SHEFFIELD - Sheffield's quasquicentennial celebration carried on Saturday during the annual Big Days celebration despite a wet morning.

The celebration is going to be "bigger and better than anything we've done in the past," said Linda Schoning, Sheffield Community Club president.

An afternoon parade, supper and entertainment in the park followed by fireworks are traditional highlights of the Big Days celebration.

Families get together and many people who grew up in Sheffield come back for the weekend, said Bev Bohach, Sheffield.

"Something like this really brings the people of the community together and I think that's really important in a small town," said Judy Crom, Sheffield.

For about 25 years, sourdough pancakes were a part of the community celebration. Crom remembers preparing the starter in large food tubs the size of garbage cans ahead of the festival almost 20 years ago.

"It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun," she said.

On Saturday, volunteers began carrying equipment and supplies into City Park for the library foundation's omelet breakfast at 5:30 a.m.

By 6:30, they were ready to begin serving beneath a shelterhouse roof.

"We've had an outstanding crowd," Marilyn Sheahan said. "It has been raining all around us, but we have not had any."

People ate at nearby picnic tables covered with bright checked tablecloths in the green park or beneath the protection of other shelter roofs. When picnic benches grew damp, napkins worked to wipe them off.

"This isn't rain, this is just a mist," said Wayne Foreman of Sheffield.

Bruce Rulapaugh estimated 200 people were served at the breakfast before the rain began falling in earnest.

Scattered throughout the town were also many rummage sales.

At Georgia Smit's home, four of her daughters had a garage sale together.

"Everybody's done having babies so it's time to get rid of it all," said Lorri Hall, Sheffield.

They opened at 8 a.m. with the driveway lined with strollers, high chairs, baby swings and other equipment. By 9:30 a.m., half of the baby equipment was gone.

At one point, after serious rain began to fall, Smit came out to the garage shaking her head good-naturedly.

Six of her grandchildren were in the house. Nerf football in the living room was the game of the day.

"We usually have a rummage sale and then we say we're never doing this again," said another daughter, Kathy Nierengarten. "Then we wait a year and we do it again."

As the rain fell, Tina Reynolds, Hampton, looked over table after table of baby clothes.

She said she likes coming to Sheffield's garage sales to look for clothes for her daughter.

"And then whatever you find," she said.

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