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Olney Days to offer ‘a little something for everyone’

by Judith Hruz


Anyone who has loved Olney Days in the past is likely to be even more excited by this year’s events.

Olney Days, the beloved weekend of fun and games that celebrate the community, will be held April 28-30 at several locations around town.

The 38th Olney Parade, the event that started Olney Days, will be the culminating event on April 30.

“I have seen Olney Days grow from a parade to a full weekend of events,” said Olney Days coordinator Helene Rosenheim, who has been involved with the event for over 30 years when it was originally sponsored by The Greater Olney Civic Association (GOCA). “The beauty is how it brings the community together, making Olney feel like a small town where people know their neighbors and local business owners.”

Olney Civic Fund organizes and sponsors the weekend with the help of businesses, organizations and individuals around town.

“Over the many years that GOCA and now the Olney Civic Fund have been coordinating Olney Days, we have learned a lot of lessons and each year our celebration gets better and better,” Rosenheim said. “So, we are looking forward to another great weekend — still designed with a full weekend of activities and a little something for everyone to enjoy.”

The weekend will begin with Flix @ the Fields Family Movie Night 8-10 p.m. April 28 at OBGC Freeman Fields, 4501 Olney Laytonsville Road.

The event is organized by the Olney Boys and Girls Club (OBGC).

“OBGC is once again excited to be hosting Movie Night in conjunction with Olney Days,” said OBGC executive director Brad Scott. “It is quite the honor to both participate and to kick off such an important event to our community. OBGC would like to thank all of the organizers of Olney Days who work so hard to put together such a special event.”

The next morning, April 29, MasonStrong Village will carry on Joe’s Ride, a 20-year tradition of remembering all children who passed away.

Registration is open for the 45K, 30K and 10K bike rides and 5K walk/run, and children 10 and under can enjoy the Kids Rodeo and Dash.

The Ride Towards Hope’s rodeo, following the 5K, will include decorating bikes/scooters, riding through an obstacle course, running a 50-yard dash, carnival games and decorating cards for children in treatment at Children’s National in D.C

Funds raised from the event will be directed to Special Love’s Camp Fantastic, #ConorKehoeStrong at Children’s National (an immunotherapy research initiative) and a warrior family in need.

“It is a great opportunity for our Olney community to show up and provide hope for children and families in unimaginable battles,” said organizer Keli Mazzuca.

Also on April 29:

Olney Days Free Paper Shred & Donation Event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at Sandy Spring Bank, 17801 Georgia Ave., in the parking lot behind the building.

There is a limit of three boxes or three large bags or equivalent. No electronics or newspapers will be accepted.

The Free Paper Shred has grown to include household donations, a lightbulb exchange (incandescent for LED bulbs) and Green Olney will accept items that are hard to recycle by sending them to Terracycle, a recycling company.

Acceptable items include: magic markers, highlighters, pens, mechanical pencils, glue sticks and caps, watercolor containers, toothpaste tubes, brushes, floss containers, disposable razors, blades, No. 6 plastic cups, plastic and glass food storage containers, squeezable snack pouches and caps, beauty products (mascara tubes and wands, lip gloss/lipstick tubes, cosmetic cases, skin care bottles, pumps, tub and non-aerosol hair care spray bottles), and Brita filters, pitchers and packaging.

“Do your part to help preserve our planet by saving up these items in your household to drop off at the ‘Shred’ event,” said Green Olney’s Jen Rusiecki, one of the event organizers.

The first Rec Regatta will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at Olney Swim Center, 16605 Georgia Ave. Take boxes and duct tape to the Swim Center to construct a boat that must hold two people.

Prizes will be given for the Fastest Boat, Best Design, Team Spirit and Most Spectacular Sinking. All ages can help construct the boat, but sailors must be at least 10 years old.

Pre-registration is required to race.

    The fourth annual Olney Days Party in the Park will be held from 3 p.m. to dark at Olney Manor Park, 16601 Georgia Ave.

Party in the Park will feature two stages this year: The Karen Rollings Team Stage and MedStar Health Stage.

Activities will include:

Air Jumper, where participants are attached to a bungee cord and can soar 25 feet into the air while jumping on a trampoline.

Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department will offer children’s carnival games and firetruck rides.

Olney Civic Fund will run Minute-to-Win-It-style games for children and adults.

Giant Slingshot to shoot balls that could land in targets 200-300 feet away.

There will also be many free things to do. Fun on the Fields will include tug of war, running the bases, can jam, Frisbee and soccer.

Kang’s Black Belt Academy will provide a moonbounce, GOAT on Wheels will have skateboard demonstrations and Camp Rippling Brook will offer an archery field. Olney Civic Fund will provide corn hole and giant Jenga blocks to enjoy.

“One of Olney’s marquee events, Party in the Park, returned last year after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic and was a resounding success,” said Jim Smith, an Olney Civic Fund director. “Last year’s celebration was attended by more than 6,300 people and we hope to attract a larger crowd this year. To accommodate this crowd, additional parking will be available, and spaces can be prepaid and reserved.”

Rise Against Hunger is a new event this year. People of all ages can help pack dry goods, which will be sealed, packaged and sent to places in great need such as Africa and Central America. Volunteers and donations are needed.

Organizer and minister Mary Johnson said: “Nobody should go hungry and working with Rise Against Hunger ensures the food we package gets to the people who truly need it. This event is fun with inspirational music and a gong is played after every 1,000 meals in order to track the group’s progress.”

On April 30, events will include:

Olney Days Community Clean Up will be held 8-10 a.m. at Olney Manor Park.

The annual Olney Days Car and Truck Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fletcher’s Service Center, 18001 Georgia Ave.

    “Olney’s finest will be on display at the 26th annual car & truck show,” said organizer Bobby Fletcher. “We have the most pre-registrations ever so we expect a great turnout. Come out for the car show and stay for the parade.”

For more, call 301-924-4500.

Olney Concert Band will present a pre-parade concert on Spartan Road, just east of Georgia Avenue, at 1:30 p.m.

The 38th Olney Days Parade — the culminating activity of the popular three-day Olney Days celebration — will step off at 2 p.m.

Parade will start at Prince Phillip Drive, travel north on Georgia Avenue and end on Spartan Road. Food trucks will be available at St. John’s Episcopal School, 3427 Olney Laytonsville Road, after the parade.

Producing Olney Days for the community costs close to $35,000 annually.

Fundraising chair Barbara Falcigno said, “As Olney Days grows, so do the expenses. We are incredibly grateful to all of our sponsors but especially this year’s Stage Sponsors — The Karen Rollings Team and MedStar Health — as well as our perennial Platinum Sponsors — Fletcher’s Service Center, Graeves Auto & Tire and Sandy Spring Bank. We could not have Olney Days without our sponsors.”


    For a full list of events, including registration links, visit www.OlneyCivicFund.org.

    Olney Civic Fund was established in 2013 to raise support and public awareness of non-profits serving the Olney area, as well as to raise funds and organize community events such as Olney Days. Olney Civic Fund is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

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