Whitingham Old Home Week Variety Show participants wanted

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WHITINGHAM — Old Home Week is fast approaching and the committee tasked with filling positions in the choir and acts for the variety show is looking for participants.

"The variety show features a chorus pretty much made up townspeople," said Wendy Pratt, committee co-chairwoman. "That's the base of the variety show. Then we have other individual acts."

The variety show is one of many different activities during Old Home Week. Every 10 years, the town celebrates its history, heritage, institutions and people.

This will mark the third time Pratt has co-chaired the committee. Previously, she served in 1996 and 2006.

"We hope to carry a tune. That's what we're looking for," she said. "People who carry a tune as far as the chorus is concerned."

The committee currently has several commitments from people who will be in the chorus and perform other acts.

"But we'd just like a few more and don't want anyone to miss out," said Pratt.

To register or inquire about the show, call Pratt at 802-368-7207 or e-mail Leon Corse at LLcorse6@gmail.com.

Other opportunities for participating in Old Home Week can be found at townofwhitingham-vt.org/old-home-week-2016.

This year's show will be set in 1906, bringing attendees and performers back to the first year the celebration was held. Music from that era will be sung by the choir, and other participants in the show are being asked to do the same.

While some acts may not have a connection to the time period, Pratt said the committee is working out how they will fit into "the whole script," which is being developed by a member of the committee.

Performances will be introduced by two people sitting on a set resembling the porch of Jillson's General Store.

"We have chosen two people that would have been around in 1906. Two of their descendants will be playing those characters," said Pratt, who considers herself a newcomer to Whitingham, having moved into the town back in 1986. "Whitingham is a wonderful community and one of the things that makes it still a community are the families that are here that have been here for three or four generations. They carry on a lot of the traditions that have always been."

Historically, the variety shows haven't had such defined connections to the past.

The show will open Old Home Week on Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Twin Valley Middle and High School in Whitingham. Another show will follow on Friday, Aug. 12, when fireworks also are scheduled. Games, sports, activities and a parade are on the agenda for Saturday, Aug. 13. The celebration ends on Sunday Aug. 14.

"It's a big undertaking for sure and the variety show is only a small part of it," said Pratt, who estimated there being eight to 10 different committees.

Her committee has six to eight people on it. Besides the committees arranging the activities, there are volunteers who will help throughout the week of the event.

Funding approved during annual Town Meeting in March each year will go toward hosting much of Old Home Week for no charge to attendees.

"All the activities are free. The dinners and food things are not," said Pratt. "That's the way the town has always wanted it to be. The town funds it through the taxes. We raise money for it but for that purpose, so we don't have to raise money otherwise. Family members who have moved away will come back specifically for Old Home Week so the town wants to obviously welcome them and for it to just be a good time, and it is. It's a really good time."

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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