Heritage Day honors Harrington history

A young man drives his tractor in the Harrington Heritage Day parade in downtown Harrington last year. Saturday’s parade will begin at 9 a.m., starting at Lake Forest South Elementary School. (Delaware State News file photo/Marc Clery)

HARRINGTON — The city of Harrington has a lot to celebrate this year and the annual Harrington Heritage Day is the perfect occasion.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Harrington was incorporated and named after Samuel Harrington, chancellor of the court in Delaware at the time, and a strong supporter of bringing the railroad to the area.

More than a century later, citizens are still honoring the faithful commitment to founders like Mr. Harrington and the Clark family by hosting Harrington Heritage Day on Saturday.

“In partnership with the city of Harrington’s 150th Anniversary Committee, this year’s event will be larger than in the past,” said Doug Poore of the Harrington Historical Society.

Beginning with a 5K color run hosted by the Harrington Fire Department, festivities will last throughout the day. The color run will begin at 7 a.m. at 20 Clark St. in Harrington and promises to be a fun event for all ages.

“Whether you’re a recovering couch potato or an avid marathon runner, you’ll love the atmosphere and experience at the Heritage Day Color Run. You’re welcome to walk, run, dance, or skip, your way to the finish line,” according to Veronica Dickerson, fundraising chairwoman with the fire company.

Heather Koch, owner of Gourdeous Gourds, straightens one her creations during Harrington Heritage Day last year.

Participants will get “showered” with safe, eco-friendly, plant-based powdered dye throughout the route and again at the finish line celebrating the accomplishment. Registration must be done ahead of time for $25 per adult and $10 for children 6 to 15 years old. Children five and under can participate for free.

The annual Heritage Day Parade will begin shortly after the color run at 9 a.m. starting at Lake Forest South Elementary School, featuring community members celebrating their own connections to the small town.

The day will continue with fun activities like a blessing of the combines, Civil War reenactors with the 2nd Delaware Civil War Infantry Reenactors group, vendors, a car show and more. Also new this year will be a peddle tractor pull activity for children.

A 5K color run, hosted by the Harrington Fire Department, will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday at 20 Clark St. in Harrington. (Submitted photo)

Mr. Poore said it will be “a day full of family fun with food, demonstrations, craft vendors, historical displays, a movie and for the first time ever, fireworks. … Harrington was founded in the 1700s. Each year, not only do we have food and vendors, but we take time to celebrate our past, without which our city would not have such a rich history.”

For avid Harrington volunteers and community members, a dinner will be held Friday night to celebrate their accomplishments and dedication to the community.

“The dinner is a chance for civic leaders, businesses, local residents and guests to come together and celebrate our history, the people and businesses that have made a difference in our city of the past year as a Business of the Year and a Citizen of the Year will be recognized. Also, local organizations will be on hand to show how they are involved in our city,” Mr. Poore said.

Tickets for the dinner are $15 per adult or $7 for children 10 years old or younger. They can be purchased at City Hall or the Harrington Parks and Recreation Center, online at harrington150th.org or by calling Mr. Poore at 302-670-6158.

Harrington Boy Scout Troop 534 led the Harrington Heritage Day parade in downtown Harrington last year. It will feature community members celebrating their own connections to the small town.

“The dinner is probably my favorite things about Heritage Day. We just started it last year. It’s nice to recognize our community,” Mayor Anthony Moyer said.

“I’ve always loved Heritage Day. It’s just neat. Everybody is out, the bands are good, there’s a free movie at night. … It’s just a lot of fun to do for nothing. I love the fact that community comes together, and it also brings in people from outside of the community to see what we have. And it’s our 150th anniversary of the town. We’ll have fireworks to celebrate. That may be my favorite part of it this year. I like to just walk around and talk to people.”

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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