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by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Olney Days, which began over 30 years ago with a parade and now draws nearly 10,000 visitors for a three-day community celebration, will take place April 26-28.
“It has been amazing and fun to watch this event grow from a parade to a weekend full of events that have become a real tradition in our community,” said long-time Olney Days coordinator Helene Rosenheim.
Rosenheim said the decision last year to combine the Rock the Lot Block Party and the Fun Fair and Fireworks at Olney Manor Park has given a new dimension to Olney Days.
“It has meant more preparation, more work and more expense, but it is evolving into an event that will build the kind of memories we are hoping to create,” she said.
Olney Days coordinator and Olney Civic Fund fundraising chairwoman Barbara Falcigno said Olney Days is one of the things that makes Olney feel like a small town.
“Having events like a parade and Party in the Park defines our town and give people a sense of belonging,” she said.
The Olney Civic Fund raises money to pay for the annual Olney Days celebration, estimated to cost about $30,000.
The nonprofit organization was established in 2013 to raise awareness of Olney’s charitable, educational, civic and cultural activities and raise funds to support charitable projects and civic events through the involvement of volunteers and business sponsors.
As of The Greater Olney News press time, the civic fund had raised about $29,000 for this year’s event through local business sponsorships.
“We could not do this without the businesses that support Olney Days,” Falcigno said. “The support has been strong, with many who have supported Olney Days for years, and a record number of new businesses joining in this year. Local businesses recognize that it is important to support the community.”
The weekend will kick off with a movie Friday evening at Olney Boys and Girls Club Community park and continue on Saturday with Joe’s Ride, designed to remember area children who have died; a paper shredding and electronics recycling event; Party in the Park, featuring children’s activities, food trucks, a beer and wine garden, sports and food-eating competitions, and live music; small acts featuring local talent; and fireworks.
Alex’s Run, scheduled for Sunday morning, has been canceled due to lack of participation and sponsors. Organizer Bart Popeck said the Alex Popeck Never Back Down Foundation will continue its mission of awarding scholarships to local high school students.
Following the Car and Truck Show at Fletcher’s Service Station on Sunday morning, the weekend will wrap up with the Olney Days Parade on Sunday afternoon.
As of press time, 50 units had signed up to participate. Applications will be accepted through April 19.
Organizer Kathy Curtis said the parade will feature grand marshal Kristen Nelson, Greater Olney Civic Association’s Citizen of the Year, and Adina Brenner, recipient of the Youth Contribution to the Community Award, along with Col. Zadok Magruder High School JROTC, Sherwood Poms, Sherwood Cluster principals, U.S. Military Color Guard and Fife & Drum Corps.
The parade will also include horses, scout troops, civic organizations, dancers, churches and more.
This year, parking at Oakdale Church during Party in the Park will be allowed by parking pass only. Look for the Olney Civic Fund on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn how to obtain a free pass.
No parking will be permitted along Emory Church Road or Batchellors Forest Road.
Parking will be available at Shaare Tefila and Bethel World Outreach Church, both a
a short walk from the park.
Martin’s Sedan and Limousine will provide free shuttle service from the Intercounty Connector Commuter Lot on Georgia Avenue and the Park & Ride lot at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Norbeck Road.
The Olney Days Planning Committee begins working on Olney Days in the fall. It takes approximately 300 volunteers to make it a success.
Rosenheim credited Falcigno and other volunteers for securing the funds needed and working out the details for this year’s celebration.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to put together the kind of weekend Olney Days has become,” she said. “I am truly grateful for all the people that make this weekend possible. Now we just need the weather to cooperate.”
Schedule of Events
Friday, April 26
OBGC’s Flix @ the Fields Family Movie Night, featuring “Avengers: Infinity War” — OBGC Freeman Fields, 4501 Olney Laytonsville Road.
Saturday, April 27
Joe’s Ride and Stride Remembering Olney’s Kids — 45K, 30K and 10K Bike Rides, 5K Walk and Kids Bike Rodeo, to remember area children who have died and benefit the Joseph Patrick Sanford Foundation — Oakdale Church, 3425 Emory Church Road. To register, go to www.signmeup.com. For information, go to www.joesandford.com.
Noon to 3 p.m.
Free Paper Shred and Electronics Recycling — Sandy Spring Bank, 17801 Georgia Ave. — Limit three boxes or large bags or equivalent. Acceded items include computers, servers, hard drives, circuit boards, UPS battery backups, flat-screen monitors, printers, DVD players, VCRs, modems, electric motors, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, video games, cords. No TVs or newspapers.
3 p.m. to dark
Second Annual Party in the Park — Olney Manor Park, 16601 Georgia Ave. — Live music, food-eating contests, carnival games, rock-climbing wall, moonbounce, sports competitions, fire truck rides, food trucks and a beer and wine garden. Local bands Fuel, Priceless Advice, Rock Creek Band, Oakdale Praise Band and Olney Big Band will perform on a stage sponsored by Medstar Montgomery Medical Center in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Fireworks at dark, sponsored by Fletcher’s Service Center.
Sunday, April 28
Second Annual Community Clean Up — Olney Manor Park, 16601 Georgia Ave. — Meet by ballfield No. 1. Student Service Learning hours are available. For information, go to https://tinyurl.com/yyu2cpbg. Sign up at www.MontgomeryServes.org.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
24th Annual Olney Days Car and Truck Show — Fletcher’s Service Center, 18001 Georgia Ave. For more information, call 301-924-4500 or Visit http://www.fletchers4u.com
Pre-parade concert by Olney Concert Band on Spartan Road, just east of Georgia Avenue, near the parade reviewing stand.
37th Olney Days Parade — Parade will start at Prince Phillip Drive, travels north on Georgia Avenue and end on Spartan Road. Parade applications are due April 19. Contact OlneyDaysParade2019@gmail.com.
For more information, go to www.olneycivicfund.org.
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