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Belmont celebrates 150 years of history at Old Home Day

Members of Belmont High School's Class of 2022 threw a 150th birthday party for the town aboard their Old Home Day float this year, and took home the Selectmen's Trophy for their community spirit. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
August 14, 2019
BELMONT – "Celebrating Our Sesquicentennial" was the theme of the 2019 Belmont Old Home Day, and celebrate they did, from early morning until after dark, with a wide variety of activities and community gatherings.

The day kicked off with a pancake breakfast, the running of the 51st annual Belmont 10-Miler Road Race and the 31st annual Tioga Fun Run. There were vendors and food concessions surrounding the town green, children's games and free pony rides throughout the morning, as well as a dance demonstration from the Granite State Cloggers and live music on the bandstand by The Continentals.

At 1 p.m. everyone was summoned to the parade when Jack Donovan of the Heritage Commission rang the bell situated high above the village in the tower of the Belmont Mill. There was a new parade route this year, which began at the middle school, followed Main St. to the library then wound along Mill St. and back to the school, and people quickly lined the sidewalks and town green to watch.

Grand Marshal this year was Robert "Bob" Stevens. Stevens is a long time resident of Belmont, serving the town in roles such as selectman and health officer, along with his participation in many community and civic organizations that spanned several decades. Stevens is also a past commander of the Charles Kilborn American Legion Post 58.

The co-winners of the 2019 Belmont Good Citizen award, Morgan Ferguson and Kelly Hayes, were honored members of the parade as well.

Once again emceeing the event was Tom Murphy and as he announced each group that passed by the library, a few were asked to stop for a moment so they could be presented with a trophy for their entry.

While there were many fine floats, antique autos and marching groups helping Belmont celebrate its 150th anniversary this year, the Belmont Old Home Day Heart of the Community Award went to a historic float, titled "Spirit of 1869," the year in which the town was incorporated. Belmont High School's Class of 2022 took home the Selectmen's Trophy for their float that included a large 150th birthday cake and happy party guests. The Albert Akerstrom II Award was presented to the Foley Oil Company entry and this year the Charles Kilborn American Legion Post 58 Award went to none other than the veterans from that organization for their community service and faithful participation in the Old Home Day parade for many years.

And while there were only four awards, audience appreciation was shown through the cheers and applause for others like the BHS marching band, Streetcar Company, scouting troops, the Bektash Shriners mini cars, and Little Mikey and His Chickens, always a crowd favorite, as Murphy mentioned.

Afternoon activities included music from Moulton's Band, a chicken barbecue at the fire station and a BHS alumni soccer game. After dinner everyone then gathered at Bryant Field. There the entertainment included soccer darts and a climbing wall as well as music from the '80s band AXIS. Rounding out the busy day was a spectacular fireworks display.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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