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by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Olney Days, a beloved tradition that celebrates community spirit, will return this month – an earlier date than usual, but filled with the same popular events.
“Olney Days helps create a sense of community and is part of creating memories of living in Olney,” said Helene Rosenheim, who has chaired the committee for 25 years. “I am excited how Olney Days has grown and evolved over the past 35-plus years. “Change has always been a part of it, and I think people will like what we have put together this year.”
Olney Days will be held April 27-29.
The event began 35 years ago with a parade along Georgia Avenue. It has grown each year to now cover three full days of events for all ages, drawing an expected 10,000 people from Olney and surrounding areas.
The major change this year is the date — Olney Days is traditionally held in May but was moved up this year due to pending construction at Olney Manor Park.
The event is organized by Olney Days Planning Committee, led by Rosenheim.
New events include an outdoor showing of “Star Wars, Return of the Jedi” at Olney Boys and Girls Club Community Park on April 27 and electronics recycling/paper shredding on April 28.
Also new this year is Party in the Park on April 28, an event that merges what was formerly The Fun Fair and Fireworks with Rock the Lot and the Beer and Wine Garden, for a single event at Olney Manor Park.
All the favorite park activities will return, including food-eating contests, sport contests, carnival games, fire truck rides, a concert by the Olney Big Band, and a new tug-of war competition, capped off by a fireworks display.
Jim Smith, organizer of the Beer and Wine Garden, said they are excited about the new location and time.
“We are planning a festive fifth year for the Olney Days Beer and Wine Garden,” he said. “We believe the visibility along Georgia Avenue will draw many people that otherwise wouldn’t have known about the event. The new Party in the Park events, coupled with the fireworks, will really help mature this event.”
The weekend will wrap up with a final new event — a Community Clean Up, in which individuals, families and groups can participate.
“It is a great opportunity to get Olney ready for the spring season,” said Barbara Falcigno, planning committee member and fundraising chairwoman of the Olney Civic Fund
The Olney Civic Fund raises money to fund the annual Olney Days celebration.
The nonprofit organization was established in 2013 to raise public awareness of Olney charitable, educational, civic and cultural activities and to raise funds to support charitable projects and civic events.
“Expenses continue to rise and the entire weekend costs over $15,000,” Falcigno said. “Our largest expenses include the fireworks and park rental followed by the parade.
She said Fletcher’s Service Center, Graeves Tire and Auto, and Rocketeria “have been consistent large sponsors for many years.”
MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, Natelli Communities and Giant Foods “step up each year as gold sponsors,” she said.
“Other local businesses are silver sponsors and you can meet many of them at the Party in the Park,” Falcigno added. “Be sure to say thank you to them for supporting our community.”
Falcigno said organizers still need donations of time and money. Many volunteers are needed throughout the weekend and Student Service Learning hours are available.
More information on all Olney Days events, activity sign-ups and volunteer opportunities are available at www.olneycivicfund.org.
Weather cancellations will also be posted on the website, as well as on the Olney Civic Fund’s Facebook page.
Olney Days 2018 Schedule
Friday, April 27
Olney Days Flix at The Field
7 to 9:30 p.m.
OBGC Community Park at Freeman Fields, 4501 Olney Laytonsville Road
Enjoy “Star Wars: The Lat Jedi” on the big screen. Bring a blanket or chair. Food trucks and concession stand will be open. Movie will start at 8 p.m.
Sponsored and organized by OBGC. No pets, no smoking and no alcohol at the park.
Saturday, April 28
16th annual Joe’s Ride and Stride, Remembering Olney’s Kids
7 to 10 a.m.
Oakdale Church, 3425 Emory Church Road
To benefit the Joseph Patrick Sanford Foundation and remember area children who have died. Event includes 45K & 30K bike rides at 7 a.m., 10K Bike Ride at 8 a.m., 5K Walk at 8 a.m. and Kids Bike Rodeo at 9 a.m. Register at www.signmeup.com or at Fletcher’s Service Center, 17901 Georgia Ave. Visit www.JoeSanford.com.
Paper Shredding and Electronics Recycling
Noon to 3 p.m.
17801 Georgia Ave., rear parking lot of the Sandy Spring Bank
Limit of three boxes or three large bags or equivalent. No newspapers. Solid State Recyclers will be on site to recycle e-waste, including computers, servers, hard drives, circuit boards, UPS battery backups, flat-screen monitors, printers, DVD players, VCRs, modems, electric motors, rechargeable batteries (lithium ion or NiCad), cell phones, video games, cords. No televisions. Free, but donations are appreciated to offset the weekend’s expenses. Sponsored by Giant Food.
Party in the Park
3 p.m. to dark
Olney Manor Park, 16601 Georgia Avenue
Party in the Park combines popular events — Fun Fair and Fireworks, Rock the Lot Block Party and the Beer and Wine Garden.
— Food-eating contests — pasta, ice cream, and watermelon-eating and seed-spitting
— Carnival games, rock climbing wall and moonbounce, with proceeds benefiting Sandy Srping Volunteer Fire Department and Project Change
— Frisbee toss, soccer shootout and new tug-of-war
— Fire truck rides by the Sandy Spring Fire Department
— Live music performed by local bands arranged by Rocketeria.
— The Beer and Wine Garden, featuring beverages from Denizen’s Brewing Company, Waredaca Brewing Company, Brookeville Beer Farm and Olney Winery. Must be 21 and over. Bring ID.
— Jazz concert by the Olney Big Band from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
— Fireworks sponsored by Fletcher’s Service Center
Sunday, April 29
7:30 to 10 a.m.
OBGC Community Park at Freeman Fields, 4501 Olney Laytonsville Road
A 5K Run/Walk and Alex’s “SportsTrak” — a fun event course for young children. Benefits the Alex Popeck Never Back Down Foundation, which provides scholarships to Montgomery County students. To register, go to https://apnbd.org/run/.
Fletcher’s 24th Annual Olney Days Car and Truck Show
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fletcher’s Service Center, 17901 Georgia Avenue
Featuring over 70 local car and truck enthusiasts displaying everything from the classic 1957 T-Bird and 1962 Studebaker to the new high-performance Corvette.
Sponsored by Fletcher’s Service Center. Call 301-924-4500 or go to www.fletchers4u.com.
At the parade reviewing stand on Spartan Road, just east of Georgia Avenue
Performed by the Olney Concert Band
36th Olney Days Parade
Starts at Prince Phillip Drive and travels north on Georgia Avenue, ending on Spartan Road. Features floats, bands, animal units, scout troops and other local organizations. For road closure information, go to goo.gl/7fkCwb. For a parade application, go to goo.gl/WKujX1.
Community Clean Up
3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Groups will clean up different areas in Olney. Student Service Learning hours are available. Go to goo.gl/frgRxv. Sign up by April 20. Rain date will be May 6.
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