregational Church Hall and will welcome four more new members at that meeting.

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