Troy Township is located in southern Geauga County. There, the population is too sparse to justify having its own post office and zip code. The internet servicing companies may be completely unaware of its existence. Some people who live in Geauga County have never heard of Troy Township. But … we all know that good things come in small, quiet, unassuming packages.
In general, the residents of Troy Township are content to keep this corner of rural paradise under wraps. We do not want to let too many people know about our hidden gem of living space, for fear of it getting big enough to have its own zip code (I do not think any of us would mind internet service). However, when you have been blessed with a really good thing, you should not keep it to yourself, you should share it.
Therefore, once a year, Troy Township hosts their annual community festival. They invite their neighbors and friends to join in the hip hip hoorahs of Troy Homecoming. Homecoming started in 1911, took a little hiatus and returned with great force in 2011 to celebrate the township’s bicentennial.
Traditionally, the populace of Troy would gather together to be entertained by local musicians, dancers, baton twirlers and the likes. They would play pick up games of baseball, volleyball and horseshoes. Ladies would enter their best recipe in the pie baking contest and try their hand at the husband calling contest. Men shimmied up a greased pole for the twenty dollar bill at the top and later played tug of war. All weekend long, there would be something going on. Horse races, balloon launches, parachuting and more.
Some traditions have faded out, while new ones, such as the Talent Show and the 5K Road Apple Run, are making a splash. Kids continue to run and play, here there and everywhere. Only pausing in one place long enough to decorate their bikes to ride in Sunday’s parade down Route 422. Other folks sit in the cool shade of the community center grounds, having good conversation with the neighbors they have known for a lifetime.
Troy Homecoming is a charming scene indeed. It embodies dedicated and giving people. Behind the scenes, volunteers spend months diligently planning for this free event. Sponsors donate their funds and professional services to provide operational success. Hardworking teams ensure that the weekend runs smoothly. Each year, new recruits add their talents, time and energy to this endeared, wholesome observance. All are serious about their commitments, expecting nothing in return. As good country folk do.
While some festivities are driven for the purpose of raising money or gaining notoriety, Troy Homecoming has kept its sights on simplicity and authenticity. The leaders of this fine affair have their community in mind as they plan from year to year. “How can we improve?” They have asked themselves, time and again. Little by little, slow and steady, they are building this beautiful base for fellowship. I heard one woman say, “Troy Homecoming felt like it used to when we were kids.” It brings back happy memories, to play and participate.
In a disconnected world, run by electronics, Troy Homecoming reminds us of better days. Where people are friends in real life, and not on a computer or phone screen. Where sports are played outside under the big blue sky and not in front of a television. Where we get to hear truly talented musicians, not masked by synthesizers. The joyous activities of the weekend bring family, friends, neighbors and strangers together.
Troy Homecoming volunteers, you have served your community well.