Old Home Days canceled for 2019

HARRISON — Old Home Days appears to be headed for another sabbatical.

Harrison’s annual July festival will be on hiatus in 2019 with the announcement by the Harrison Friendly Riders Snowmobile Club that it voted to discontinue organizing and running the event.

Club president Chris Searles made the announcement on the group’s Facebook page: “Good morning all. In 2015, the Harrison Old Home Days Committee disbanded due to lack of volunteers. At that time, the Harrison Friendly Riders Snowmobile Club stepped in and committed to run Harrison Old Home days for the next three years and would re-evaluate at that time. HFRSC has voted not to continue to run Harrison Old Home Days. Rising cost of insurance, public safety and other logistics issues were all factors in this decision. HFRSC feels our resources will be better used to continue our efforts to maintain the trail systems that link multiple communities. HFRSC would like to extend our gratitude to the various groups, organizations and businesses that have always supported Harrison Old Home Days and HFRSC. We look forward to working with these groups, organizations and businesses in future endeavors to continue to support our community.”

A summer fair has been a tradition in Harrison dating back to 1886 when the town hosted an event that included a cattle show, working oxen, mechanical and art products and a Baby Show. The Harrison Fair had been revived following an eight-year lapse.

The fair also went dark from 1922 to 1933 when the event was revived as the Harrison Frolic and Old Home Week Celebration. It included agricultural events, as well as a Vaudeville Show and baseball games pitting Harrison teams against other towns (Buckfield) and camps (Zakelo).

In 1967, the fair was again discontinued. It resurfaced in 1977 thanks to a small group of citizens, who “missed it” and felt it gave many local organizations an opportunity to fund raise. In 1978, the popular Flatland Cloggers were added to the list of performers, and became a major hit.

Old Home Days has included a road race, kids and grand parades, performances and amusement rides set up at Crystal Lake Park.

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