By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Shrewsbury ?The 17th annual Spirit of Shrewsbury (SOS) Fall Festival will be held throughout the town this weekend and organizers say that there will be a full complement of activities that promises fun for residents of all ages.
The first SOS, held in 1997, started out as a homecoming festival but then grew into a community-wide event. In 2000, the Spirit of Shrewsbury organization became a nonprofit. Since then it has grown to include all facets of the community, business, nonprofits, school and civic groups.
The theme of the festival, according to SOS President Sabina Terrades, “is always “Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” which summarizes all the ways local residents, organizations and businesses have been supporting each other since the town was first settled in 1722.”
“The 17th edition of the Spirit of Shrewsbury Festival promises to be yet another great opportunity to bring the community together for fun, entertainment and information. Our volunteers have been working hard since January to make things happen and make sure everyone enjoys the best of what Shrewsbury has to offer. We are looking forward to many exciting events, rain or shine!” she said.
Throughout the weekend there are many activities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. The festivities start Friday, Sept. 27, with the ninth annual Scarecrow on the Common contest and display. The popular event could not be held last year due to the threat of mosquitoes bearing the West Nile Virus. But this year organizers promise that they are making plans for a new format which will help keep everyone safe.
Later that evening, the Italian American Victory Club will be hosting a “Hometown Gathering.”? This party will be open to all Shrewsbury residents and their guests.
On Saturday, Sept. 28, the popular 5K Road Race will be held, starting at Dean Park. The race, sponsored by the Adelphi Council #4181, Knights of Columbus, also serves as a fundraiser for the Shrewsbury Special Needs Program and Scholarship Fund.
Kids can start the day off with a hearty pancake breakfast before entering the annual Fishing Derby, both of which are sponsored by the Shrewsbury Sportsmen's Club.
Over at Oak Middle School, over 120 exhibitors will be on display at the Town Expo. The event is touted as a “celebration of Shrewsbury's town, civic, educational and religious organizations and business community.”
The Craft Fair, held inside the school, will offer visitors the chance to meet and purchase items from over 70 crafters offering handmade items from jewelry to knitting, flower arrangements, doll clothes, painting, and much more.
Open houses will also be held at the Shrewsbury Historical Society and Artemas Ward Museum Barn.
On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 29, the town will gather again for the annual parade, starting at the Beal School and continuing down Maple Avenue to Oak Middle School. This year's Parade Grand Marshal is longtime resident and community volunteer Isabelle Chang. She will be joining the town's residents who are over the age of 90 at a special event to be held at the Senior Center.
Here is a schedule of events:?
Friday, Sept. 27
Painting the Town Art Exhibit
The Gallery at Shrewsbury Crossings presents The Artist Guild of Shrewsbury “Painting the Town” Exhibit, 311 Main St.
The Italian American Victory Club – Hometown Gathering, 26 Dewey Road
Ninth annual Scarecrow on the Common Contest and Display, Town Common
Saturday, Sept. 28
Pancake Breakfast/Fishing Derby, Shrewsbury Sportsmen's Club, 304 Boylston St. (Route 140 North)
17th annual 5K Road Race and Funwalk, Dean Park, Main Street
Beal School PTO Scholastic Book Fair, Scholastic Book Fair Thursday, Sept. 26 through Saturday, Sept. 28, 1 Maple Ave.
Big Joe Storyteller, Saturday, Sept. 28, Beal School, 1 Maple Ave.
Spirit of Shrewsbury Town Expo/Craft Fair, Oak Street Middle School, 45 Oak St.
Shrewsbury Historical Society Open House, 17 Church Road
Sunday, Sept. 29
Annual Parade, Beal School to Maple Avenue to Oak Middle School.
Family Fun and Fitness Day, Oak Street Middle School
Over 90 Tribute, Shrewsbury Senior Center, 98 Maple Ave.