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This year’s theme of Sherman Day, “Unity is the root of a great community,” encompasses what Sherman, like many small towns, values most. Held annually since 1983, Sherman Day is an opportunity for everyone to experience the unity and sense of community that shines in Sherman every day. A quick walk down Main Street shows local shop owners sitting outside their businesses, chatting with passersby and soaking up the sun.
“Sherman, for generations, has been united as a community by calling ourselves Shermanites,” Michelle Swabik, one of the Sherman Day Parade Coordinators, said. Swabik, director of Sherman’s Rural Center, is excited for the “opportunity to get involved with organizing our community celebration.”
“There were a few of us in the Stanley Hose Auxiliary who planned [Sherman Day] the first few years, and gradually, it became a huge event that people enjoy and look forward to each year,” Carol Hay, who has been involved with both the Stanley Hose Auxiliary and the Sherman Historical Society, said.
The festivities start with a community-wide bonfire at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5. The bonfire will be held at Fireman’s Field on Klondyke Road. Bring a beverage and a chair, and prepare to be entertained by live music and good old-fashioned campfire conversation.
Friday’s music is only a prelude to the other five bands performing all afternoon and evening on Saturday at Cooler Café and Murdock’s.
Kickstart your Saturday with exercise for the whole family. Registration for the Sherman softball team’s annual 5k fun run/walk starts at 7:15 a.m. behind Murdock’s, and the race takes place at 8:30 a.m.
“The Sherman day weekend is full of fun for all ages,” Swabik said. There will be a variety of yard games on the football field for everyone to enjoy. Other activities include bounce houses, an obstacle course, dunk tank and a musical petting zoo. After partaking in these sweat-inducing activities, any kids who remain energetic can cool off with the giant slip ’n’ slide.
Engine-lovers can peruse the Car/Bike/ATV Show and watch the Lawn Tractor Poker Run. More than 25 local vendors offer crafts, food and more. The Stanley Hose Chicken BBQ starts at noon, and limited servings are available, so be sure to get in line.
“The chicken barbecue is delicious,” Hay promises.
Sherman Day encourages interactivity from residents and visitors alike. Don’t miss this chance to march beside floats, music, animals and the local fire department. “If you want to be in our parade, all are welcome! Registration is free and will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on the corner of Park and Kendrick,” Swabik said.
“We are excited this year to be bringing back the Old West Show during our annual parade. In years past, community members would unite and give the crowd an exciting and theatrical old West show on horseback.
“Come and see the return of this show during our parade, which starts at 10 a.m. on Main Street,” Hay encouraged.
As part of the Sherman Day celebrations, the French Creek Yorkers — a historical association begun in 1946 when a group of schoolgirls collected local artifacts — is hosting a reunion event. Various activities at the Yorker Museum — a restored mini village depicting Sherman life in the mid-19th century — will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“This year the Sherman Historical Society is our [parade’s] grand marshal, and is celebrating 70 years of service to our community. Stop by the Yorker Museum for … wagon rides and take a tour of our historical museum,” Swabik said.
The day winds down with a family-friendly outdoor movie, shown just after dusk. “My favorite part of the day would have to be when [everyone] gathers on the football field for a movie under the stars on Saturday night,” Swabik said.
Be sure to bring chairs or blankets, and get ready to snack on concessions. “This year the Rural Center will be showing Zootopia,” Swabik said.
“The Sherman Day Committee wants to bring family fun, not just to Shermanites, but to surrounding communities,” Swabik said.
“Anyone looking for inexpensive entertainment and a chance to enjoy the small town atmosphere needs to stop by on August 6,” Hay agreed. For more information, see the Sherman Day flyer, linked at sherman.wnyric.org, or visit the Sherman Day Facebook page.