SLIDESHOW: Harrington celebrates Heritage Day 2016

HARRINGTON -In true Harrington tradition, sirens announced the start of the 38th annual Heritage Day Saturday morning.

A parade, led by Cub and Boy Scouts from Harrington on foot while the Lake Forest High School Marching Band sounded the end of the parade, found its way through town before festivities began.

Heritage Day goers of all ages were greeted with more traditional festivities including music, vendor booths, hand-made crafts, a car show and a kid zone offering free activities for kids.

Janelle Laine of Harrington, however, may have been one of the happiest youth attendees of the day.

“Mr. Bill,” she and her family announced as they walked to the kidzone and found Bill Falasco, director of Harrington’s Park & Recreations Department.

He happily greeted the family with a smile and invited Janelle and her two siblings to test out a bicycle that was quietly awaiting a rider inside the kidzone.

“Do you know how to ride a bike,” he asked them. Janelle struggled with putting the kickstand up as she said yes, she knew how to ride a bike. Mr. Falasco helped her with the bicycle before she sped off.

After realizing she was having trouble with the brakes, Mr. Falasco jokingly shouted, “I thought you knew how to ride a bike.”

Her mom commented, “Her bike at home doesn’t have brakes, so she doesn’t know what you’re talking about.”

After circling the area several times, she rode the bicycle back to Mr. Falasco. “Did you like it,” he asked her. She nodded and said, “Yes.”

“It’s yours,” he said with a smile. “It’s yours. But when you’re too big for it, you need to teach her [Janelle’s little sister] how to ride it, or you’ll have to bring it back.”

Janelle was shocked. A similar story happened later in the day with another young Harrington resident.

Sherry Clark volunteered in the kidzone Saturday and said she didn’t know where the bicycles came from, but knew Mr. Falasco wanted to give them away to children in need.

“That’s all he said about it; that he wanted us to give them to a family who looked like they might not be able to get one on their own, and that we would know when that family came along,” she said.

Janelle’s mother, Jeanette, was equally shocked.

“She can’t believe she got a bike. This is wonderful,” she said quietly.

Bringing heritage to life

Trinity United Methodist Church on Commerce Street in Harrington celebrated its 25th year of participation in Heritage Day much like its first year: a wedding gown display.

Cheryl Deering of Camden was the chairperson behind this year’s event for the church. She said the group tries to have a different theme each year, but it didn’t work out that way this year.

“It was perfect, like it was meant to be,” she said.

The gowns, each worn by women who were somehow connected to the church, were organized by family.

“I love having the different dresses by decade, but then I thought: We have all these family members represented,” she added.

The pastor’s gown was displayed right where she is seen each Sunday morning: at the pulpit.

“We had to find her gown. It just wouldn’t be right without it. But she had given it to another church that had some brides who might not be able to afford wedding dresses, but might want to get married in a wedding gown,” Ms. Deering said.

“So I tracked it down and there it sits.”

Previously, Trinity UMC displayed Bibles, antiques, heritage from Harrington, farmland and railroads to name a few.

For more on Harrington’s Heritage Day, read the upcoming issue of The Harrington Journal.

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