ANDOVER — Selectman Jane Rich is excited for the town and her part and that of other volunteers in reviving Olde Home Days, July 31 through Aug. 2.

It will be the 35th annual event. She started it in 1980 after Andover’s 175th Anniversary Celebration in 1979, she said.

“Somebody said to me, ‘We should do this more often,’ and I told her, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an Olde Home Day here annually?’ and, you know, it took off,” Rich said.

She chaired the Olde Home Days Committee for a decade before Marshall Meisner and his wife and family took it over.

She’s hopeful that younger residents will volunteer to keep it going, because she believes it’s good for Andover and its economy. After last year’s event, the committee quit, Rich said.

“They did it for 25 years and they were a little bit younger than me but not that much younger,” she said. “This is just my opinion but it got to be a drag, because that’s where I was at the place where I stopped doing it after 10 years. Just too routine, you know. You run out of ideas.”

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She’s hopeful that younger residents will volunteer to keep it going.

“For any of those town things, you need new blood, so we’re hoping that’s what we’re going to get,” she said.

So when she learned the committee quit last year, Rich said she volunteered to help again.

“I was not going to let it die on its 35th anniversary,” she said. “Too many people care about that fair and it’s good for every organization in town and good for the community. And let’s face it, we don’t have too much here.

“So this year, we’re reorganizing and I told them I would give them one year, and Leo Camire is going to be the chair next year,” Rich said. Camire moved to South Arm Road from Auburn.

“Leo has lots of enthusiasm and I think he will be good,” Rich said. “He’s been great for me. The good thing is he’s got some South Arm residents that are participating in Old Home Days.”

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On Wednesday, Camire was picking up trophies for contests “so I don’t have to worry about lugging them around,” Rich said.

What’s new

Pam Tobin and the Ellis River Riders Drill Team are the new parade marshal for Saturday’s procession. Lineup starts at 9 a.m. at the Transfer Station Road. Judging begins at 9:30 and the parade starts at 10 and travels up Main Street.

Pam “was also my nurse,” Rich said. “That’s how I conned her into doing it.”

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, there will be pony rides for children behind the fire station. At 11:15 a.m., retired Andover School teacher John Emery will lead children on a Monarch Butterfly Walk. That will be followed at noon by a Monarch Butterfly Play by children upstairs in the Town Hall.

Rich said the butterfly walk is “like a story scavenger hunt.”

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“So they go from little kiosk to little kiosk and at each one, the story unfolds,” she said. “That will become permanent for the schoolchildren. Butterflies are the symbol of rebirth and new beginnings,” which ties in with the town now running the Andover School Department.

The women’s Skillet Tossing Contest at 1 p.m. on the Little League field will be opened to men for the first time. There will be a Children’s Fashion Show at 2 p.m. on the Bandstand. They will model old-fashioned clothes or period dress, Rich said.

Retired Maine Game Warden John Ford and retired Maine State Police Trooper Mark Nickerson will entertain people at 1 p.m. upstairs in the Town Hall.

“They will entertain by sharing exciting and humorous stories from their long careers,” Rich said.

The talks are sponsored by the Knights of Pythias.

“And then, of course, we have the Andover Motor Speedway, which is not new, but it’s becoming more famous every year,” she said. The tractor pulls are at 1 p.m. Saturday at Grimaldi Field and a lawn tractor race is set for 3 p.m.

Last year, the Andover Area Art Show at a house on Maple Street enjoyed a successful debut, Rich said. This year, the second annual Andover Area Art Show will be held in what used to be Addie’s Restaurant on Main Street from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 31, and from 9 to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1.

For a schedule of events, visit its Facebook site at www.facebook.com/events/288543217936092.

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