Olney prepares for 180th celebration

BARNESVILLE — A local school is gearing up to celebrate 180 years in operation with a homecoming event on Saturday.

The Olney Friends School in Barnesville has been established near Barnesville since 1837, and has prided itself on education and service since it first opened its doors. According to information on the school website, “students participate integrally in all aspects of community life, including decision making in the dormitories, deliberating on academic offerings and working in the kitchen and on the farm.”

The school boasts a 100-percent admission rate for students to four-year colleges and universities.

After being open for 180 years, the school is preparing for a homecoming celebration to celebrate its history, with plenty of activities for both alumni and current students.

The school is planning on hosting a Harvest Festival on Saturday to celebrate their annual homecoming. The event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. at the school, and features a variety of local crafters and fall fair-themed activities. According to Vicki Lowry, office manager and event coordinator for the school, there should be something for everyone.

Included in the activities are a beekeeping display, an area to pet goats, crafting tables where guests can paint miniature pumpkins and construct birdhouses, along with plenty of family friendly games. The Elk River Rounders will be playing music from 1-3 p.m., and at 3 p.m. there will be a soccer match between alumni and current students. All of the activities are free to the public.

Lowry said that the planning for the event takes several months, but it “feels great” to be involved in the process. In addition to providing enjoyable activities for current students and alumni, Lowry said the event also gives a chance for the public to see what Olney has to offer, including those who might be considering going to the school.

Lowry added that her favorite part of the event is just having the chance to interact with the people that come to check it out.

“It’s just nice to revisit with the alumni and gives an opportunity to meet with alumni I have not connected with before,” Lowry said. “I look forward to meeting new alumni every year.”

For more details on the event, call Lowry at 740-425-3655, or email her at vicki@olneyfriends.org.