Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Old Home Days in Hancock will feature art performances, synchronized swimming and a parade down Main Street

Hancock is gearing up for its annual Old Home Days celebration this weekend.

Events and activities will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at various locations across the city, with this year’s theme being ‘Supporting Our Neighbours’.

“Last year, 2021, it was reduced a little bit, but we still had a good turnout. We expect this year to be even better in terms of attendance,” said Mary Talbot-Brown, Chair of the Old Home Days Committee.

The program includes music, art performances, a book sale, a 5K race and a parade down Main Street. On Friday, Blackfire Farm Pizza and the Total Thai Food Truck will be set up in the common area, and on Saturday there will be BBQ and bake sale options.

Talbot-Brown explained that planning for the celebration begins in January. This requires a lot of community involvement and organization. People from all over the world come back to Hancock and it’s a big weekend for the locals.

This is the seventh year Jess Codman has choreographed for the Synchro Sistahs. The group will perform a synchronized swimming routine in Norwegian Lake on Saturday at noon, shortly after the parade.

“In May, people start trading song titles [for the performance],” Codman said, then “we start meeting at the beach as soon as school gets out. It’s the highlight of the summer.”

Synchro Sistahs currently has more than 20 members and has grown over the past few years.

“I think everybody has a friend who wants to do it,” Codman said. “There’s a lot of fun and a lot of power when women come together.”

There are also some new additions to the celebration this year. The committee ordered all-white Old Home Days t-shirts and added a tie dye station so people could get creative and colorful.

Art suggestions include a pop-up gallery

The weekend will be full of art. In addition to the art and photography exhibition in the vestry on Saturday and the craft exhibition in the stables, there is a new art show on the high street. Kate Cor Frame has set up a pop-up art gallery in the shed attached to her home near Fiddleheads, and she and three other local artists will be showing and selling their art there this weekend. This will be their second art exhibition at the shed.

“We thought we’d start on Memorial Day weekend,” said local artist EvelienBachrach, and “it’s been amazing.”

On Memorial Day, the art show raised about $850 for the children’s department of the Hancock City Library. This weekend, 20 percent of the profits will go to the Moose Brook Park Project, a plan to create a boardwalk from Hancock Elementary School to Moose Brook Park.

“We think it serves the whole community,” Bachrach said of the project.

Artists appreciated the opportunity to meet and share art with each other regularly as the COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

“I think we lost that sense of community for two years,” Core Frame said, “We were hungry to come together.”

“It’s so important to talk to other artists,” Kim Cunningham said.

“We really support each other,” added Core Frame. She said it takes vulnerability to share art, but the group offered a safe space to get honest feedback.

“The shed is an extension of that,” she said.

Each artist has their own style and focus, from painting to printmaking to ceramics.

“We have a really wide range of art in this little shack,” Cor Frame said.

Arist Sue Callihan wanted to honor the fifth member of their group, Keith Henry, who is a baker.

“Not only did we go into our studios, but we went into her kitchen,” Callihan said.

In the future, the group hopes to bring in other local artists, possibly having them hold demonstrations and lectures about their work.

“There are a lot of artists in Hancock, but they seem to be in small groups,” Bachrach said.

The art show will be open from 10am to 3pm from August 19 to 21. They hope to have another art show this fall, but have not set a date yet.

The community is busy setting up and preparing for Old Home Days.

“My hopes for this year are that everyone has fun as the weather looks great,” said Talbot-B Rown.

Events start at 17:00 on Friday and run until 15:00 on Sunday. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Main Street.

The schedule for Old Home Days can be found at hancocknh.org/old-home-day/events/53466.

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