JAMAICA -- This year, a 5k run or walk was added to the list of activities going on during the day that celebrates the history and community of Jamaica.
"It's the first one ever," said Jamaica Old Home Day Committee member Rob Litchfield.
The Salmon Hole Dash was organized as a fun run that starts at Jamaica State Park at 9 a.m. on Saturday. It will head up the West River and end at the Ball Mountain Dam.
So far, 100 people have registered for the 5k. Organizers expect approximately 50 more to sign up that day.
The event will kick off the day. The spot is famous for the Salmon Hole Massacre that occurred during the Revolutionary War, Litchfield told the Reformer.
Festivities along Main Street will begin at 11 a.m. with vendors selling arts, crafts and foods. Bands will perform from then until the square dance concludes. The dance begins at 5 p.m.
The traditional chili cook-off starts at noon. Litchfield said six to eight people usually make up the contest and organizers always welcome new participants. Various types of chili are tasted then voted on.
"We have everything from wild game to venison to moose to hamburger to turkey. Spicy to savory," said Litchfield.
The annual parade starts at 3 p.m. and a chicken barbecue begins at 4 p.m.
Rescue Inc.'s new crew chief and Jamaica resident Drew Hazelton will be teaching CPR courses throughout the day.
Resident Bob Stone gathered items for an exhibit he calls "Creative Women Around Jamaica," which will be on display at Jamaica Town Hall from 11 a.
"This year is the Year of the Woman. I picked up on that and it's also the 100th year anniversary of the Ladies Benefit Association," he said. "Along with that, I've also figured there's a lot of wonderful women in this town that do many different things."
He knew of and learned about Jamaica women who were in business and wrote books. There were women who specialized in hunting and fishing.
One woman had an ancestor who was hung in the Salem witch trials that occurred between 1692 and 1693. Stone also heard about a woman whose doctor ordered her to stop sky-diving at the age of 60. He put together 3x5 cards with biographies of these women and encouraged others to submit cards.
"I think we should celebrate our women. Not that we shouldn't celebrate our men," said Stone. "They can remind each other, ‘I didn't know they did that.'"
Litchfield says Jamaica Old Home Day has been celebrated for over 70 years. He grew up in the area but moved to Jamaica in 1994.
"My family goes back to the 1870s in Jamaica," he said. "I grew up going to Old Home Day. It's a great tradition for community members and visitors alike to get together and have a day of celebration."
There is more information on the events available on Facebook. Search: "Jamaica Old Home Day," "Creative Women of Jamaica" or "Salmon Hole Dash 5k."
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.