By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — Carole Connelly was surprised to find out she was this year’s Old Home Day parade grand marshal.
She has been a member of the Old Home Day Committee for many years and was selected by her fellow committee members last week.
This year’s Old Home Day celebration — the 114th annual — is set for Aug. 14-18.
Planned activities include a baby contest, games, band concerts, a movie night, fireworks, booths and more.
Connelly will be the guest of honor and will ride the route down Mammoth Road on parade day, Aug. 17.
Old Home Day Committee Chairman Kathy Wagner said Connelly is well deserving of the honor.
“She has been with us since we started,” Wagner said. “We thought it would be nice to honor her.”
To choose the grand marshal each year, Wagner said the committee tosses members’ choices in a container and then choose.
Connelly has lived in town about 13 years and is embedded in many parts of the community, including strong ties to the Londonderry Senior Center, the Warm Homes organization and her church, St. Jude Parish.
Hearing that she was top vote-getter for grand marshal was surprising; she was sitting right there at the meeting.
“I was overwhelmed,” Connelly said. “I am quite excited.”
When her committee counterparts urged her to vote for herself, Connelly said she had someone else in mind.
“I voted for Kathy Wagner,” she said.
In addition to naming Connelly grand marshal, fourth-graders in Regan Deignan’s class at North School won this year’s Old Home Day theme contest, choosing the theme “Londonderry: Where Friends and Family Come Together.”
Students will decide whether they want a pizza party or ice cream social as their theme-winning prize.
Wagner said Connelly will ride in style in an antique, open air vehicle. Once the parade ends at Town Common, Connelly will most likely jump right back into her Old Home Day duties. That includes working the St. Jude booth, selling the church’s version of sloppy joes, or in this case, “sloppy Judes.”
“She’ll get right back to work,” Wagner said.
Visit oldhomedays.com/ for more details and updates.