LONDONDERRY — For generations, people have been invited to come home to Londonderry.
That includes those who moved away, or even the stalwart resident born and raised in the area who still call the rustic, historic community home.
This year is no exception as Londonderry hosts its 120th annual Old Home Day celebration, running Aug. 14-18.
This year’s theme, thanks to fourth-graders in Kelly Murphy’s class at South Elementary School, is “300 Years of Family and Friends,” a nod to this year’s 300th celebration of the original Nutfield settlement.
Londonderry was an original part of that early land that also included what is now Derry, Windham and the Derryfield part of Manchester.
Old Home Day is traditionally held the third Saturday of August, but Londonderry kicks off its multi-day schedule a few days earlier with the annual Senior Night, concert, Kidz Night, fireworks, music, and other activities with the big culmination on Saturday, Aug. 17 with the Town Common full of booths, food, games and community spirit, along with a parade down Mammoth Road.
As Londonderry honors its rich traditions this month for five days, there will be things that make this town special, with an extra bit of Nutfield history tossed in, too.
At the historic Morrison House museum on Pillsbury Road, there will be many activities, demonstrations, tours and other events to honor the history of Nutfield.
And when Londonderry held its Old Home Day in 1919 — the 200th anniversary of the original Nutfield settlement — the town hosted a grand parade with eight divisions, each one led by a member of the local American Legion post.
Now that the 300th anniversary is here, the 2019 Old Home Day will once again host a grand parade, with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu making an appearance along with guests representing the other Nutfield towns marching down Mammoth Road. Descendants of those original first Nutfield families may also make a parade appearance.
Once the parade ends, people can enjoy the day on the Town Common where specialty historical booths and displays will be offering Nutfield information, demonstrations, and souvenirs including commemorative coins each Nutfield town designed and created.
Derry’s coin features images of the First Parish Church, early industries, inspiration by Robert Frost and a tribute to first American in space Alan B. Shepard, an East Derry native. Londonderry’s coin will show images of historic homes, the Presbyterian Church and notable buildings. In Windham, that community’s coin pays tribute to notable residents, and the Armstrong building now housing the town’s museum. All coins will share a similar Nutfield 300 anniversary side.
To also mark the 300th Nutfield anniversary, a time capsule that was filled during the 250th anniversary will be opened during Old Home Day. Resident Reed Clark will be assisting with the honors of opening the capsule, that has been safely housed in the New Hampshire Room of Derry Public Library. Clark had participated in filling the 250th anniversary capsule.