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Celebrating Great Falls Day

Great Falls celebrate its history, particularly its churches

This year's Great Falls Day hometown celebration was a rousing success. Hundreds of residents turned out to enjoy the events put on by the Great Falls Historical Society, the Friends of Riverbend Park and the Park Authority.

The theme for Great Falls Day was “The History of the Churches of Great Falls,” said Calvin Follin with the Great Falls Historical Society. “Everything here that we raise is going to Salem Baptist church,” said Follin.

Each of the churches in the village of Great Falls held a bake sale to raise funds for Salem Baptist to help repair and restore the church so that parishioners can continue to worship in the church. Last year the church’s roof was badly damaged in a hurricane.

Great Falls Day master of ceremonies and president of the Great Falls Citizens Association David Olin said, “The day was very well organized and was very well attended. From what I’ve heard, it was one of the best so far. The concept of the money going to the church was great and well deserved.”

The Friends of Riverbend Park once again held their native plant sale behind the Grange. Each year the plant sale is well attended, and this weekend’s was no exception. Cathy Mayes, the president of Friends of Riverbend Park, said the group expects to raise between $2,000 and $3,000 from plant sales. “What we don’t sell here today, we plant in the park,” said Mayes. Plant sales were early and swift, and little was left over. “The die-hard fans get here first. The bluebells are always the first to go. We could sell hundreds of them because they are hard to find and to propagate,” said Mays.

A local Girl Scout troop turned the day into an educational opportunity by acting out turn-of-the-century school life at the Old School House.

Several groups used Great Falls Day as an opportunity to heighten awareness of their causes in the community. These included Observatory Park at Turner Farm, being directed by the Annelemma Society, and the Freedom Memorial, being driven by the Old Brogue Charities.

“The organizations looking for exposure did a great job,” said Olin. Michael Kearney, leader of Old Brogue Charities, said it was important for him to come out and participate in the event because of “the sense of community in Great Falls.”

That is a sentiment echoed by attendees and organizers alike. Betty Schwartz said, “We’ve been doing this for years and will continue it. It’s a great day to meet people and to just enjoy our community.”

For more photos see page 22