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Candlelight Stroll ushers in the holiday season Dec. 8



CandlelightStroll
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Carolers, horse drawn carriages, and more will be back along Belknap Mountain Road for this year's Candlelight Stroll on Dec. 8. (File Photo) (click for larger version)
November 20, 2018
The candles, carolers, horse drawn carriages, and more will return to Belknap Mountain Road for another Candlelight Stroll after a yearlong hiatus.

The sixth candlelight stroll will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 5-7 p.m.

Candelight Stroll Committee Chair Dee Chitty said they decided not to hold the stroll last year.

"People were kind of upset we didn't do it last year," Chitty said.

She said every year, it had been the same people doing the same things year after year. This year, however, they got a number of new volunteers.

"It's a new group of people, and we're grateful for all of them," Chitty said.

This year, the stroll will be dedicated to Jerry Lacroix and the Gilford Police Department's K-9 officer, Ike.

More than 1,000 candles will line Belknap Mountain Road that night. During the stroll, Belknap Mountain Road will be closed from the intersection of Potter Hill Road to the Gilford Elementary School Imagination Station.

An array of different events and activities will take place throughout the event.

The Gilford Fire Department will set up a bonfire in Village field, where people can toast marshmallows and make s'mores. Santa Claus will pay a visit and meet with kids on the gazebo in Village Field.

The SAU office will be open and display art by students, including a portrait of the late K-9 officer Ike.

The Gilford Public Library will offer entertainment and snacks for visitors.

All three of the Thompson-Ames Historical Society's buildings will be open and decorated for the holidays. Local artist Larry Frates will be at the Union Meetinghouse. Hot mulled cider and cookies can be found at the Mt. Israel Grange.

All the recent work done to the Benjamin Rowe House will be on display, especially the ell section. That section was completed through efforts by the Gilford Rotary Club.

"They have just done a phenomenal job with adding in the flooring and the heating and the electricity and everything needed to be able to use that room," Chitty said.

Visitors can climb aboard a horse drawn carriage and go through rides throughout the village. Carolers will also be walking through the village, including students from the schools.

A number of different homes and businesses will also be open with many property owners offering warm fires along the route. Among these will be the new Gilford Village Store, who Chitty said will have their doors open that night.

"A huge thank you to all the volunteers who made the 2018 Candlelight Stroll possible," Chitty said.

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