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Champion Old Home Day is July 4

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CHAMPION — As has been tradition for more than 50 years, Old Home Day in Champion will be held Thursday in the hamlet. The day features a parade starting at 11 a.m. followed by a chicken barbecue at the Champion Grange 18.

The parade is a bit unusual in that it can be seen coming and going. Starting at the Champion Fire Company, the parade crosses Route 126, down Church Street to Route 47 toward Hillside Cemetery, turns around and heads back to the fire hall. Everything from children on bicycles to farm machinery to vintage cars to firetrucks can be seen in the small parade.

Right after the parade, Grange members will begin serving barbecue chicken at a cost of $9 to adults and $5 for children younger than 12. For more information on the barbecue, call 773-5133.

According to town of Champion Historian Lynn M. Thornton, the grange building originally was built as the First Congregational Church in 1812-17 on the hilltop now known as Village Green Park.

“The church was taken down, removed to the crossroads, rebuilt and rededicated in 1841,” the historian said. “In about 1910, the building became the property of the Champion Grange Number 18 and is still the home of an active local Grange. The bell still in the tower was donated by General Henry Champion.”

The Independence Day celebration also will include an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hiram Hubbard Homestead. Across from the Fire Hall along Route 126, the stone building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is owned by the 4 River Valleys Historical Society. The former home of the hamlet’s founder is being rehabilitated by the society to act as its headquarters, a museum and a research center.

“Visitors will be able to see the progress that has been made to date,” Mrs. Thornton said.

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