Old-time charm returns to the streets of Selbyville

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Children and adults ride around town on a Station 88 fire engine during Old Timer’s Day in Selbyville. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

SELBYVILLE – Downtown Selbyville isn’t exactly what it was 50 years ago.

Saturday, it rekindled that old-time charm.

Socializing, vendor feasting and entertainment in small-town atmosphere hit the streets of Selbyville Saturday.

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This spiffy 1930 Ford Model A was among the classic and antique cars showcased in the car show Saturday at Selbyville’s Old Timer’s Day. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

Food, fun and entertainment – and town-wide yard sales – were part of the drawing card for the 58th Annual Old Timer’s Day, presented by the Town of Selbyville and this year the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.

The event drew locally as well as out of state, including attendees from Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Clifton Murray, Selbyville’s longtime mayor, was among the many on hand.

“It’s a nice event. It brings a lot of people into town,” said Mayor Murray. “You would be surprised the people that we draw. We don’t get to meet them all but you see hundreds of people here. It’s great for the town.”

Dozens of classic and antique cars lined Church Street, attracting plenty of attention and conversation.

“They look at these older cars and it brings back a lot of memories … the old timers, like me,” Mayor Murray said.

For kids, there were moon bounces, pony rides and rides around town on one of Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company Station 88’s fire engines.

The Bo Dickerson Band provided ground-level stage entertainment.

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Second from left, Dr. Donald Hattier, a living history re-enactor, shares information on military vehicles on display Saturday at Old Timer’s Day in Selbyville. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

For history buffs, doors to the Selbyville Museum were open. Outside the museum were several U.S. military vehicles, including a 1953 Willys Jeep.

Dr. Donald Hattier, a local chiropractor and a living history re-enactor, shared history on the vehicles and weaponry.

At the Sussex County Emergency Medical Services booth, EMS paramedic Jessica Bonini taught basic instruction in CPR – to adults and children. Ms. Bonini said just several minutes of instruction might someday be put to use in a life-saving situation “until we (EMS) get there.”

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Free pony rides provided by Angels Gather Here of Harrington were among the attractions Saturday at Selbyville’s Old Timer’s Day. With a little assistance from Meghan Walls, Cooper Lambert of Ocean Pines, Md., embarks a ride, while Alan Clendaniel leads the way. Cooper is the grandson of Francis and Donna Szuba of Selybville. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

This year, Delaware Hospice was the beneficiary of the Hot Rods for Hospice 50/50 raffle.

“I’m a big fan of Hospice,” Mayor Murray said. “It’s a great organization.”

With relocation of business from Selbyville’s downtown district to the U.S. 113 corridor, Old Timer’s Day has transitioned into a festival-type event.

“It started out like a downtown merchant thing. The merchants would put their stuff on the sidewalk. They dressed in the old time bib overalls and long dresses,” Mayor Murray said. “Now, the downtown is not like it was. Stores aren’t there. It (business) has moved like all towns are doing – and we’re losing some of our old-town atmosphere.”

On Saturday, old-time Selbyville was back.

“It’s not as much of a merchant thing as it used to be because things have changed,” Mayor Murray. “I think the vendors do well. We’ve got plenty of food, and things for kids to do. It’s a nice event.”

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Sussex County EMS Paramedic Jessica Bonini teaches life-saving CPR to 9-year-old Alexis Lattimer of Laurel at Selbyville’s Old Timer’s Day. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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