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New Durham celebrating 250th anniversary this weekend


by Tim Croes
Staff Writer - The Baysider
July 24, 2012
NEW DURHAM — The town of New Durham will celebrate its 250th birthday with a three-day celebration beginning on Friday, July 27, and running until Sunday, July 29.

New Durham was settled in 1750 almost entirely by colonists from Durham. It was incorporated as New Durham on Dec. 7, 1762.

On Friday, a spaghetti dinner and a kick-off celebration will be held at the fire station from 5 to 7 p.m.

Also on Friday, the premier of the movie titled "We Are Here" will be held at 6 p.m. at the New Durham Library. The movie will also be running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the hour, with free popcorn offered to all visitors.

The movie tells the stories of the early settlers in New Durham and offers a personal look into their lives.

Throughout the weekend, visitors can collect a total of 10 buttons that were made by students from the New Durham School. Collect all 10 buttons, which cost $1 each, and enter to win a prize.

At 7 a.m. on Saturday the registration for the 5K Run/Walk Road Race at the Farmington Fish and Game Club begins. Pre-registration is $20 and is $25 on race day and the face begins at 8 a.m. Racers who bring a can of food for the New Durham Food Pantry get $2 off the fee. Immediately after the 5K race, the Kid's Fun Run for ages 12 and under will be held, with the fee being a can of food for the food pantry.

A food pantry open house will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., with baked goods and crafts for sale.

Catherine Orlowicz, the town historian, will be presenting a collection of the town's historical documents and mementos from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the fire station community room. Some of the items featured include the town's original Town Charter.

At 9:30 a.m. lawn mower races will be held at 56 Tash Road. Age groups are 8-10, 11-13, and 14 and over. Pre-registration is required, so call 859-5666 to register.

From 9:30 a.m. until noon the Moses Randall Barn at 122 Old Bay Road will be open for self-guided tours.

From 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. the Meeting House on Old Bay Road will be open. Visitors can walk the trail of 1772 Meetinghouse grounds and explore the Town Pound, built when Beethoven was still composing.

At 10 a.m., Cow Patty Bingo will be held at Bickford Farm. Adult tickets are $2 each and each winner receives $250 for the mother cow's plop. Kids tickets are $1 each and the winner receives a $100 gift card for the calf.

At 11 a.m., there will be an adult dodge ball tournament at the New Durham School. The entry fee is $30 for a six-player team, with five players playing at once. Call 859-5666 to register for the tournament.

From 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 visitors can take a ride on the Roaming Railroad. The trackless train will ride continuously from the Bickford Farm to the New Durham General Store parking lot making stops along the way. A family ticket is $1 for the entire day.

From 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. a petting farm will be open at Bickford's Farm.

At 12 p.m., the town's emergency alarm will be sounded.

From noon until 2:30 p.m. a vintage and antique car show will be held at the New Durham School.

From 12:30 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. a candy bar bingo game will be held in the police station parking garage.

At 1 p.m., fire, police and highway vehicles will be on display for a Touch a Truck-Stop.

At 1:30 p.m., a tree planting ceremony will be held, sponsored by the Conservation Committee, at the New Durham Town Hall. Visitors can also bring unique items to store in the New Durham Time Capsule.

At 2 p.m., an outdoor concert will be held at the New Durham Library. The Chris Bonoli Band will perform. Free cookies and lemonade will be provided, with the concert being sponsored by Friends of the New Durham Library.

At 3 p.m., the Main Street Parade will be held. The theme this year is "The Past, The Present and the Future." The parade starts at the Farmington Fish and Game Club and end at the New Durham ball fields. If interested in marching, please call the New Durham Parks and Recreation Department at 859-5666.

At 5 p.m., food and craft vendors open up for the evening at the New Durham ball fields. A bounce house and climbing wall will open and the No Limitz band begins.

Registration also starts for the pie-eating contest, with the children's event at 5:45 p.m., and adult competition at 6 p.m., the smelliest sneaker contest and the hula hoop contest.

Between 5:15 and 6 p.m. visitors can see Peter Franke and his snow-runner racing Siberian dog sled team.

At 6:30 p.m., NH Fish and Game Officer Ronny Arsenault will host a safety snowmobile talk, and at 7 p.m., a snowmobile maintenance demonstration will be held by Tom Mason. Both events are sponsored by the Powder Mill Snowmobile Club.

Also at 6:30 p.m., kids' old fashion games will be held including the three-legged race, a wheel barrel race and sack races.

At 7:45 p.m., the smelliest sneaker contest begins.

At 8 p.m., a kids' hula-hoop contest will be held, and 8:20 p.m., an adult's hula-hoop contest will be held.

At 8:30 p.m., all raffle winners for the day will be announced.

Glow necklaces will be for sales by the parks and recreation department and the night will be capped off with a singing of the National Anthem by Kristyn Bernier and fireworks.

On Sunday, a pancake breakfast will be held at the New Durham School, sponsored by Cub Scout Pack #859, in the school café.

The last of the 10 buttons will be given out at this event, and prizes will be given out to visitors who collected all 10 buttons.

Please be aware of road closures for the 5K race and for the parade on Saturday.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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