Gary Crooker is Citizen of the Year

WILTON – Gary Crooker has been chairman or co-chairman of the town’s celebration of Old Home Days for over three decades. This year he is sharing the post with Don Condon.

In recognition of that effort, on Saturday, Aug. 16, he was named “Citizen of the Year” during opening ceremonies for this year’s week-long event.

“He’s been the driving force behind Old Home Days,” Selectman Chairman Bill Condra said. “Everything that you see here, is due to him and his work.”

Selectman Kermit Williams presented Crooker with a plaque.

Prior to the presentation, Crooker had welcomed everyone to the festivities and introduced various members of his committee. His acceptance speech, in his typical fashion, was, “Thanks.”

Williams said later that “Crooker literally wrote the book on Old Home Days,” referring to an “Images of America” book on the subject.

Saturday was the opening of a nine-day series of events that is held every five years. Saturday’s events included a children’s parade of decorated bicycles and other vehicles, a dog agility demonstration, a BMX Bike show, and a dance with the Bat Magoon Band.

Sunday featured a breakfast, disc golf on the high school course, a firemen’s parade and muster, a chicken barbecue, and a band concert by The Miners.

The concluding weekend will include a murder mystery dinner theater at the Congregational Church on Friday, and an “Open Mike” at the library.

On Saturday, the Old Home Days Parade kicks off at 10 a.m., followed by a chicken barbecue and a band concert featuring The Temple Band, The Mad Bavarians, And Studio Two-Tribute to the Beatles.

Celebrations conclude on Sunday, Aug. 24, with a music festival from noon to 7 p.m. featuring Sheepdip, Murphy’s Blues, and Project Mess.

A senior dinner will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and closing ceremonies will be at 7:30 p.m.