A user manual for running Old Home Day
Herein are working notes and details of the activities, events and actions that make Old Home Day happen. Where available “How to” documents from various venues have been linked as indicated in the index. Where such details are missing a brief synopsis is provided to give the reader a feel for what is involved.
(“clickable” to advance to associated text for each event)
8. Road Races
11. Baking contests
12. Art Show
13. Country Fair
14. Children’s Games
15. Frog Jumping
16. Corn Shucking
17. The Great Parade
18. Dunking booth
19. Pet Show
21. BBQ and Cakewalk
23. Bits an Pieces
The Old Home Day Association Inc. was incorporated in 1975 in the State of Massachusetts.
Guiding Principles as embodied in our charter based in tradition, learned and re-learned over the last 100 years.
a. We do not (indeed cannot) allow politics in any form to be a part of the day nor to shape or influence organizational discussions. In legal terms there is “no deminimus.” No handouts, no parade entries, no booth rentals, no candidates marching in the parade NOR even glad handing among the crowd. Candidates may certainly attend the day as a citizen. But they are NOT to campaign in any manner. We would lose our non-profit status if any such activity were observed and reported. For more details see how the date of Old Home Day is chosen and why. The Police will cooperate in ejecting anyone who refuses to adhere to this requirement. Don’t hesitate to take action.
b. We do not allow sponsorship (commercial or otherwise) for any of the events, items or activities. People or firms may donate and specify an application of their donation but no event or activity will display or advertise their firm. Principle here is that the people “own” OHD and none of it is for sale in part or in whole.
c. We report our finances in accordance with State requirements for non-profits each year and these reports are a matter of public record and as such are available to anyone who asks the Secretary of State’s office. Details of our internal finances and financing are not for public consumption beyond that. We do not reveal the amounts of any donations received nor do we divulge the costs of contracts awarded for various items. We are a private corporation and best business practices apply.
d. The date of OHD has been established as the first weekend before July 4th. This can be discussed/revisited each year but if the day selected is July 4th itself, the town has informed us that they would then have to allow politics to enter the day (floats, candidates etc) when they issue the permit. This of course would be in violation of the IRS rulings regarding non-profits. Accordingly, the loss of non-profit status would be the consequence. We would lose out on all the protections afforded OHD from associated regulations and donations would not be tax deductable.
The get the best view of what will happen and when, is to look at a program from a previous year to “picture” the day and how it unfolds. Visualizing the events allows you to organize your thoughts and the actions needed to make sure each event is complete. For example the program shows sanitation facilities (port-o-potties). These are acquired from regional firms. We use United Site Services (www. United site services.com) under contract arrangements. Such firms can be contacted individually for pricing and the best price offer selected. Previous performance should be considered. Any oversights or delivery problems or below standard units will not contribute to a “good” day.
Work your minds’ eye around the day’s activities and make your own list of “things to do” for each event. That’ll get you started and comfortable with the needs. Of course the major events will need a dedicated chairperson. If “not of course” then that makes you “it” or you’ll have to consider dropping the event
These two lists are “to do lists” for your calendar. They are the “bullets” of sequential action that must be completed as the day approaches.
Over the years I found it simplest to separate monies into four accounts. Cambridge Trust in Concord holds all accounts.
(You should appoint a treasurer to keep track of income and expenses. A separate line is provided for this position in the Annual report).
The main account is used by the treasurer to pay all operating expenses.
There is a donation account into which all donations are deposited. From time to time at following OHD, the year the treasurer will replenish the funds in the main account by transferring monies form this donation account.
There is a special events account, which is used for special projects or even specific fundraising activities that are otherwise not a part of our normal OHD. For instance, we used this account for fireworks. Money can be deposited from the regular donations account when special activities need financing.
We also maintain a CD, which is kept at a value (as of 2014 it is $15,160.33) sufficient to cover all expenses of an OHD. This provides two important financial aspects. First we can now make financially responsible commitments to vendors, rental companies etc. with all contracts fiscally backed. In keeping with that responsibility, we can be assured that any given OHD can be fully paid for in the event of a rain out or drastic decrease in annual donations. In that sense it is an active ‘contingency’ fund. It won’t last forever but the current year will be covered.
You should appoint a treasurer to keep track of income and expenses. A separate line is provided for this position in the Annual report.
In the 70’s we only needed about $2,000 to $3,000 to make up-front purchases. We usually could count on that same amount coming in from the events we ran. But slowly over the years we could no longer balance our budget with just the event income. Fund raising was the only solution.
The most successful method has been demonstrated to be a letter to all residents (~2,000) that has a return address envelope enclosed. On average, we receive responses from around 325 folks that total to $11to13k. Not always from the same individuals though there are many consistent supporters. The largest donation we’ve received is $1,000. The average donation varies somewhere between $50 and $120.
The main letter describes our upcoming needs in general terms (events, support categories etc.) and includes a plea/reminder that OHD does not receive any taxpayer funds for the event. We are entirely people powered and without that OHD cannot exist. Carlisle is the ONLY New England town celebrating and Old Home Day that does NOT receive town funding. It is our strong suit.
Timing is critical and you need to have these letters sent out by late April, certainly by the first week of May.
All donations are to receive a thank you note that serves as a tax deductible receipt and must be sent to donors. I ALWAYS sent these out the SAME DAY (or certainly by the weekend following) that the donation was received. Otherwise you’re up to your elbows in catch-up.
Using EXCEL and WORD you can easily create a merge file, which makes letter writing and envelope addressing a snap.
We didn’t offer scholarships until 2006. That’s when we graduated from a 501.c.4 to a 501.c.3 non-profit organization as a public charity sponsoring educational activities. This allowed us to offer an avenue for tax-deductible donations, and it gave us liability protection under the “Volunteer Protection Act”. With that assurance we no longer needed to pay for liability insurance (~$2,000+ premium for the two days of OHD!). Instead we could give that money as scholarships in keeping with our non-profit designation.
We dedicate all income from events that are run by or for the OHD committee such as the country fair, the road races, the ice cream social, the cakewalk, art show and baking contests to the scholarship fund.
Operating funds are derived from charitable donations, which are solicited to cover all operating expenses except the scholarships. Donors can otherwise earmark donations for scholarships if they choose. The monies that we as a committee earn are dedicated to the scholarship program. Thus, the country fair, the road races, the ice cream social etc. supply the income needed to sustain the scholarships.
We have been awarding two scholarships each year and as of 2011 they were for $1,500 each. The monies are forwarded to the college of choice of the winners.
Because OHD has always been run by volunteers it stands as a tribute to what volunteers can accomplish. For that reason we base the selection of awardees on demonstrated volunteer awareness and experiences of the application candidates.
Table & Chair management
Sounds trivial right?
But somehow it never has been. Each year we somehow manage to be short of tables or have them in the wrong place at the wrong time or people just grab them and move them as they please. One year someone even stole a table to top it all off. Any disruption in a table assignment will cascade through all remaining events.
Sooo, you need to assign ONE person (preferably with a truck), who takes/keeps the inventory; identifies event needs from various chairs, and then distributes them as needed over the days of OHD.
One step yopu can take is to inform all Country Fair vendors that we do not furnish tables of chairs for their stands.
There are a number of behind the scene co-ordinations and administrative items that must be attended to both Administrative and Procedural. There are some items that have a longer lead times associated with them. Those may need to be attended to shortly after OHD and certainly a number of them at the start of the year. Details you need to be aware of are discussed below.
We have long had a banner announcing OHD hanging above the end of School Street by the town Green. Someone needs to be in charge. We have kept some banners from previous years as they have a date on them. These can be reused every four years. This banner needs to be delivered to the Fire Department BEFORE the first of May so they can schedule a training session to put it up before the end of May. It should “fly” for the entire month of June before OHD.
Before year end (our FY ends Dec 31) fill out annual report and mail to State.
While the numbers of the just completed OHD are current, you should start to draft a pro-forma budget. It will be a living document throughout the coming year and it’ll help you plan for expenditures and minimize surprises.
Order porto-potties in the early spring. We use United Site Services (www. United site services.com). If you want such things as a hot air balloon you need to book it early. Fireworks must be ordered a year in advance to guarantee availability of the display company. In 2012 $15,000 would buy a 15-20 minute show with motors up to 4 inches OK’d for Spalding Field. Our supplier and shooter was ‘Atlas’ in Jaffrey, NH. Contact the Fire Chief Dave Flannery to coordinate.
Pick a date for getting the program to the printer. Given this you can then set a date for the middle school Art teacher to complete the art that will need to be scanned and inserted into the program. Let her (Courtney) know at the first of the year.
Send a request to the Town Board of Selectmen for permission to run OHD on the date chosen.
Schedule use of the ball field with the recreation commission (Town Hall) if it is to be used. Also, if the school is to be used (auditorium, cafeteria etc.) you’ll need to fill out a school use form which you can pick up at the school office. (Ignore the line about how much insurance is required).
Check with the First Religious Society (Union Hall) to see if it’s OK to use the building on OHD.
Get a letter to Cambridge Trust for their annual donation.
Get mail route numbers to use for determining quantities of fund raising material and programs to be printed. When solicitation envelopes or the program are ready for mailing, best if they are boxed according to individual route numbers. Programs are mailed the week before OHD.
This is a simple electronic form that merely needs to be submitted. We are a registered user.
Login ID: 51017248301
Password: since1912 (no spaces and is case sensitive)
Once you are logged in all you should have to do is click “submit.”
This is a VITAL step in maintaining our non-profit status. If this is overlooked for three years in a row you will have to re-file with the FED. It is complex AND EXPENSIVE!
Set a date for first OHD meeting. February or March should be OK. We found that a Sunday at 2 pm worked best. You’ll need a meeting every month. After OHD, schedule a wrap-up meeting in September to lay down any new plans for the following year. The date (and theme if known) should be inserted into the web page.
Develop a fund raising letter and get those mailed 2 months before the date of OHD. Schedule a “stuffing” party to get the letter and return envelopes boxed up according the route numbers obtained for the P.O. We use a green colored envelope to make sure it catches the eyes of our residents. We have alternatively used green envelopes for the enclosed #9 return envelope. We do that so if it sits in a desktop it will be eye catching. You can reverse that color scheme too i.e., #10 green mailing with a #9 white return. I would suggest that for 2015 we use colored envelopes both outbound and return. Will only cost an additional $60 or so.
We have long had our printing done by Minuteman Press (978-369-2808) in West Concord. They also do the program. Ask for Kathy.
Arrange for the rental of a popcorn popper and the dunking booth if they are to be used. These are available at O’Conner Hardware.
We use ice cream gift certificate for events (games, corn shucking, Art show, Pet show etc.). I try to keep on hand about 2-300 from Great Brook Farm. We also use certificates from Kimball Farms for bumper boat rides (12), miniature golf (12). Kimball’s donates half of these and we buy the balance. You’ll need to go to Kimball’s in Littleton and meet with their business manager Jan Quinn.
There is a bullhorn in the shed on Spalding that has been used for the road races and if needed at the children’s games. The sound system we use on the Green belongs to the Middle school. I usually contact the custodian (Dave Flannery) and have him deliver it to the foyer of Union Hall on Friday the day before OHD. Make sure its remote mike antenna has not been broken off. Seems to be a recurring problem. Because of that, we purchased our own remote mike system that plugs into the amplifier of the school system. I’ve always kept this rather expensive system at the house.
You’ll need to meet with the Police to arrange coverage for the road race and other events through out the day. I usually coordinate with them in early June. We specify that no traffic be allowed to pass through Church Street in front of the Country fair. The exception being the dignitary cars that must pass through from in front of the flag pole to reach the Parade assembly point in the school parking lot.
This has become our primary means of reaching residents as we approach the big day. In the past few years we have had a publicity chair (Bert Williams) that has been the liaison between event chairs and the Mosquito. Each chair is encouraged to get their copy to Bert but often he has to run previous copy and update it as best he can.
We have also published our own “newspaper” when we needed a single complete reference for all the towns’ folk. When we publish this paper it is called the “Old Home Day Citizen.” It was printed and delivered to us for mailing by Park Press in Illinois.
Login is "carlisleohd", password is “since1912.”
All of our association official e-mail boxes are resident at this site. While I created and maintain that web site, it really needs a dedicated Webmaster.
We have assigned publicity “chair” to coordinate all committee needs for publication in the Mosquito.
The program has always been done in what used to be Pagemaker and is now called Adobe In-Design. I have pretty much always done the program ever since Edmund French passed on in the early 70’s. You’ll need someone familiar with this software to carry on.
As the big day approaches you need to publish the program. This is done so that it is in the resident’s hands a week before OHD.
The Middle school art class provides black and white sketches of buildings around the town for scanning and “populating” the interior of the program.
The Day’s Activities
Below are my summary notes for each of the venues of the day. Where they exist, I have embedded a link to a more complete “How to” write-ups for these events. While not all events have such details available, many of the chairs have provided these such that anyone who wanted to run an activity would have primer with which to begin.
7. Ice Cream Social
A long-standing tradition that “kicks off” Old Home Day the night before. Back in the 70’s we had square dances and participants brought their own “refreshments.” As the evening continued so di the spirit rise. Later this frivolity was given more of a family appeal and became a real Ice Cream Social.
We have held it on the Green or on Spalding Field depending on the size of activities planned. When we were doing fireworks we fill the evening hours with four or so entertainment groups. Joe Poirier designed and constructed a set of locking stage platforms, which are stored at the DPW beside “our” container.
In either situation, having live entertainment is a good idea.
In the last two years, the Reccom has sponsored a movie later in the evening. They contract with a company that sets up an inflatable screen. Has been a hit so far.
These began nearly 40 years ago under the guidance of Ron Kmiec. The idea wasn’t new as similar contest were held in the early 1900’s at Old Home Day.
Today they remain well organized under the leadership of Casey Smith. She utilizes electronic chips to clock in the runners. As such the results are instantly available and she is able to join us at the flagpole at 9:15 to announce the key category winners.
The breakfast hasn’t always been run by the members of the Congregational Church. In the 70’s we would rent or borrow commercial size griddles and Bill Brown and I would make pancakes in the basement of Union hall, passing the plates out the window.
But years ago the Congregationalists offered to run it. It has been self-sustaining ever since. Today there is no charge as it is given as a gift to the community.
This ceremony is the official start to the day and the MC is the Chair of OHD. It must be started promptly and conducted in a snappy manner as often times the Honored Citizen(s) can be older and they cannot be expected to stand through long winded speech making. This finally got out of hand a few years back when two Honored Citizens nearly collapsed in the heat as the Conservationist spokesperson droned on page after page about their awardee. From that day on the rule was made that the citation for awards must be limited to one page. You need to remind them each year of this limit.
The ceremony begins with the Flag rising by the Minutemen and immediately thereafter by the singing of the National Anthem. We seek students form the Middle school as a first choice for this.
Next come the awards for the Old Home Day scholarship recipients followed by the Conservationist award and then the Honored Citizen.
Next the road race top winners are announced followed by any announcements needed. With that done dignitaries are ushered to their cars and make their way through the Country Fair corridor to the lower exit of the school parking lot where the remainder of the parade has been assembled.
The honored Citizen award began as a token of appreciation from the Old Home Day Committee back in the 70’s. While I personally penned the citation for the committee we later allowed the town’s Celebration Committee to take over the task of sorting through nominations and making the final selection. The Chair of Old Home Day is a voting member of the Celebrations committee for this procedure. Following the selection the OHD Chair contacts the OHD awards chairman with the name(s) so that the plaque that hangs in the Town Hall can be engraved. A framable citation (copies available) is completed by someone with calligraphic talents (Liz Bishop can do this). This will be presented to the awardee by the head of the celebrations committee. The parade chairman is also alerted so that signage for the car to carry the awardee can be made in advance.
The current baking contests are for pies and cake decorating. We used to have a bread-baking contest but lack of interest saw that go by the wayside. A more complete write-up of these will be posted soon.
Setup for the Art show begins Friday afternoon with artwork being delivered beginning at 4 pm. Peggy Wang has run this show for year and has a patient approach for displaying the talented entries from our community . She has a number of sturdy, framed wire grids that interlock to form a serpentine wall for hanging art. She also uses tables to display various castings etc. Awards and Ribbons are handed out to participants. There is grand award called the “Peoples Choice that is the result of observers placing a vote for their choice.
The Country Fair is a key event. It attracts crowds just as soon as the parade is finished. The vendors come from all around and from within the town. Kids baking cookies, making bead jewelry, selling honey, anything that you can think of is usually represented. A list of vendors has been assembled and they are all sent an invitation about 2 months before OHD.
The details of how we operate and the 10% fee on gross receipts we assess are explained in the invitations.
Vendors once selected are assigned booths and an envelope bearing their name is attached to their assigned booth. These envelopes are to be used for the assessment of fees and turned over to the Treasurer at the Administrative tent.
The fair booths are assembled by the DPW a day or two before Old Home Day. The day before Old Home day, the assembled booths are covered with Tyvek and then bunting is attached to the top of the booth and to the edge of the built in shelving along the front of each booth.
The morning of the fair vendors have a small window to arrive and assemble their sale or information items.
The chair of the Country fair is there at this time to resolve any issues.
These are probably the biggest hit of the day for the children. Three contests are sponsored: Three legged race, a sack race and the egg toss. Over the years Jason Reed grew up from a pint sized participant to running the games for the last few years. He has a wonderful way with the kids and fun is had by all. While the heats are on I try to make sure there is musical accompaniment. In the past few years we have found a Bluegrass Band that does a remarkable job of providing stimulating music.
To make this all come together there are a couple dozen 2-inch wide Velcro strips for making two legs into one for the first event. Then there are two large boxes of gunnysacks for the sack race. These are all stored in the shed on Spalding. After each years games it is prudent to neatly fold the sacks and align the Velcro strips into stacks. Otherwise you’ll be faced with a mess come next year.
The egg toss has “consumes” around 8 or 9 dozen eggs every year.
Prizes should be given to the winners of these contests. We use the bumper boat and miniature golf certificates from Kimball’s along with ice cream certificates from Great Brook farm and Kimball’s.
You will need helpers for this. Someone to pass out the Velcro strips, the bags and the eggs. You’ll need someone to hold the rope at both the start line and the finish line. And importantly, teenagers to observe the finish line and note the first three across and their order
This event was started back in 1975 by Bill Brown this event has grown and gown. Not sure what we can do if we get more frogs entered. The Frogman (Steve Pearlman) used to let each frog have multiple jumps and the longest was its “score.” But the number of frogs has made this difficult as the event gets to be a bit long. Need some out of the box thinking for this one.
Steve Pearlman never attends meetings but an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) will suffice to confirm he will be there at the appointed time.
This began in the 70’s when I was doing the cooking for the BBQ. Needing 600 ear of corn husked, we invented on the spot the idea of a contest with cash prizes. I divide the participants into two groups. Age 13 and below and age 14 and above. Everyone in the 13 and under group will get a ribbon and an ice cream certificate. This group only shucks one bag ears.
The 14 and above group may have to shuck two bags of corn depending on how many "huskers" participate. The rules are simple. When they are finished they are to form a line with the first contestant to finish etc. at the head of the line. However, those ears must be TOTALLY devoid of any green husk material . If not they are eliminated from the final round.
The first six satisfactorily shucked entries will move on to the final money round. All those who participated will receive a corn shucking ribbon and an ice cream certificate.
In the final round, the contestants will do at least one ear to vie for the prizes. Top prize is $20, then $15, then $10 and $5.
I these winners are to shuck their corn while blindfolded. With only 4 prizes and six competitors not ewveryone will win. Rules to win are still the same. The two contestants that don't win will also be given a ribbob and ans ice cream certificate (all the while this contest is going on, there is the accompanying Bluegrass music).
Then there is the mess of husks that must be cleaned. While you could make that part of the contest, i.e., e.g.. you must also place your husks in a bag before coming to the finish line, a simple call to all the participants and the onlookers has always taken care of this mess. The finished corn is bagged by the FD volunteers and taken to the Firehouse to be cooked for the BBQ.
Sometime in the eighties or 90’s a suggestion was made that we give this popular event the name THE GREAT PARADE. And so it is. We’ve been fortunate to have Bill Cooney and his wife Deb Power make it all happen. They find someone most appropriate to serve as grand Marshall. They usually have a horse back rider for Parade Marshall. Children’s bicycles are a big part of the parade. They assemble at the library and then are “inserted” into the procession at an appropriate position.
They select three people for judges who are provided a table and chairs on the Green under the Veteran’s Memorial. Awards are handed out at the noon award ceremony. There is a cup for the Grand Entry.
This event has been a part of Old Home Day in its beginnings.
We have been fortunate to have a true animal lover run this event the last few years. Jan Burke meets with every child and his/her pet and keeps notes. Ribbons are awarded to the pets and that prompts the biggest reward for the child. A big smile!
Afterward, Jan spends time using her notes to write up each entry with a sensitive and touching description of each pet and its “owner.” This is sent to the Mosquito and once again warms the hearts of the child.
The area for the pets is in the woods at the Carlisle Castle play area. Keeps the animals cool and is close by all the activities of the day.
The BBQ hasn’t always been run by the volunteer FD but now that they do run it, it is self-sustaining. Back in the seventies I was running it with Ed Heald. We setup the pit by the FRS back entrance. All was going well until I realized that we still had 600 ear of corn to shuck. Necessity, the Mother of invention tapped me on the shoulder. I ran to the treasurer for some cash and the corn shucking contest was born and remains a highlight of the day.
The OHD Cake Walk is a game of musical chairs! The ‘winner’ receives a cake for being seated in the chair which number is selected as the music ends. A plea to the town through the mosquito via OHD PR goes out for decorated cakes to be entered into the cake-decorating contest that takes place in the morning as well as donated (simple) cakes to be delivered to Town Hall. It is common practice that people should be encouraged to bring a cake when they come to participate.
OHD SCHOLARSHIP GUIDELINES
The OHD scholarship is awarded to 2 Carlisle seniors each year based on their spirit of volunteerism in the community. Students can attend public, private, or vocational high schools and can apply to 2 or 4 year colleges.
There are 2 grants per year: the amount is determined by the OHD chairman.
In April, the CCHS scholarship committee gives us the applications of those students interested in the OHD scholarship. Our grant is not based on need or grade point average, only on the quality and quantity of their volunteer activities. All students at CCHS are required to do some volunteer work to graduate, so the OHD committee needs to decide who has gone "above and beyond."
Our contact person at CCHS is Molly Eberle.
The OHD committee then shares the applications and meets to discuss the candidates.
There is an interview night in May which we are invited to attend, giving us an opportunity to meet the students.
After deciding on the winners, we submit the names to CCHS so that their names may be printed in the graduation program. We then notify the winners and invite them to be recognized at OHD at the flag pole.
The current members of the OHD scholarship committee are: Donna Cantrill, Bill Cooney, Pat Schannen, and Jane Williams.
Where do we store all the stuff needed?
There are three primary locations where we can store stuiff until next year. The DPW has provided space for us to store our tables, chairs, country fair booth frames and stage platforms that were built for the large shows we occasionally will put on on Spalding field for special ocasions.
Tents, supplies, and the Art show display panels are located in a shed we built down on Spalding field.
There is some rather expensive sound equipment (remote microphones) and important files that the chairperson will need and those usually are kept in the chair's house.
When shows are produced down on Spalding we always took precautions to spray the field with an organic repellant.
Setting up the admin tent
Thisis done on Friday afternoon setting up two tables and two pop-up tents. The ice cream social often occupies this arrangement when the social is held on Firday evening on the Green. You need to take care to lock all these units together to deter overnight theft.
Signs and Placards
I always take a bit of poster board and some magic markers withe me. You neverknow.
In Case of rain
This topic deserves special attention by the committe and all venues to make sure theree is indeed a falback plan in the event of rain. The decisions to be made must be well understood and virtually rehearsed ahead of time.
Keys and Checkbooks
We keep keys to the DPW shed and our shed on the ball field. We also have locks for chains to secure items such as tables and chairs whenever thewy must be laft out overnight.
Important list of contacts include Gary David the head of the DPW, Dave Flannery the Fire Chief and John Fisher our police chief. Included in that lsit is Ann Quenin the business manger of the FRS.Also, Holly Mansfield of the Recreation Commission authorizes the use of Spalding.
Awards and ribbons
Ray Pichulu has taken on this responsibility for years. He has all the contacts for purchasing and retains all left over ribbons in his keeping. Ray also sees to it that the Honored Citizen placque is engraved each year.
The Honored Citizen certificate is kept by the OHD chair. We have a few left. They were silk screened by former resident Phyliss Hughes.
These include ice cream certificates from both Great Brook farm and Kimball's. The deal we've struck with them is that we will pay half and they donate the rest. You will need at least 300 evry year. You will have carryover no doubt but start the day with assurances no child will go without.
In addition to these "gifts' for all the kids during the day, we also provide gift certificates for all the DPW folks and all the Police who are assigned to support Old Home Day. We spend $25 apiece on these and we let them vote or otherwise choose a nearby restaurant to obtain these from.
Years ago we decided to hang a banner near the center above Church street. To be effective (helps with fund raising too) it shouild be up for the entire mointh of June. That means it needs to be ordered in time to arrive by the third week in May. This amount of lead time is important because it's the Fire Department that hangs it when they have a trainibg session. Never knowing when this will be, give yourself plenty of lead time.