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Joyce Endee

Gilford Old Home Day celebrates town's 200th birthday

August 22, 2012
The Gilford community is gearing up for the 93rd Annual Gilford Old Home Day, set for Saturday, Aug. 25, themed "Happy Birthday, 200 Years and Counting!" in honor of the town Bicentennial.

The Old Home Day Committee has worked hard planning a celebration day packed with fun events for all ages.

The Gilford Rotary Club kicks off the celebration with their annual pancake breakfast at the Gilford Community Church from 7 to 10 a.m., and invites residents to fill up with a good breakfast for the busy day ahead.

The Gunstock Nordic Association's 35th annual Old Home Day 5K road race begins at 8 a.m. at the Village Field entrance. Registration for the 5K and children's fun race is from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. near the bandstand.

From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Friends of the Gilford Public Library host their annual pie, ice cream and book sale at the library on Potter Hill Road while supplies last. They will also be open on Friday before Old Home Day from 5 to 7 p.m. According to Library Director Katherine Dormody, this is the Friends' major annual fundraiser and helps support the summer reading programs and events through the year. This year, they are also hosting a silent auction for the Balsams bed they had in their exhibition area donated by a library trustee.

From 9 a.m. to noon, the Thompson-Ames Historical Society hosts an open house at the Mt. Belknap Grange, the 1834 Union Meetinghouse and the Benjamin Rowe House.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. from the Gilford Town Hall. Children will be accepting donations in donation buckets during the parade to benefit Old Home Day celebration and fireworks show.

Following the parade, Paul Warnick and Friends will be playing music at the Bandstand from 11 a.m. to noon.

The Roaming Railroad, a trackless train with operator, will be roaming the ground offering rides for $3/person from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At noon, residents are invited to the Opening Ceremony and Flag Raising by the Marine Color Guard with the National Anthem, sung by Marlene Makowski at the Bandstand. The parade float results will announced at the Bandstand. General announcements and presentation to the Grand Marshals, featuring our grand Master of Ceremonies, Bob Pomeroy.

Following the opening ceremonies, the Winnipesaukee Squares Square Dance Club salute Gilford's Bicentennial at 1 p.m. with a demonstration of basic square dance steps set to music at the Entertainment Tent.

Games and races for all age groups are from 1 to 2 p.m. on the Village Field and Aaron Francoeur Little League Field.

At 1:30 p.m., the Edgewater Academy of Dance, students and dance company members

will perform jazz, ballet, hip hop, tap, and modern dances from their 2012 season, as well as some

fun audience participation activities. In the Entertainment Tent.

At 2:15 p.m., there will be a performance by physical comedian Jody Scalise in the Entertainment Tent.

The annual Pie-Eating contest on the Village Field, sponsored by Shaw's Supermarket is scheduled for 3 p.m. and all ages welcome. There will again be an adult and a youth competition this year.

The Old Home Day Raffle drawing at the Bandstand is at 3:50 p.m.

The children's egg toss begins at 4 p.m., and the adult egg toss, 10-years-old and up, begins at 4:30 p.m. on the Village Field.

The Gunstock Nordic Association and Piche's Ski and Sport host the thirteenth annual Kids Fun Race ad the Village Field enterance for children seven-years-old to 12-years-old at 5 p.m.

From 6:15 to 7:45 p.m., the Eric Grant Band comes home to Gilford with a preform at the Entertainment Tent on the Village Field. The Eric Grant Band includes lead vocalist Eric Grant of Gilford, keyboard player and backup vocalist Paul DiBiaso of Winnisquam, lead guitarist Carlos Flores of Nashua, slide guitarist Tim Kierstead of Nashua, bass player Dan Haney of Bristol, Banjo,Mandolin and fiddle player Billy Hayes of Gonic and drummer Graeme Baert of Laconia. They were recently awarded the 2012 Southwest Airlines "Calling All Musicians" Contest.

At 8 p.m., the Community Band will preform at the Bandstand.

The spectacular fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. Following the fireworks, all ages are welcome to come dance the night away with DJ Alex Bailey in the Entertainment Tent at the Village Field from until 11 p.m.

Craftspeople and food vendors offering a huge variety of items will be set up on the Village Field throughout the day, along with the MA Moonwalk Company inflatable bounce houses on

the tennis courts at the Village Field where children can literally bounce off the walls for a nominal admission fee.

Throughout the day, a free shuttle bus service sponsored by First Student, Inc. and the Gilford Old Home Day Committee will be making a loop between Gilford Town Hall, Gilford Middle and High Schools, Gilford Elementary School, the First United Methodist Church (on Gilford Avenue/Route 11-A), and the entrance to the Gilford Village Field.

The 2012 Gilford Old Home Day Art Contest Winners are Koko Clarke, first place, Alec Davis, second place and Kelsey Jarvis, third place who each won prizes donated by the Bank of New Hampshire.

The Celebration continues the following day, Sunday, Aug. 26, with the Bicentennial Woodsman competition begining at 11 a.m. at Gilford Elementay School.

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Martin Lord Osman
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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