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17th. Annual OLIVER HARDY FESTIVAL

 
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Dennis
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Age: 67
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Joined: 07 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:50 pm    Post subject: 17th. Annual OLIVER HARDY FESTIVAL Reply with quote

Always the first Saturday of October at Harlem, Georgia USA,

With the Sons of the Desert Reception on Friday evening.

goto: www.harlemga.org

select events, then click in Oliver Hardy Festival.

Last year, the BERTH MARKS TENT meeting for October was held on Saturday evening of the Festival, "All of the out of town boys will be there"

Do not forget, The Laurel & Hardy Museum of Harlem, Ga. is open seven days a week for your learning enjoyment---Closed all Georgia Holidays, Not the same as going on Holiday.

goto: www.laurelandhardymuseum.org

When you are in the State of Georgia, plan to visit Madison and Milledgeville and walk in the foot steps of our hero; Norvell Hardy, aka/dba: Oliver Norvell Hardy.
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In the Spirit of Laurel & Hardy!
Hope 2-c-u-2 soon in Harlem, Georgia USA

Dennis Moriarty
aka/dba: Sparkie & Look-A-Likes
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Stan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I could come and see you guys soon Dennis.

I looked in my wallet, and couldn't raise 15 cents.

Stan

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Dennis
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 1:48 am    Post subject: In the words of our hero; Oliver Norvell Hardy: Reply with quote

"Tell me that again"
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In the Spirit of Laurel & Hardy!
Hope 2-c-u-2 soon in Harlem, Georgia USA

Dennis Moriarty
aka/dba: Sparkie & Look-A-Likes
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Ross
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

17th Annual Oliver Hardy Festival, Harlem, Georgia

by Gino Dercola

This year's 17th Annual Oliver Hardy Festival in Harlem, Georgia, was another great success and fun experience. The festival took place on Saturday, October 1st (it is held each year on the first Saturday of October). The Augusta Chronicle newspaper estimated that 32,000 people attended. This all-day street festival included 350 vendors who lined the main street and side streets of downtown Harlem - birthplace of the great comedian, Oliver Hardy. This was the 12th festival that I've had the pleasure of attending. The weather was sunny, mild and beautiful, and it appeared that everyone enjoyed themselves. The downtown streets were blocked off to vehicular traffic to allow pedestrians freedom to walk in the streets. The vendors provided a wide variety of arts and crafts, face painting for kids, games of chance/raffles, a wide variety of foods/snacks/desserts, and so much more. There was the traditional children's parade down Main Street at 9.00am, and the official start of the festival came at 9.30am. The main parade began at 10.00am, and it was just great. It included bands, clowns, majorettes and cheerleaders, precision drill teams, horses, color guards, beauty queens, funny cars, "souped-up" hot-rod cars, fire engines and police vehicles with sirens blaring, and so many other participants. The Grand Marshals were Laurel and Hardy lookalikes, Dennis "Stan" Moriarty and Dale "Ollie" Walter from Canton, Ohio. Also in the parade were two other sets of professional Laurel and Hardy lookalike teams: Jamie "Ollie" McKenna and Bill "Stan" Leavy from Orlando, Florida (both worked at the Universal Studios Theme Park as Laurel and Hardy), and Barry "Stan" Stoltze and Scott "Ollie" Hilley from Atlanta, Georgia.

There were two stages about a block apart where continuous live entertainment took place. There were rock bands, country music bands and individual country acts, dancers, and a wide variety of other acts. There was a huge audience when the "cloggers" were performing - they were very popular. (Clog dancing is a percussion dance style, with taps, like Irish step-dancing.) Visiting the wonderful Laurel and Hardy Museum right on Main Street seemed like a highlight for many visitors, and many entered Babe's Bijou to sit and enjoy continuous films of Laurel and Hardy - it was fun to sit there and listen to the laughter of kids and adults watching the comedic genius of the Boys. Steve Brown, the Grand Sheik of the Scram Tent, Nashville, Tennessee, was in charge of showing the films all day and he did a masterful job. The festival also included carnival rides and several large moon-bounces for kids, kid's pony rides, adult rock climbing, and the "famous" chicken BBQ dinner at the Harlem Fire House just off of Main Street, and just yards away from the lot where the house once stood in which Oliver Hardy was born in 1892. And it was exciting to see the old Columbia Theater open once again - at least the lobby area where they were selling ice cream as a fund raiser to remodel the building into a modern, multi-functional, community arts center. Architect drawings were on view, and it will be a wonderful place to visit when the remodelling is completed - it's just in the very early stages at this point. For the first time, there was a ham radio club set up and communicating from the festival to ham operators around the world. They had been granted a special events license from the Federal Communications Commission for the club to broadcast on three frequencies; they received confirmed contacts from Aruba, Arizona and other locations. There also was an all-day, live Civil War reenactment camp where people could stop and view the armaments, tents, Confederate flags, etc and talk to the reenactors about life in the 1860s.

The Friday night before the festival, the City of Harlem hosted a really great cook-out for visiting Sons of the Desert. There were Sons from (at least) Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and various cities in Georgia. There were local dignitaries, state officials, invited residents and local Berth Marks Sons - about 100 people in all. What a GREAT evening of camaraderie; dinner included Southern cooked chicken and rice, and we were entertained by live music; we enjoyed the most perfect weather you could ask for. Later that evening, about 25 Sons attended a tent meeting in Babe's Bijou in the Laurel and Hardy Museum, hosted by the local Berth Marks Tent, Oasis #238. The meeting included the standard toasts (with a special toast to John McCabe due to his passing earlier that week). We saw an excellent variety of Laurel and Hardy films provided by Steve Brown. And the lookalike teams provided some fun antics to keep us laughing.

The City of Harlem, again, showed that wonderful grace and southern hospitality to all of us, treating us warmly and generously. This includes Mayor Scott Dean, Mayor Pro-Tem Robin Root, City Manager Jean Dove, and the WORKING team of Kathy Ham, Denise Carter, and Linda Caldwell - and just so, so many others.

Saturday evening after the festival, in what has now been a tradition for some years, Sons met to enjoy dinner together at the Red Lobster Restaurant in Augusta, Georgia. It was a relaxing time, with lots of laughs and photos taken. Then it was time to say goodbye until the Sons Convention in July, 2006, just several miles from the restaurant where we ate, and until next year's Oliver Hardy Festival in October.

courtesy of bowler dessert online
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"Any bird can build a nest, but it isn't everyone who can lay an egg!"

Ross Owen, Grand Sheik,
Fra Diavolo Tent, Scotland
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Dennis
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Age: 67
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Location: Canton,Ohio


PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:23 am    Post subject: More Press Re; 17th. Annual Oliver Hardy Festival Reply with quote

During the Friday Evening SOD Reception at the Harlem, Ga. City Hall, Gino Dercola told me about the Wednesday September 28 Story in The McDuffie Progress of near by Thompson, Georgia.

I contacted said News Paper, Here is the rest of thier Festival coverage:
goto: www.mcduffieprogress.com
Click on SPECIAL SECTIONS, then select pages 1-6 and A Hardy Party
(Photos & printed word)

You can also goto:www.newstimesonline.com/
scroll down left margin to the Advance Search Box and enter;
Oliver Hardy Festival, Then click on the selected festival stories.

You can also goto: www.hamradioman.com/
Click on special Event, Then click on photo and view 60 more photos of the Festival

In the Spirit of Laurel & Hardy,
Hope 2-c-u-2 soon at Harlem, Georgia USA.

Dennis Moriarty
aka/dba: Sparkie & Look-A-Likes
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