Old Home Day is a lot like a State Fair, many days and way to many things for one person to do. This year we had several photographers and authors covering the events. More stories to follow this week. Jacklynn had “the night off” even so was rather excited by the intensity of the event. She had never been before with her children, but assigned the promo story last week. That led to bundling them all up for a trip to the Londonderry Town Common Thursday night.
Her next day at work she could not stop talking about the event! Rather than burden her with writing a story, we asked for her just to tell the tale of her experience.
Kathy and I think you will enjoy it. Steve
My children were fascinated by the drumline. Their eyes were transfixed on the drummers as the vibrations shook our insides. It was a little fascinating just to watch their fascination. They’d never really seen anything like it before, so who could blame them really?
The Lancers’ drumline had started playing pretty much as soon as we walked onto the Common for Londonderry Old Home Day Kidz Night. We made our way through small crowds, bounce houses, and tables towards the bandstand first. We stood at the back of the group, as the world dropped away and the beat drummed on.
Directly behind us, an enormous yellow snake the same girth as my thigh, prairie dogs, lizards, something that resembled a miniature Kangaroo, and a 70 pound African Tortoise were being welcomed with wide eyes. We made this our next stop, just as a caregiver for these interesting creatures was telling the crowd about the tortoise. She set the giant on the ground, who immediately began making a meal of the grass.
In case you didn’t know, African Tortoises are surprisingly fast. I don’t know what she saw, but she was after something and on a mission to get it. She flew over that grass. My four year-old’s nickname was turtle, mainly because she moves on the slower side of life when it comes to walking, getting dressed, putting shoes on, etc. I’ll have to change her nickname now.
After a few seconds of prodding and poking, my children convinced me to let them onto the bounce houses. They went on one resembling a castle first because the line was shortest. (That was my idea.) After which, we indulged in hot dogs, hamburgers, juice, and of course ice cream. (That was their idea.) While eating, we watched dance teams, singers, and karate students perform on the bandstand.
On our way back to the bounce houses, we stopped for a hug from Minnie and Mickey. My five year-old was the only one brave enough to say hello, and walked right up like they were the best of old friends. My youngest stayed strapped in his stroller a safe distance away, while my “turtle” became a permanent fixture on my backside.
Walking back to the car, because at this point it was nearing bedtime, we stopped at a firetruck. The Londonderry Fire Department was kind enough to park one of their larger trucks in the parking lot of the Lion’s Hall. They were allowing children to climb inside and look at the equipment. My two year-old, being a boy, jumped at the opportunity. He also tried jumping out, approximately a 4 foot drop.
Just in front of the firetruck was the train station for the roaming railroad. A small amount of begging, and a little bit of deal making, allowed my kids one turn on the train, because at this point it was past bedtime. My five year-old sat with her friends, a typical “older sibling” move, while my middle child sat with her little brother. She made sure to keep her arm around him the whole time. When the train pulled back into the station, we headed for the car.
Next year, we’ll forget about bedtime. We did a lot, but there was still so much we didn’t get to. The face painting, the other bounce houses, the clowns, the popcorn, several more popular children’s characters, and all the wonderful organizations, went unseen, uneaten, unhugged, and unbounced by this family. What a great Londonderry Old Home Day Kidz Night; my kids had a blast, as I know yours did too!
Be sure to check out other great shots of Londonderry’s Kidz Night celebration! Photos by Mary Wing Soares.
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