Hartford Village Day will celebrate its 25th year on Saturday, Sept. 6, with the traditional -- soup beans, games, music and an old-fashioned community parade -- and a little something new.

Hartford Village Day will celebrate its 25th year on Saturday, Sept. 6, with the traditional -- soup beans, games, music and an old-fashioned community parade -- and a little something new.

For the first time, the Hartford Village Day committee will award a college scholarship to the Croton area 2008 Northridge graduate selected for writing a winning essay about a topic most of the hundreds of people who attend the event each year are experts in:

What it means to be part of a small-town community.

"Young and old come together on this day every year on the town square," said Paige Grandstaff, a member of the 2008 Hartford Village Day committee. "They catch up and have fun and watch their children and grandchildren help make the history that's part of our little town and of this event."

Being part of the small-town community is something parade grand marshals Jim and Linda Piper know well. Jim, a retired computer systems analyst, has been mayor of Hartford Village since 1991. Linda, a retired educator, grew up in the community and moved back with her husband in the mid-1980s.

"I just love life in Croton," Linda Piper said when the essay topic is put to her. "There was so much security growing up here, knowing everyone in town cared about you. Coming back, I've noticed people like to retire here, too.

"Wherever you go, or even if you're just sitting on your porch, people stop to talk," she said. "The people here, no matter what happens, will be there for one another to help take care of a situation. It's just a good feeling, and something very hard to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it."

The Pipers will be accompanied by co-grand marshals -- community residents 80 years and older -- on "the zephyr" train through the parade route.

Anyone interested in participating in the parade, Grandstaff said, can decorate bikes or ATVs and line up at the school house at 4 p.m.

The other recognition to be made Sept. 6 is Firefighter of the Year, presented by Chief Scott Simmons of the Hartford Volunteer Fire Department.

Events scheduled throughout the day include:

9 a.m. Flag Disposal Ceremony behind the Croton Church of Christ chapel building.

9:45 a.m. Opening Ceremony, featuring the National Anthem, flag raising and Pledge of Allegiance led by community members and groups.

10 a.m. Pedal Tractor Pull (classes for all ages; arrive 15 minutes before to register). Also, the Tug Tractor Pull, Car Show, Flea Market/Crafters/Games and Concessions begin and continue all day.

11:30 a.m. Carroll Baker/Magician

Noon. The Gleaners; Sunflower Growing Contest (Hartford students bring entries to town hall before noon); Bubbles & Banjo the clowns, and Bouncy Games begin ($1 per ride or $10 unlimited).

1 p.m. Bluegrass Music

1:30 p.m. Kids Korner, games and prizes on northwest lawn

2 p.m. Randi Fairall (variety music)

3:30 p.m. Corn Hole tournament (call Grandstaff at 893-2546 for registration info)

4 p.m. Halfway Home (Americana Music)

5 p.m. Parade

6 p.m. Baby Crawl (18 months and younger)

6:15 p.m. Pie Auction; Scholarship awarded.

7 p.m.: Square Dancing with Wayne King & the Country Hodowners

Hartford Village Day Committee members are Jody Allen, Gloria Hatton, Lindy Severance, Sheri Pokorni, Eva Marie Wolfe, Vicki Doeringer, Roger Bishop, Carla Wells, Gib and Paige Grandstaff and Jim Piper.