If you were a resident of Brunswick around 1858, you might have looked forward to October when Brunswick held its agricultural fair. It was held for two days in the town hall and on the grounds.
There was a large variety of events and exhibits with more than 200 classes of entries. Livestock, fruits, grains and garden products were displayed. Quilts, blankets, counterpanes, embroidery, etc., were in competition. And there was a complete flower show as well. Prizes were in the 25 to 50 cent range.
Men's Band in 1918
A big celebration was held on July 4, 1919, to honor the town's returning World War I soldiers. Leading the parade on a white horse was Sergeant Meril Morton who had fought overseas. He wore his uniform and carried a large flag. A uniformed band followed with floats and marchers behind. A picnic dinner was served at noon. In the afternoon there was band music, vocal selections and the entire event was topped off by a fireworks display.
As families grew, annual reunions became more and more familiar - outgrowing homes and spilling over into the schools, churches and the community. Often, a community reunion would be held. Sometimes they were called Old Settler's Days, sometimes, called homecomings.
For years the Chamber of Commerce held homecomings on the grounds of what is now Edwards Middle School and they would feature games and rides with all funds going toward purchase of the Youth Center on Route 303, which was purchased from Alwin Wolff. The event continued into the 1960s.
In 1965, the community celebrated its 15th year with a gigantic sesquicentennial celebration. Much of the history carried here was gleaned from the book written for that occasion, An Outline History of Brunswick, 1815-1965.
That year, the largest parade in Brunswick history, totaling more than two hours, was held. It was followed by a two-day carnival homecoming. Events honoring the sesqui covered the entire year of 1965 which was a banner year here, with the advent of city water and the opening of I-71 to the south.
Residents held a bear-growing contest; ladies couldn't wear makeup without a permit; men couldn't shave without a permit; plates were designed and sold; and a kangaroo court would patrol the streets on weekends. All in all, it was a time of great fun.
Ironically, during the big weekend, the town was visited by two large groups. At the north end, the North-South Civil War skirmishers enacted a battle. It was a most exciting time.
At the south end, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally causing a real furor, and forcing police and sheriff's departments to stop all cars coming into town to search for weapons.
In the early 1970s, Brunswick was looking for a way to improve its self-image and began a series of Nationality Days in which residents of varied ethnic backgrounds would set up food booths. It was held for three years at Laurel Square Shopping Center and the last one was held in conjunction with the nation's Bicentennial in 1976. It was another year-long activity to honor the 200th birthday of America.
Then in 1980, the Chamber of Commerce put together the first of its Old Fashioned Days, which is an ongoing event each summer.