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Community throws 'birthday' party for Tilton and Northfield

Kailey May Collins and her family celebrated not only her 12th birthday, but acknowledged the Town of Tilton's 150th anniversary too with their float that was named Best in the Parade for this year's Tilton-Northfield Old Home Day celebration. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
July 11, 2019
NORTHFIELD – There was a rolling party in the streets of Tilton and Northfield on Saturday, June 29, when their annual Old Home Day parade made its way through both towns with the theme of "Celebrating Birthdays Throughout Our Community."

This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Tilton and selectmen from that community had a giant birthday cake aboard their float to mark the special occasion. It wasn't just their birthday that was celebrated however. New Hampshire Veterans Home also celebrated WWII veteran Walter Pierce whose 100th birthday was occurring on July 3, and their oldest resident, Joe Benning who turned 101 earlier this year. Party hats, balloons and American flags decorated their many parade entries as the veterans and staff of NHVH wished happy birthday to all this year, including the United States, which turned 243 years old on July 4.

Kailey May Collin's family also had a huge birthday cake on their float entry that congratulated not only the Town of Tilton on its 150th birthday, but Kailey herself who was celebrating her 12th birthday over the weekend. Standing inside the cake with only her head and party hat sticking out, she waved to the crowds who lined the parade route that day and was wished a happy birthday by all. The family's float took the top prize as "Best in Parade" for 2019.

Other celebratory participants included The Ark Learning Center whose float was lined with colored candles that had orange children's handprints as their flames, and the staff and members of White Tiger Karate, celebrating their 15th year in operation this summer. Local scouting and 4-H groups, Pines Community Center, and Spaulding Youth Center were also among the dozens of entries with bubbles, balloons, and party hats galore.

Moulton's Band added to the festivities with music that included the Beatle's classic tune, "Birthday."

More than an hour in length, revelers from the parade finished their journey at The Pines in Northfield where more celebrations were soon underway.

Throughout the afternoon residents old and new, along with many visitors to the two towns, enjoyed shopping the many vendors set up in the park. There were also children's games, a bouncy house courtesy of White Tiger Karate, horseshoe and corn hole tournaments and plenty of food available. At the adjacent agricultural ring crowds lined the bleachers and fence to watch the horse pulling competition and later in the day there was a chicken barbecue and the traditional pie-eating contest. In the eight and under category for that competition this year Kora Leigh Dalessio placed first, Mason Coleman was second and Kendall Curley was third. For the nine to 13 year-old pie eaters, Cody Gray came in first, Kiara Dalessio was second and Emmaline Leandro was third. In the 14-17 year-old group there were only two contestants this year and Ashleigh Arsenault finished first followed by her challenger, Tatyanna Wanschel, in second. Finally, in the 18 and older competition, Merek Weisensee topped the leader board while Jennifer Cross took second place and Amanda Pinciaro came in third.

The party wrapped up back at Riverfront Park in Tilton that night with live entertainment and fireworks along the Winnipesaukee River.

Varney Smith
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