Children participate in the Andover Olde Home Days parade in August 2018. (Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin)

ANDOVER — Andover Olde Home Days is an economic and social boost to the town, providing businesses with extra income and residents with opportunities for fun and relaxation.

But the 38-year run may end this year if no one steps forward to lead the organizing committee, former Chairwoman Jane Rich said.

Rich started the celebration in 1980 after the town’s 175th anniversary. Many people told her how much they enjoyed Olde Home Days and wanted it to be an annual celebration, she said.

“I was the chair 1980 to 1990, and then Vickie and Marshall Meisner and other people did it for the next 25 years,” she said. Two years ago she stepped in when no one else would and took another turn for a year. After that, Chad Bishop chaired the committee, Rich said.

Bishop said he gave up the position about a month ago due to personal business opportunities and his job managing the Andover General Store.

He and Rich said chairing the Andover Olde Home Days Committee involves getting committee members organized, preparing advertising, securing donations and running contests, and choosing a T-shirt design and theme.

Organizations, businesses and individuals contribute by planning and holding events such as a photography contest, races, a barbecue, a parade and live music, Rich said.

“Economically, it does terrific things for our stores because they all do great that day,” she said.  

“I think it would be a terrible thing for the town to cancel Olde Home Days,” Rich said. “This will be the 39th year.”

She said the committee has never lacked volunteers, but this year it does lack a chairman.

Rich won’t be in charge this year, she said, because she’s “too old.”

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