Olney Days celebrates community with weekend extravaganza -- Gazette.Net







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Schedule of Events

Friday, May 18
n7 p.m.: First Olney Idol Contest at Olney Theatre’s outdoor Amphitheatre. (Rain date: 1:30 p.m. May 19 on the Olney Theatre's Historic Stage.) Located at 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road. Admission: A nonperishable food item to be donated to Olney Help.
Saturday, May 19
•7 to 10:30 a.m.: Joe's Ride & Stride, featuring 45K, 30K, 10K bike rides; 5K walk and bike rodeo. Starts and ends at Oakdale-Emory Church, 3425 Emory Church Road.
•Noon to 3 p.m.: Olney Days Free Paper Shred Event in the Sandy Spring Bank rear parking lot, 17801 Georgia Ave.
•4 to 9 p.m.: Fun Fair and Fireworks at Olney Manor Park, featuring carnival games, fire engine rides, food, sports contests, food-eating competitions, Olney Big Band concert (7:30 to 9 p.m.), and fireworks at dusk. 16601 Georgia Ave.
Sunday, May 20
•10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: 17th annual Olney Days Car and Truck Show at Fletcher's Service Center, 18001 Georgia Ave.
•2 p.m.: 29th annual Olney Days Parade, along Georgia Avene from Prince Philip Drive to Spartan Road.

Olney Days returns this weekend, offering a variety of activities for all ages to celebrate Olney’s sense of hometown pride.

“We have lots of great activities planned,” said Barbara Falcigno, Greater Olney Civic Association president. “Come out, participate and enjoy — it’s what makes Olney Olney.”

Chairwoman Helene Rosenheim said she particularly is excited about this year’s two new events: Olney Idol and a paper shred event.

“We have 23 contestants for Olney Idol, ranging from 7 to 23 years old, she said. “We have the contestants, now we really need to audience to come out to watch and support them.”

Rosenheim said she is particularly grateful to organizers at the Olney Theatre, who “took the idea and ran with it.”

The shredding event was added in keeping with this year’s “green” theme, Rosenheim said.

“We decided to add this new event since we are focusing on the environment and being good shepherds of the community,” she said.

The rest of the favorite events return, including Joe’s Ride “Remembering Olney’s Kids,” returning for its 10th year. It offers cycling events for riders of all ages and abilities, a 5K walk and a bike rodeo for children, It also will offer food, entertainment and a balloon release in memory of area children who have died.

Saturday night’s events at Olney Manor Park return, and will feature carnival games, fire engine rides, sports contests, a concert by the Olney Big Band and a pancake race modeled after one staged in Olney, England. It all will be capped off by a fireworks display at dusk.

The Car and Truck Show on Sunday returns for its 17th year, and always tends to attract the “best of the best” vehicles in the area, according to organizer Bobby Fletcher.

While waiting for the parade to arrive, the Olney Community Band will perform at 1:30 at the reviewing stand on Spartan Road.

“That was so successful last year, we decided to do it again,” said Rosenheim.

For many, the parade, in its 29th year, is the highlight of the weekend. The green theme continues with the parade, “Olney — It’s a Green Thing.” Entries include animal units, bands, floats, fire department vehicles, and more. This year’s grand marshal is Paul Jarosinski, GOCA's Citizen of the Year. Area Girl Scouts will be a prominent part of the parade, as they celebrate Girl Scouting’s 100th anniversary.

Rock the Lot, now in its fourth year, offers four live bands in a block party setting. Rosenheim said in addition to the bands, there would be food vendors and family-friendly activities. The event will benefit Project Change, Olney’s youth leadership program.

In case of rain, all events will be canceled, with the exception of Olney Idol, which would then take place on Saturday, and Rock the Lot, which will take place rain or shine. Weather cancellations will be posted on the GOCA website at www.goca.org.

GOCA will post a survey on it’s website to obtain feedback on this year’s Olney Day’s events, and welcomes comments and suggestions for next year.

“We are always trying to improve Olney Days, so feedback is really important,” said Falcigno. “It’s a celebration of the community, so we want to make sure we are planning the kinds of events that the community wants.”

To volunteer or for more information about the events, contact Helene Rosenheim at 301-774-6774 or helene.rosenheim@verizon.net or visit www.goca.org.