The Chairman’s Chronicles, Old Home Day 2010

I am alive again as another Old Home Day is one for the history books. Don’t forget to save the week for the 112th Old Home Day Celebration August 17, – 21, 2011.

This year’s senior night went on without a hitch. The weather was perfect, the band was great and the food was delicious. Wednesday morning found a few of us baking cookies in the Londonderry High School cafeteria. What a setup that was! We baked 387 chocolate chip cookies in one hour. Nancy Faucon, head of Food Services at Londonderry, was wonderful. Sharon, Cindi, Carole, and Mary- thanks for the help making the cookies. With that completed, we headed to the Lion’s Hall to get the food ready. Carole, Sharon and Gladys worked all day on their famous potato salad. The Lion’s did a great job cooking.

Kidz night, the pictures say it all. Tammy and Tim Siekmann ran that event this year. This was their first time and they both did a great job. Tammy wanted to let everyone know, “Tim and I would like to thank all of those who participated in the Kidz Night booths, performances, and behind the scenes. Everyone could not have been more helpful in making this a great success for our first year hosting. I also would like to thank Adrianna Komst for doing such a great job all of the past years in order for us to have such a smooth transition. We truly look forward to next year and everyone’s participation in the following years to come!” I enjoyed seeing Sponge Bob and the Mouse couple again this year. I can’t wait to see who comes to visit next year.

Friday night was the concert and fireworks. We never have enough fireworks. Hopefully the Town Council will see fit to restore the Old Home Day committee budget back to $10,000 from the $7,000. If the crowd’s discussion is any indication, I know where most of the money will be applied. Souled Out was wonderful; people were dancing in the street, singing along — just a party night atmosphere. After the fireworks people were ready to go. Many asked, “Hey, have the band play another set.” I love those signs on the building about what cannot happen on school property; I think it was pretty much forgotten Friday night. Thanks to the Friends of Music for setting up the whole event. Great work, outstanding evening, and good luck as you move forward to the Rose Bowl Parade.

Saturday the Weather Gods blessed us, and it showed. The 5K Road Race had over 300 runners and this year was perfect running weather. Peabody Row was closed for the first time thanks to Chet Ham’s hard work. We did have a reviewing stand this year, thanks to Fortin Storage of Londonderry. Thanks Mark, you saved us. The parade seemed to have a little voodoo over it this year. We had a couple of Shriner crashes, an injured parade walker, and the sound system blew out but came back on about 1/3 of the way into the parade. LFD was so busy that not one piece of town equipment could be in the parade this year. At least people didn’t have to wait long for mutual aid, thanks to all of the other departments that participated in the Parade. LPD was working pretty hard as well and at one point had to call in extra backup.

We almost lost the Marines. At 10:00 AM, parade workers mentioned that a van of young Marines had come for parade lineup. They were told to park at the end of the parade route. The worker forgot to add that they would be returned on the shuttle. Fearing we would never see the Marines again, we dispatched one of the motorcycle officers. Moments before the parade was schedule to start, the shuttle pulled into the Middle School. When the doors opened, the question was asked, “Do you have our Marines?” With a smile, “Yes” was the reply. The Marines had landed and we could start the parade. The shuttle tried to get one more run in before the road was closed with no luck. Even the Manchester-Boston Airport shuttle got trapped along the parade route. Because one driver would not listen to instructions we had a car in the parade that belonged to no one, I think they pulled out near the High School.

It was rather funny that the party that preaches green responsibility had two tractor trailers puffing along the parade route, and a Republican for Governor candidate pulled along a French Fry float using recycled fry oil. Look at the irony in that. I got really hungry when that float went by. I would also like to make mention of a certain Republican candidate for State Rep, with No Parking Signs everywhere, still parked his truck on the common. You political candidates, we can’t live with you and we can’t live without you. Maybe I should rethink that end of that statement.

We would like to thank Governor Lynch for attending and leading the parade. It is an honor that he has attended year after year. The parade committee would also like to thank the candidates that took time out of their busy schedules to personally attend our event. Included were Candidates for Governor John Stephen, Jack Kimball, Frank Emiro, Senate Candidates, Kelly Ayotte, and Ovide Lamontagne, and Congressional Candidates, Sean Mahoney, Frank Guinta and Bob Bestani. Most of us working the parade can tell you who we will NOT be voting for based on the behavior of the staffers. Ignoring well documented parade rules and being the only Congressional candidate to have your red, white and blue political signs along the parade was disappointing.

The baby contest had 26 contestants the year. The common was packed until 4:00 PM with most of the booths selling out of food and having an outstanding day. Dan Lekas kept the bandstand chugging along — thanks for that. Moving the kid games to the common was enjoyable and we had so many gift certificates for BINGO that it will be hard to match next year. The first Londonderry Sings was a whooping success; the Grange was so full that people were turned away at the door. The Student Council did a simply fabulous job putting together Applestock. Thanks for all of Phil Laurie’s help. Special thanks to Brandon Cardwell for setting up the sound system and directing the program without a hitch. We heard that kids were texting all through the event inviting people down. When it was all done, about 300 students attended.

The Committee would like to thank all of our Sponsors.
Platinum Sponsors
American Kempo Academy
Cracker Barrel
Dana Farber/New Hampshire Oncology – Hematology
Freezer Warehouse
Granite Ridge Energy
The House of the Samurai
ImageAbility, Inc.
Lundgren Chiropractic
Orchard Christian Fellowship
Park Place Bowling Lanes
Prudential Verani Realty
Shaws Supermarkets

Gold Sponsors
Central Communications Corp.
Continental Paving, Inc
Londonderry Lions Club
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
Stonyfield Farm, Inc
Shady Hill Greenhouse

Silver Sponsors
Blue Seal Feeds
Cabot Cheese
Charles George Trucking
Derry News
Homes of New Hampshire Realty
RE/MAX 1st Choice
Southern NH Montessori School
Taa Kwon Do Club at the Lions


33 Responses

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  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Carole Connolly

    Kathy: what a super idea from our OHD Chairman! It gives us a synopsis of the entire festivities from a different perspective; especially when most of us were not able to check out everything going on while we were working at our own booths and activities. I certainly hope that this will become an annual tradition…no matter who is Chairman.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Pat Slozak

    What a wonderful summary, Kathy! I second Carole and hope this becomes an annual tradition. Kudos to the entire Old Home Day Committee for a job well done!

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1Sandra Lagueux

    Thank you Kathy and the rest of the OHD Committee for a wonderful celebration. I know it’s a great deal of behind the scences work that goes on so the rest of us can have fun! Thanks for all you do!

  4. Kathy,
    You always seem to amaze me!!!

    Great job on your Chairmans Chronicle.

    Another successful year, thanks to the OHD Team.


  5. Vote -1 Vote +1LT Resident

    Great job all around this year, as usual, to the OHD team. Thank you all.

    Great food. Lots of food booths this year, but as usual the Lions took the cake in my eyes with the grub. Those guys can grill a sausage like you read about ! Awesome !

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1Mary T

    And all the members of the Old Home Day Committee, thanks for your hard work! And Kathy, you did a really nice job on the weather this year. Keep it up!
    I am so proud to live in Londonderry and enjoy our 5-day celebration of Old Home Day! Each year it gets better and better!
    I especially like the breakfast put on by the church! Thank you, Lee!
    And Kathy, the politicians chipped in $300 each to march so you have to like that in this year of the tight budget!
    Bob Ciarletta, thanks for running the baby contest!
    Kelly green was the best color for the polo shirts…we all looked fabulous! Fabulous!

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1Adriana

    Thanks to the OHD committee for anoter great year! It takes a lot of work, dedication, and committment to put this long event together and you guys did a great job!

    I will be back next year to fill another void that I have seen in the celebration…a LMS night. Let’s try to get that extra $3K from the town so that I can offer a special night geared to the middle schoolers only.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1George Herrmann

      As always, thanks for stepping up! I have to disagree that the town should pony up another $3000 for the LMS night. People are already paying enough to the schools and the town. I suggest starting to work now to get corporate sponsors. Lots of companies that do business with the schools might be willing to make a donation.
      Good luck with the effort!

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Patten

        I agree with George. Let’s see if we can teach a LMS students a lesson in doing for themselves. Let them brainstorm ideas to help themselves.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Adriana


        I never said that a LMS night would cost $3K. I have worked with a minuscule budget for Kidz Night for 7 years and created Applestock with a budget of nothing.

        It was mentioned that the $7K that the town contributes towards OHD is not enough and the chair plans to go to the TC and request that the $10K we had for many, many years be re-instated. Does anyone know the cost of the fireworks alone?

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1Kathy Wagner

    Sorry to disagree with both Tim and George. I have been working Old Home Day for 11 years now. We continue to fund raise year after year and put on a pretty good 5 day event. Senior Night, Kidz Night, Fireworks, Revolutionary War Camp and Parade cost money. We fund raise over 17K yearly. This year we missed that number. Guess why? We only lost that $3000 three years ago. Before that the budget was always 10K One year the council was going to authorize upwards to 12K because of the success and how many people in the community enjoyed. I am willing to add the .00088 so we can add to the fireworks yearly and all of our other events. You’ve got an event that all our citizens enjoy. I guess we will find out. I am sure I can count on the regulars in the 5% club to be in attendance at budget season to shoot it down.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

      Who runs this 5% club? Where do they meet and how can I join? With a little effort maybe it will become a 10% club.

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Patten

    Kathy, sincerely, thank you for all your and the rest of the folks efforts. Why would you disagree with me not let the students get involved to help in the community and themselves?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Kathy Wagner

      I’m not against getting the kids working on the event. It is not that easy to fund raise and the extra buffer that $3000 would give us would have been great. We are a very frugal group. The only reason the last two years have gone without a problem is sponsors coming through at the last minute and we have always had a balance carried forward year after year. This year it is gone. We start fund raising in January. It is pretty hard to raise the 25K that it cost today to put on this event.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1George Herrmann

        “The only reason the last two years have gone without a problem is sponsors coming through at the last minute…”

        That is my point. Look to the sponsors to make up the difference. If that doesn’t work then we have to cut back. You know that I support OHD, I am forever grateful to all of the volunteers that the town counts upon. But we have to be realistic, while this is a GREAT series of events, at some point we have to tighten our belts. I am not sure that many of us would consider not having as spectacular an OHD as a ‘problem.’ I’d rather ask for private support for OHD and the great idea of an LMS night that Adriana proposes. A partnership of local businesses, national businesses that are partners with our schools, PTO, car washes, student fundraising are all viable options to give a try.

        1. Vote -1 Vote +1Brian Farmer

          I have to agree with Kathy here. Don’t be too shocked … it does happen.

          When the Council cut back the funding to OHD t came at a time when things were going fine with revenue and the economy. Businesses that were able to donate in that economy are less able now.

          If examined closely you might find that this is one of the most frugally run programs/events in Town. The amount of time and effort that goes into planning, organizing and running this event would surprise most people. At the end of it all this very small group of volunteers is both exhausted and satisfied that they have once again delivered to this community exactly what Old Home Day is supposed to be…an opportunity for everyone to relax, unwind and enjoy Londonderry with friends and neighbors! Worth the small investment from the Town and worthy of considering an increase in that investment.

          The ideas you offer up are all good suggestions. No dispute there! Now all they need is for someone such as yourself to step up and lead the way.

          1. Vote -1 Vote +1LT Resident

            Forgive my lack of political knowledge, but is it the planning board, town council, or some other entity in town that decides whether or not a business is allowed to build or takeover from another business in Londonderry?
            Whoever it is, they may want to consider putting a stipulation in going forward for any new businesses that a nominal annual fee, such as $250 to $500 per business, be made to the Old Home Days fund?
            Would they decide to open their business in a different town due to such a small amount of money? Doubtful.

          2. Vote -1 Vote +1George Herrmann

            Agreeing with Kathy…Is that really you?

            I could not agree more that this is one of the best run programs in town, big bang for the buck. And all of the volunteers do an outstanding job. The economic climate has certainly changed. Not just for businesses but for all of us. Yes, businesses are less able to donate, sadly so am I. I think my point is really that I personally am at a point where I can not give another nickel in taxes. Reduced income, higher taxes, higher gas prices, and on and on and on. OHD is a great event, great way to get out in the town, see what all the non-profits are about, promote unity in our community, all the great things about Londonderry. Now here is the ‘but.’ But every little bit helps.

            As far as stepping up, now that the Charter COmmission has done its work I am sure YOU have plenty of time on your hands ;-)

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Patten

        I know I don’t have the big picture but $3000 does not seem to be a huge undertaking for all the kids at LMS to attempt for next year. After all, we have a world travelling band that seems to be OK at fundraising. My point is let’s get it done but let’s rt to teach a lesson in self sufficiency as well.

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1Kathy Wagner

    just some clarification. The 3000 is not for the LMS kids thing. It is for the entire event. Some will be used to make the fireworks show longer, or add a band to parade. Or give prize money to the bands at Applestock. Pay for the group at the christian concert or help pay for awards at Londonderry Sings. The money goes into a big pot and is used to pay for the entire 5 days.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Larry

      Kathy, why can’t you address the point that George is making? If 5 days of OHD can’t be supported in this economy, why not scale back to 4? Why is the answer always “it’s just a little bit of money for the town”.

      As George points out, the “town” only has money they get from US, the taxpayers who are fed up (speaking for myself) with the seeming inability for this council to actually CUT taxes and restrict funding when so many of our neighbors and coworkers are experiencing layoffs and foreclosures.

      Sell tickets, get sponsors, hold fundraisers to increase your revenue and then plan your expenses to meet that budget… simple really. Don’t go back to the taxpayer well… it’s a dry hole.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Kathy Wagner

        I’ll address You. Volunteer instead of attacking from the shadows. You can be head of Fun Raising. George does something in town. What do you volunteer for?

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Patten

    I don’t read that in Adriana’s post 8/28 1100AM. That’s what sparked me. However, I think it would be a great idea to get the kids involved in the town celebration. I’ve read many comments in the past how we educate them then they leave. I guess, I’m idealistic here, but let them have the opportunity at some ownership of community responsibilty.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Adriana


      That is exactly what I did when I founded Applestock. I went to the Student Council and asked them what they would like to have, they voted, and then we moved forward.

      We solicited donations for beverages which they sold as a fundraiser. Each grade sold popcorn, candy etc to fundraise. The bands that play at the event are HS bands so there is no cost to have them perform….they enjoy the exposure and the kids get to see their friends play. Quite frankly, Applestock costs nil.

      That’s how I role. Maybe if people got to know me, they would known that I am a budget cutter and they would have voted for me for School Board when they had the chance.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Patten

        Adriana, Congrats on Applestock and their fundraising! How much did they raise? Your comments seem to contradict each other though. You posted on 8/28 at 1100AM “Let’s try to get that extra $3K from the town” Then today you post you are a budget cutter. Is an extra $3K laying around?

  12. Vote -1 Vote +1Larry

    I unwittingly volunteered to pay an increasing amount of money every year to a town that conducts its business like fantasy land during the most significant economic downturn that has occured in my lifetime.

    I will also gladly volunteer to put my property up for sale as soon as my youngest son gets out of high school. (2012)

    Of course I would like to volunteer to sit around the bandstand and think of other neat ways to spend taxpayer money or give the unions another raise, but I’m too busy traveling in my job as I try to remain employed.

    If that’s enough volunteering, why don’t you address the question of cutting back on OHD if your proposed spending isn’t supported by your budget?

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1Adriana

    WOW! Who knew that my little comment would cause such a stir. I am glad that everyone is filled with so much passion.

    As mentioned in the article, the $3K would not be for LMS night, it would be a request to increase the portion of the event that the town supports. A large number of NH towns offer their residents a night of fireworks, whether it be to celebrate the 4th of July or during OHD, what-have-you. The $7K the town provides just about covers the fireworks. If things need to be cut from the event, then so be it. The committee will, as always, make do.

    All I know is that I have had fun doing Kidz Night for 7 years and Applestock for 2. OHD has a Senior Night, Kidz Night (ages 10 and under) and Applestock (high school) so I thought there was an age group missing and was willing to step up to the plate to take on another role on the committee.

    If anyone knows me, they know that I am frugal and I will find a way to make sure that all age groups are represented at OHD.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Patten

      I’m sorry if I keep misunderstanding but this was in your 8/28 1100am. “I will be back next year to fill another void that I have seen in the celebration…a LMS night. Let’s try to get that extra $3K from the town so that I can offer a special night geared to the middle schoolers only” Can you clarify?

  14. Vote -1 Vote +1Kathy Wagner

    I was going to answer the cost for the fireworks, Thanks for answering the question Adriana. We (the entire committee) just raised the budget on fireworks $500 to $7,000 this year because the number one request from Londonderry citizens was to make the fireworks better.

    There were cuts made in other areas this year that none of you noticed. Intentionally done by the committee so citizens of the town could enjoy this event, and the committee could remain on budget.

  15. Vote -1 Vote +1Adriana


    Just curious…why did you edit out my section about not voting for me when i ran for school board?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Kathy Wagner

      I did not edit that out it is still under your reply to Tim.

      We do not edit comments, with the exception of language, when done we enter a note. Comments are only deleted when outside our terms of service as noted on our privacy page.

  16. Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

    With all this talk of volunteering and the cost of OHD I have what some may consider a crazy idea. Why not solicit the attendees to each of the OHD events for volunteer donations for the next years OHD. In the past when a need in this town has been publicized, Food on the Common and money for the band trips as 2 examples, the residents have always stepped up. I believe if information is presented in the right way, the vast majority of attendees would pony up a few bucks.

  17. Fellow residents and Old Home Day Committee Members,
    I have been the Finance Chair for the past 4-5 years, I lost count. Every year has been delightful as I worked hard to ensure that we get the monies needed to put on our Town traditional Old Home Day. Yes we do sweat it out the last minute, not knowing what monies will be donated to make our budget.

    keep in mind some of the events are committed a year in advance, to ensure the gorups are booked for our OHD, since many towns/cities are planning for their OHD.

    Now, I can understand some saying that we should cut back days and save monies but I am here to tell you that many more in our town want us to continue with OHD and they are always making suggestions on other events that they would like to see. We are a small commitee of loyal citizens trying to do the best we can to keep the quality of life alive here in Londonderry.

    I know many people in our town do not have the time to be on our committee because of other committments and that don’t make them a bad person. There are some of us who have the time to ensure Londonderry is second to none in taking care of our own, so we get involved.

    Now, Old Home day here in Londonderry has gone on for 111 years and this long Londonderry tradition brings back many residents to our town and gives other residents an opportunity to come out and take care of our own, which is our non-profits who give back to our community in so many ways.

    I have been struggling for the last two years to raise the monies due to the economy but seem to come close to what we have needed to keep this tradition alive every year with the Team effort of the business community and our local residents. We have put this on for our town under a strict conservative budget, where we are able to ensure that all ages of Londonderrry residents have a wonderful time.

    I asked for the $3000.00 dollars for next year to have available in case we fall short on putting on this wonderful Londonderry event for our community to enjoy. I for see us struggling next year like we did this year and Kathy, like many of us volunteers believe this OHD brings our community together every year. I have never, ever heard anyone say we should not have an OHD or this is costing the tax payers too much money up until what I have read in the above posting.

    Now someone stated that we should have business’s give a nominal fee of $250.00 – $500.00, which in my opinion is a unconstitutional mandate put on to the business’s. Many business’s in town donate but when times are tough money is tight. We know that but the OHD is a way for people to get out of their homes and meet and greet the different organizations in our town and to help to take care of our own here in Londonderry, through the non-profits.

    I welcome any kids that come up with ideas to assist me in raising more monies for our town to ensure that this over 111 year tradition is alive and well. Many town/cities pay for their traditional OHD and run it with Town workers, not us because we are all volunteers with a big heart who enjoy to see the smiles on the many faces who come out to OHD.

    We on the OHD Committee run each event with limited budgets and we have cut corners in some areas to ensure all have a wonderful time.

    If you would like to help me raise more monies so we can keep our tradition alive, I welcome you and your ideas.

    We get thousands of our Londonderry residents out of their homes with their families who enjoy all the festivities that go on for all ages.

    My Goal is to eventually put on OHD with 100% donations from the business’s but at this time in a bad economy, we have done so much with limited funds through the tax payers/business’s to ensure OHD traditon stays alive in our town.

    Better days are yet to come!!!

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