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Belmont goes the distance to celebrate Old Home Day

The First Baptist Church of Belmont took home the Selectmen's Trophy in the Belmont Old Home Day parade last Saturday for their float, "The Marathon of Life." (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
August 15, 2018
BELMONT – The Town of Belmont went the distance in organizing another fun filled Old Home Day last Saturday, when lots of activities, crafters, civic booths, food vendors, live music and a parade never let a threat of rain showers mar the day.

This year's theme actually was "Going the Distance," a tribute to the 50th year of the challenging Belmont 10-Miler Road race that has been held each year since 1969. After the early morning race was over, runner Bill Springer of Waterville Valley also served as Grand Marshal for the parade. Placing a respectful 44th in this year's race with a time of 1:51:35, he was recognized for not only being the oldest participant this year, but a true veteran of the annual event.

"Bill's 79 years old, and has been in almost every single race we've held. He said he hopes to be back again next year to run it when he's 80," said race director Jeff Roberts.

Besides Springer, other honorees in this year's parade contingency included the 2018 Belmont Good Citizen Kaleb Brown and runner up Devin Poslusny.

Boy Scout Troop 65 and Girl Scout Troop 21532 also marched down Main Street along with the Belmont Police Honor Guard and the New Hampshire Pipes and Drums Corps. Moulton's Band and the Belmont High School Marching Band provided music along the route as other colorful floats and antique cars motored by. Another delightful entry was young Mikey on his mini tractor pulling his goats and chickens through town once again this year.

Winning entries for 2018 were the Belmont Elementary School Support Team who received the Heart of the Community Trophy for their float and Boy Scout Troop 65, which was awarded the Charles H. Kilbourn American Legion Post 58 Trophy. The Albert Akerstrom II Trophy went to the Lakes Region Flag Football for their float while the Belmont First Baptist Church was awarded the Selectmen's Trophy. Tipping their hat to the Belmont 10-Miler with a religious twist, their float was designed as a heavenly cloud filled by young cherubs with bubbles floating all around them and titled "Marathon of Life."

A full roster of events for the day began after an early Pancake Breakfast beneath the Tioga Pavilion kicked things off. There were children's games that included the traditional Pedal Tractor Pull and a climbing wall while face painting, novelty booths and colorful balloons that drew the attention of many boys and girls. Kids of all ages enjoyed live music on the bandstand from the group, Back 2 Back, and many shoppers browsed the rows of tented booths that surrounded the village green or relaxed on the lawn while they had lunch and awaited the parade.

Back under the pavilion the Belmont Fire Department got the evening off to a delicious start at 5 p.m. with their annual Old Home Chicken Barbecue before everyone headed up the hill to Bryant Field for the remainder of the festivities.

Out on the field there was more live music from the Scott Spradling Band, an inflatable obstacle course and the Vertical Dreams Rock Wall for everyone to enjoy before fireworks at 9:30 capped off the busy day.

"Some people backed out on us today because they were afraid of the weather but we all believed," said parade emcee Tom Murphy. "That doesn't matter, though, because no matter what, whatever Belmont does, Belmont does great!"

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
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