ORRINGTON – The Town of Orrington will celebrate its annual Old Home Week from Friday, July 15 through Sunday, July 24 with special events highlighting Orrington’s rich past, vibrant present, and bright future.

Old Home Week events will kick-off with the Endless Yard Sale, sponsored by PERC, on Friday July 15 through Sunday, July17. It has grown into one of the most anticipated events in the region, with folks driving up from Florida and down from the Maritimes! Thousands of treasure seekers have made Orrington the best place in the State of Maine to find the best bargains from yard sales covering over 70 miles of roads. Bargain hunters can pick up the yard sale maps starting July 14 at Bob’s Kozy Korner, R.H Foster’s, PizzaLand, Dunkin’ Donuts, A Straight Stitch, Orrington Arcade & Game Room, Snow’s Corner Wash & Shine, Fusion Salon, Lav’s Auto, Town Hall and the Public Library. Maps are available at www.orringtonoldhomeweek.com and facebook.com/OrringtonOldHomeWeek. Look for the bright yellow signs when shopping all around town.

The Orrington Historical Society is also participating in the Endless Yard Sale. Snag some artifacts and bargains at the Orrington Historical Society Indoor Yard Sale July 15-16 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rummage through all their incredible community donations. All proceeds help support the renovation of the historic OHS Grange Hall.      

Shoppers can recharge during the day at different fundraisers. Start the morning off with an All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast at the Ralph J. Pollard Masonic Lodge on 528 River Road from 7-10 a.m. Stack them up for just $8.

Then take a lunch break at the First United Methodist Church at 14 Center Drive on July 16 from 11 a.m. to 1p.m. They are serving up a Double Dog Delight: 2 hot dogs, chips, potato salad and brownie to-go for just $10.

The next big event is a coming home party for one of Orrington’s finest. Orrington Historical Society is welcoming Ed Thomas home with an Old-Fashioned Stage Show on Tuesday, July 19 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the OHS Grange Hall on 446 Dow Road. This family-fun event, sponsored by Ware-Butler Building Supply, will headline Thomas and his comedic wit and ventriloquist skills. Clayton Rogers will kick off the evening playing the vintage upright piano for a sing-along of old favorites. After the performances, Thomas will be donating two of his original “Jerry” dummies to the Orrington Historical Society as part of their permanent collections. Hugo has recently been donated to the Smithsonian Institution.

Thomas was a naturally talented kid, growing up in Orrington, who was always looking for an opportunity to entertain. With the help of his father, he would find his entertainment voice, albeit by throwing it into an inanimate object. Without any formal training or mentoring, Thomas mastered the art of ventriloquism, and he and his dummy, Hugo, were sought after throughout much of the northeastern U.S. before he even graduated high school. Since 1947, Thomas and Hugo have been entertaining theater and TV audiences throughout the U.S.

After graduating from Nasson College, he put his degree to work in the business world and became vice president of three very large companies: Jordan Marsh, A.E. Troutman Company, and International Medical Centers. He was also an adjunct professor at Florida International University and taught ventriloquism, with a little help from Hugo, at the Boston Center for Adult Education. But his love of entertaining before a live audience tugged at him constantly. “I love to make people laugh,” Thomas explained.

In 2000, Thomas decided to go back on the road, but had problems trying to convince Hugo to join him.  He is as cranky as ever. “You just wouldn’t believe some of the things he says -and gets away with,” exclaimed Thomas. “You wouldn’t catch me saying anything like that.” The pair has appeared on many talk shows and were regular guests on the Sunnydale Farm Show. They have also appeared in many TV commercials.

In addition to his ventriloquist act, Thomas developed a stage character for himself called Dr. Horace P. Goodfellow, who would spout the wit and wisdom that reflected his Downeast roots. Not only did Dr. Goodfellow become a one-man show, performing for conventions, fairs and business gatherings all around New England, but he became a regularly featured columnist in a small-town daily.

Welcome Thomas and his friends home on July 19 at the OHS Grange Hall. The Historical Society is accepting donations for this event. Light refreshments will be served. To top off the evening, Orrington’s Citizen of the Year will be announced.

The Curran Village has some pretty big news, too. The Curran Village is growing every day. New buildings are being moved or constructed and programs are springing up everywhere! You can check out the progress during Open Days with self-guided or tour guides scheduled for July 15- 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will also be some special events for all ages. The Curran’s first five-day Summer History Camp at the history museum will focus on S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and takes place July 18-22, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Real steam, as well with a demo of our steam traction engine, is anticipated. This is a day camp. Snacks are provided. Bring your own bag lunch. The schedule for the week includes letterpress printing; Victorian kitchen baking and pickling; foot treadle sewing machine sewing; metal casting; fiber arts including carding, dyeing, spinning, and weaving; Native American culture including tools, wampum making, song and dance; plus woodworking, telegraph making; Model T rides and a daily ride on our 1894 horse carousel and more! Cost is just $225. Call 207-205-4849 to register. Space is limited.

Bargain shoppers won’t want to miss the Curran Village’s Very Big Yard Sale under the Big Top that will be held over two weekends: July 15-16 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and July 23-24 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a museum fundraiser. The sale will include antiques, tools, equipment, household goods, furniture, upright piano, pump organ(s), garage doors, hardware, clothes, lawn mowers, electrical and plumbing stuff, and more!

Shoppers and history buffs get hungry, so the Curran Village is hosting two Saturday Bean BBQs on July 16 and July 23 from noon to 2 p.m. The menu includes pork and beans, sausage, hotdogs, their special Curran Chili Dog, plus beverage. Cost is just $10 for adults and $6 for kids under 15.

The 19th Century Curran Homestead Village at Fields Pond and Newfield is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that collects, preserves and utilizes historic artifacts and buildings for the purpose of exhibition, living history, traditional arts programming and hands-on education. The villages serve as classrooms to not only raise awareness and appreciation of life in rural Maine and New England during the emerging Industrial Age of the 19th and early 20th centuries but to empower new generations through sharing the lessons of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from that time to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Their goal is to help to nurture future inventors, scientists, mechanics and agriculturists through individual awareness and discovery. For more information, visit www.curranhomestead.org

The Orrington Public Library is again home to many Old Home Week events. Their most popular event is back. The annual Used Book Sale will fulfill your beach reads, fill your bookshelves, or stock up for those cold winter nights. The sale runs July 15-23.

The annual Old Home Week Photo Contest and Display will feature photos taken of Orrington, ranging from scenes, animals, objects, etc. The top three vote-getters and another 10 winners will be printed into sets of notecards. You can view all the entries and purchase the note cards during special Old Home Week hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and, Friday 10 a.m. -to5 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Library’s Children’s Summer Reading Program, “Oceans of Opportunities,” is underway. Readers vie for weekly prizes and will have a chance for the grand prize drawing on Aug. 10.

The ocean theme continues with an exciting fundraiser for the Public Library … a Painted Paddle Auction sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Creative students and adults are busy decorating wooden paddles with paint and other embellishments. These will be displayed and auctioned off to the highest bidder during Old Home Week!

The “Oceans of Opportunities” Story Walk will be set up along the Center Drive School XC Trail for adventurous readers to enjoy the outdoors … exercise both our mind and body.

Limited quantities of the “Food for Thought” Community Cookbook will be available for sale. It is the original Orrington Public Library recipe book published in 1978 with some new recipes from current Orrington cooks.

The Center Drive School PTG is sponsoring a Back-To-School Supply Drive all week long at the Public Library. Drop off much-needed school supplies for both students and teachers in the specially marked bins during regular Library hours.

There will be community exhibits on display outside the Library on July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop by and learn more about the Orrington Garden Club, Eastern Maine Camera Club, Orrington Conservation Commission, and McKnight Wildlife Control and more.

Local author Mac Ames will also be on hand July 16, signing copies of his latest book, “Lost My Way in the Darkness.” Readers follow primary character Jack Bannister as he wrestles with issues of life, loss, trust, and faith. Add this to your summer reading list!

The Fields Pond Audubon Center will offer a Family Fun Scavenger Hunt. Hit the trails and join the hunt on July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families will compete to complete a series of fun natural history challenges at the Fields Pond Audubon Sanctuary at 216 Fields Pond Road. This is a free event for the whole family. For more information visit www.maineaudubon.org or call 207-989-2591.

The Sedgeunkedunk Stream will again be flush with fowl during Old Home Week as the SedgeunkeDUCK Regatta splashes down on Sunday, July 17 at 11:30 a.m. This rubber duck race is a fundraiser for the Orrington Historical Society and is sponsored by Bob’s Kozy Korner store. Individuals, families and businesses can take part in the SedgeunkeDUCK Regatta by sponsoring a rubber duck or a flock of rubber ducks for just $10 per duck or three for $25. Stop by Bob’s Kozy Korner store or Orrington Town Hall during regular business hours to choose and register your duck(s) or arrive at the event at 10:30 a.m. to adopt your rubber ducky. Each duck is numbered. No skills are needed to train the ducks, as each rubber avian is on its own and has an equal opportunity to finish first. The top three finishers will receive one-of-a-kind trophies and cash prizes: 1st place $75, 2nd place $50, and 3rd place $25. The bright yellow rubber ducks will all be released at the same time into the Sedgeunkedunk Stream at the Fishway Picnic Area. Spectators can watch and cheer on their favorite quacker as the ducks make their way downstream to the Johnson Mill bridge finish line. The Dick Campbell LLC sponsors this event. Bob’s Kozy Korner will have the grill fired up for those who want to have a picnic lunch of burgers and hot dogs.

On Monday, July 18, three new signs will be unveiled around Orrington, noting the latest development projects underway: The East Orrington Business Park, the Eagle Point Business Park and the new Baker Landing boat launch and recreation area. Details will be posted on Old Home Week’s facebook page.

Enjoy dinner and show on Tuesday, July 19. The East Orrington Congregational Church will cook up a delicious Baked Bean & Casserole Supper from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Enjoy a home-cooked dinner of hot dogs, beans, cole slaw, potato salad and dessert with friends and neighbors in air-conditioned comfort, then head to the OHS Grange Hall for the Old-Fashioned Stage Show with Thomas! Donations for meals are accepted.

On Wednesday July 20 from 6-7:30 p.m., Judith Frost Gillis will conduct a tour of the Dean Hill Cemetery. Hear the interesting stories of Orrington’s past and learn about the headstone restoration projects underway.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 21-23 would be great days for a waterside picnic along the river at the Picnic Park near Kindred Spirits or the boat launch off Mill Creek Road. There will be some larger vessels cruising up the river to Bangor on July 21 or 22 and sailing downriver from Bangor on July 23.  Other viewing sites, hiking trails,  picnic areas and boat launches are noted at www.4PortLoop.me and www.PenobscotMaritimeHeritage.com

Bring the kids or bring the whole family to Orrington Center Church on Thursday, July 21 from 1-3 p.m. for their annual Children’s Day & Ice Cream Social. Kids of all ages will enjoy the ice cream cones or sundaes with all the yummy topping. This is a free event.

Join friends and family of all ages for Old Fashioned Patriotic & Hymn Sing-along at Orrington Center Church, Sanctuary, 468 Dow Road on Friday, July 22, 6:30-8 p.m. Choose your favorite hymns and inspirational, patriotic songs accompanied on the organ and piano by well-known, highly regarded John Nickerson, “Mr. Music Man” of Hermon. For over 40 years, Nickerson sold organs to churches throughout Maine, including the organ at Orrington Center Church. He has been involved in music ministries at several area churches and served as a pastor for 10-12 years. Wear your red, white and blue and join the community in this evening sing-along!

Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy the Orrington Fire & Rescue’s annual Open House on Saturday, July 23 from 8 a.m. to noon. Events kick off with a delicious pancake breakfast from 8-9:30 a.m. Guests can also enjoy displays from multiple public safety agencies. Learn how to keep you and your family safe. See the new fire rescue boat, touch-a-truck and more. The public safety building is located at 271 Center Drive. For more information, call 207-825-3530 or fireprevention@orrington.org.

If you are interested in remote control vehicles, the folks of King’s Mountain RC will offer two days of high-flying fun during this year’s Old Home Week. On Saturday, July 23, the King’s Mountain RC store at 521 South Main Street, Brewer (just over the Orrington town line) will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for an Open Track Day and lots of vehicle demonstrations. Build a custom truck that’s both fast and powerful! Learn to fly a plane without leaving the ground! Discover the new world of high-flying, long-distance drones! Take the power of RC cars onto the wate r… all with the guidance of RC experts!

On Sunday, July 24, come on out to Perry’s Flying Field at 65 Harrison Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weather permitting) to see the planes, trucks and drones flying high and tearing up the track and the awesome Creek Crawl. These events will thrill kids and adults of all ages!

The Orrington Recreation Wiffle Ball Tournament will be back for the fifth year. Bats will be swinging on Saturday, July 23 at Center Drive School. There will be two wiffle ball divisions: The open division ages (14 and up) for high school and adult players ($50/team). The youth division (ages 10-13) for middle school players ($30/team). If you’re familiar with the tournament and would like to enter a team, email orringtonrec@gmail.com

Old Home Week’s mission is to celebrate Orrington’s rich past, vibrant present and bright future with residents, friends and neighbors. It will showcase the best of Orrington’s colorful history, distinct villages, beautiful natural resources, numerous businesses, thriving churches and organizations and, of course, the friendly people.

Old Home Week is generously supported by these community-minded sponsors: Town of Orrington, Penobscot Energy Recovery Company, Ware-Butler Building Supply, Dick Campbell LLC, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Lav’s Auto, Bangor Savings Bank, J&J Auto Salvage, My Vault Self Storage, D.R. Disc Golf and the Maine Edge.

Visit www.orringtonoldhomeweek.com for the complete schedule and more information. Follow the fun on facebook/OrringtonOldHomeWeek.