WARWICK — Hoof beats and sirens filled the cool Saturday morning air as Warwick kicked off its Old Home Days celebration with a parade through the center of town.
Artists, farmers and various town organizations occupied the lawn behind the town offices as the community celebrated being together once again. A parade featuring the Warwick Police and Fire Departments, antique cars, a horse-drawn cart and the Richmond, New Hampshire, Fire Department went through town at 10 a.m. Last year’s Old Home Days celebration was canceled because of the pandemic.
“It feels good bringing things back,” said Old Home Days Committee Chair Colleen Paul. “It’s nice to see familiar faces.”
Paul said this year’s event generated more buzz because of last year’s canceled event.
“There was more interest, more phone calls,” Paul said. “It’s just gathering the community together … Warwick, they just come out.”
While this year’s celebration lacked the firemen’s muster and satellite dish toss, the community still gathered and mingled on the town common where artists and farmers were selling scarves, pepper jam and other various products.
The two-day event included music, a presentation by Conway resident and wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi and the “Corregatta” cardboard boat race at the Moores Pond Town Beach.
Tom Wyatt, vice chair of the Warwick Education Committee, was manning the Warwick School Redesign table. He said he has been to almost every Old Home Days celebration and loves it because of the community aspect.
“It’s a town of 750 people spread out over 50 square miles,” Wyatt said. “It’s just seeing everybody together.”
The celebration provided an opportunity for the Warwick Women’s Guild to celebrate its 100th anniversary with a table and presentation. The guild showed the daily lives of people from 1921, the year of its creation, and displayed some of the projects they’ve undertaken around town.
Women’s Guild member Freddie Fellows said she has lived in Warwick for more than six decades and has attended almost every Old Home Days celebration because of the sense of community.
“I think (residents) really care for each other,” Fellows said. “It’s a celebration of who we are.”
She added the Women’s Guild usually has other activities or sales, but they wanted to scale it back a little because of the pandemic.
“We have been doing this for many years,” Fellows said. “We generally would have a bake sale; hopefully, we get back to it.”
Fellow Guild member Gloria Varno, who has lived in town for 20 years, said town residents enjoy coming together and learning more about what’s happening in town.
“It’s very social,” Varno said. “We have a lot of things in town people don’t know about.”
Sadie Waggenbeck was one of the artists selling her crafts on the town common. She laid out an assortment of colorful scarves she knitted during the pandemic lockdowns.
“This was my quarantine crafting that kept me sane,” Waggenbeck said. “It’s always cool seeing what everyone’s been up to.”
She said Old Home Days provides an opportunity for people out of Warwick to see what is happening in the small town.
“People will come from out of town,” Waggenbeck said, “and be like, ‘I didn’t know this tiny little town was doing all this.’”
Chris Larabee can be reached at email@example.com or 413-930-4081.