Why is it called, "Hometown Days?"
Let’s be honest, you may have referred to this festival weekend once or twice as “Historical Days.” Whether the slip back into time was intentional or not, the fact remains the same. Even after over a decade, many people do not know where the “Hometown Days” name came from.
After the 2004 festival, the Hill and Dale Club announced that there would be no Historical Days the next summer. The group, which benefited the community through multiple projects over the course of decades, could no longer sustain the festival which had become their lasting legacy.
Many of us grew up with Historical Days, and although each generation has its own unique memories of the event, we all knew that the last weekend of July was always the town’s biggest weekend of the year.
Recognizing the importance of the event and its impact on the town, a group of concerned citizens formed a steering committee to keep the summer festival tradition alive. Understanding that the festival weekend was a vital venue for fundraising for many of our local non-profit organizations and community clubs, the committee sought to represent all of these groups.
The new committee did not take over the old Historical Days, but rather started from scratch. In light of this, and out of respect for Hill and Dale and the identity they created with Historical Days, it was decided that a new festival name would be the best course of action.
As a celebration of our town for residents and showcasing it to visitors, the name “Hometown Days” was the clear winner. Hometown Days sought to become a family-friendly weekend of entertainment, which also continued to provide a place for other organizations to conduct fundraisers as well.
In its infancy, Hometown Days was sponsored by the New Carlisle Lions Club. The Lions' support allowed the festival to gain traction and eventually become its own non-profit organization as was originally intended. At the beginning, organizations like Historic New Carlisle, the Business & Community Association, local business owners, and many area churches were involved in the planning of the festival.
The current festival is organized by a small group of volunteers who work throughout the year to continually improve the three-day event. Since that first year in 2005, in which the entire festival was planned in a few short months, Hometown Days has been able to build its own identity with its attractions and events. Things like fireworks, car show, a huge variety of food options and wiffleball tournament have become the highlights of the festival.
So while we all have fond memories of the festivals of the past, let's not allow nostalgia to block our appreciation of the weekend before us. It's Hometown Days... enjoy it! (and Go Newts!)