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DRACUT -- The 17th annual Dracut Old Home Day last Saturday proved to be record-breaking this year.

"We were extremely pleased with the turnout. Not only did we have good weather, but I think we broke all our attendance records," said Dave Paquin, vice chairman of the Old Home Day Committee. "We're estimating in the 12,000 range."

One of the indicators Paquin said he and other organizers used was the fact that food vendors were sold out by 3:30.

"That's never happened before," he said.

The town's largest event was held Saturday at Englesby Elementary School, 1580 Lakeview Ave. On the sidewalk closest to the school, people sat on canvas folding chairs as others marveled at antique cars.

The combination of good weather and good fun with good people was enough to bring out the crowds for the 17th annual Dracut Old Home Day. At right,
The combination of good weather and good fun with good people was enough to bring out the crowds for the 17th annual Dracut Old Home Day. At right, 5-year-old Owen Sitnik of Dracut races in Cub Scout Pack 8's Rain Gutter Regatta as his 8-year-old sister Annabell looks on. Below, 10-year-old Madison Maier of Dracut pulls a hose while another contestant (far right) applies the water in the Dracut Fire Department's kids race course.

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Cheerleaders celebrated runners and walkers as they crossed the 5K Road Race finish line on Lakeview Avenue.

And then, of course, there were rows and rows of food vendors, artisans, community groups and companies hard at work.

Ed Waterworth, vice president of the St. Marguerite d'Youville Parish Club, stood with other members at a tent near Englesby. The club was raffling off a basket filled with scratch tickets -- a "mix and mush of a whole bunch of stuff," according to Waterworth, 70.

"To me, it's a time of getting together with the people in the town and to renew old friendships," Waterworth, of Dracut, said of Old Home Day. "It's just a fun time. Everybody enjoys themselves, the kids have a blast with all the bumper stuff out there.


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We love the old cars."

Over at the finish line, Dracut resident Lorraine Carbonneau completed the Road Race for the first time.

"I'm a walker," she said, chuckling. "I don't run."

Carbonneau said she regularly walks with a group at Veterans Memorial Park.

"I didn't even know this was here," she said with a smile. "They told me to sign up for it and just do it as a walk, and I did.

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Reached by phone Monday, Ken Cunha, chairman of the Old Home Day Committee, said he was able to get his number-one priority -- and the hardest one to guarantee -- for the event: good weather.

"We got a nice fall day," Cunha said. "It was perfect. We broke all kinds of attendance records. ... It was just phenomenal."

Paquin said he and his fellow committee members are already talking about next year's Old Home Day.

"Every year we try to learn from the previous Old Home Day and make it better and more accessible to everyone," he said.

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.

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