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Local News

August 27, 2010

Old Franklin day to celebrate community connections

Thirty-one years ago, a street fair featuring food, an outdoor craft and flea market and music was organized to raise money to save Franklin's Stone Hall.

That event has evolved into a community gathering used to reconnect with friends and family, event organizers said.

Old Franklin Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of Franklin Central School. Admission is free.

The celebration is an annual event to promote the preservation of Stone Hall, which houses the Franklin Historical Society Museum, Franklin Central School classrooms, a replica of a one-room school and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

A few years ago, a couple who had moved to North Carolina decided to make it a gathering point to reconnect with the Franklin community, event spokeswoman Chris Geertgens said Thursday.

"The couple rented a tent where they spent the day visiting with people," Geertgens said. "It was very successful, and they have done it every year."

This year the Franklin class of 1959-60 decided to hold its 50th class reunion this weekend, and they rented a space where people can gather.

"We would like to see that trend continue and make Old Franklin Day our day for people to come back to Franklin and reconnect," Geertgens said.

In 1980, Stone Hall had deteriorated to the point that the Franklin school board considered demolishing the building, which was once part of the Delaware Literary Institute, formed in 1835.

A committee formed to raise money to save the building and the annual event began.

Geertgens said the addition of the dedication of the Fallen Veteran's Monument in the new Franklin Community Park is also a reason for people to gather and renew their community ties.

"The park and the monument are an example of what the community can do when they come together," Geertgens said. "I am amazed at what the community has done with very little funding to make the park a reality."

The event features the library book sale, the pie tent, a quilt show, an art show, a flea market, craft vendors, Doodlebugs and antique tractors, Civil War regiments and a variety of food vendors.

Franklin residents will also be holding lawn sales.

The annual vintage fashion show is at 1 p.m. in the Franklin Central School cafetorium.

The schedule of events includes:

"¢ 9 to 9:30 a.m.: Orpheus Musical Kids on the Go in the cafetorium;"¢ 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: Sidney Community Band;"¢ 11 a.m.: Dedication of the Fallen Veteran's Monument at the Franklin Community Park;"¢ 12:30 to 1 p.m.: Folk singer John Paul O'Connor;"¢ 1 to 2 p.m.: Vintage Fashion Show;"¢ 1 to 1:30 p.m. and 2 to 2:30 p.m.: Jazzy violin and guitar with Amy Fix and Barry Kornhauser;"¢ 2 p.m.: Just Clowning Around in the cafetorium.

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