Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Olney Days to begin in six more weeks

Beloved annual event will be held May 16-18 throughout the community

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To honor the spirit of the community, this year’s Olney Days celebration will use the theme ‘‘Olney: Our Secret is Out.”

The weekend of events is set for May 16-18 at a variety of venues throughout Olney.

Although residents have long known Olney to be a great place to live, work and raise a family, others are now taking notice, Olney Days Chairwoman Helene Rosenheim said.

‘‘We chose this theme because Olney has recently ended up on several lists as a desirable place to live,” she said.

Members of Rosenheim’s Olney Days Committee are still fine-tuning plans for this year’s celebration.

What began as a parade in 1983 has grown into three full days of events designed to appeal to residents of all ages. Sponsored by the Greater Olney Civic Association, the celebration has become a much-anticipated rite of spring.

Many of the weekend’s events remain the same, including Joe’s Ride, which attracted more than 700 participants last year, the firework display, the parade and the Car and Truck Show, which also continues to grow.

The sixth annual Mr. and Ms. Olney Competition will be held May 16 at a location to be determined. Nine men and nine women will compete in parenting tasks such as making sandwiches or matching socks.

Prizes will be awarded and the winners will be featured in Sunday’s parade.

Crash, a band comprised of local elementary school students, will perform.

Joe’s Ride in Memory of Olney’s Kids will include a 45-kilometer bike ride, a 10-kilometer Family Fun Bike Ride, a 5-kilometer Stride and a children’s bike rodeo, all beginning at Oakdale Emory Church on May 17.

The event is designed to remember local children who have died. Proceeds will benefit the Joseph Patrick Sanford Foundation and Special Love, an organization that provides support to cancer families.

Olney Days Fun Fair and Fireworks will be held May 17 at Olney Manor Park. Events will include a homerun derby, lacrosse shootout, soccer and tennis activities, children’s games, and fire engine rides, along with the popular ice cream-eating, watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests.

The Olney Community Band and the Olney Big Band will perform, concluding with fireworks at dusk.

The Olney Days Parade will be held at 2 p.m. May 18 on Georgia Avenue between Prince Philip Drive and Spartan Road. The parade will include bands, scout groups, clowns, fire engines, antique vehicles, animal entries and more.

One new event is the Olney Town Meeting, where residents will be asked to listen and offer suggestions on four topics relating to the community: the Olney Town Center Advisory Committee’s draft concept, public safety, education and youth, and transportation.

‘‘There are a lot of changes planned for Olney with the new Olney Town Center and the ICC coming,” Rosenheim said. ‘‘With the weekend focusing on the community, this is an opportunity for people to be informed and to share their input. This is probably not something we will do every year, but for this year, it seemed like a logical fit.”

if you go

The Olney Days schedule at a glance:

Friday, May 16, 7 p.m. — The sixth annual Mr. and Ms. Olney Competition will be held at a location to be determined. Contact event organizer Judy Casey at judycasey@verizon.net

Saturday, May 17, 7 a.m. — Joe’s Ride in Memory of Olney’s Kids will begin at Oakdale Emory Church. Registration forms are available at Fletcher’s Service Center on Georgia Avenue or online at www.signmeupsports.com or www.goca.org.

Saturday, May 17, 1 p.m. — Olney Town Meeting will be held at Oakdale Emory Church.

Saturday, May 17, 4 p.m. to dark — Olney Days Fun Fair and Fireworks will be held at Olney Manor Park.

Sunday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — The 13th annual Olney Days Car and Truck Show at Fletcher’s Service Center, 17901 Georgia Ave. Call 301-924-4500.

Sunday, May 18, 2 p.m. — The Olney Days Parade will be held on Georgia Avenue between Prince Philip Drive and Spartan Road.

Information and applications for the events are available at www.goca.org. Many volunteers are still needed; contact Helene Rosenheim at vze2dhxr@verizon.net or call her at 301-774-6744.