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Gilford celebrates 'Life on the Lake'

August 27, 2009
As Old Home Day approaches, the Town of Gilford is hustling and bustling to prepare for the most memorable day of the year, as volunteers, town departments, and facilities put the finishing touches on their special events, parades, ice cream extravaganzas, and last but not least, a fireworks display.

The Old Home Day Committee decided on the theme, "Life on the Lake," for this year's Old Home Day, which will be held this Saturday, Aug. 29. The theme was selected after much discussion, said Parks and Recreation Director Herb Greene, because the lake affects every resident's life in every season, whether they enjoy fishing, boating, or snowmobiling.

The theme will be evident primarily in children's games and the parade, said Greene, where some of the floats will have boats trailing behind them.

The committee, consisting of 20 or so members, will also welcome back musician and children's entertainer Judy Pancoast, who attended Old Home Day a few years ago. She will perform again this year during the afternoon, said Greene. He added that a lot of performers and food vendors from last year will be returning as well and that the committee, which has worked on Gilford's special day since last fall, tends to keep a lot of the traditional games and events going.

"There's always a lot of planning that goes into Old Home Day, but we always make a few small changes. There is a lot of planning for the parade and the parade line up. We make a selection of a winner for the parade. We've got a lot of traditional activities, like the crazy maze, the same bands, the fireworks, and the dance at night," said Greene.

Greene said the morning parade, along with Gilford Bandstands performance in the evening, and the fireworks tend to be the three biggest and most popular events. One new activity will be a moonwalk, an inflatable bouncy house for the children to play and jump around on.

"For the most part every department assists with something. Public Works, the police, and the fire fighters all help on the day of the event. The library does a lot of promotion. Even the planning office helps us with the building permits," said Greene.

Most Old Home Day volunteers return every year, which is efficient since they already know what to expect and what tasks need to be completed, said Greene, but he added that new volunteers from the community are always welcome to join. Typically, the committee gets together in the fall to assess how Old Home Day went, and meets again in the spring to plan for next year's events.

Among the many activities held throughout the town, Governor Lynch will be attending Old Home Day during a visit at the Gilford Youth Center, although the time of his arrival is still tentative according to Pastor Michael Graham of the Community Church.

The church will also hold a ribbon cutting, the 25th annual pancake breakfast on behalf of the Rotary club, a live auction (items can still be donated), a dunk tank, and a DJ.

The new library will hold an annual book sale, open up the Bookworm Giftshop, and offer up pie and ice cream. One of the favorite events, the parade, will begin at 10 a.m. and parade winners will be announced at noon, while the "Hurdy Gurdy Man," an animated Orangutan roams through the crowds and surprises children.

An opening ceremony and flag raising by the Marine Color Guard with the National Anthem will also take place at noon, and field events for children and adults, including races and games, will begin around 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the Village Field. The pie eating contest will begin at 3 p.m. and the egg toss at 4 p.m.

Finally the big finale, the Community Band Concert at Bandstand and the fireworks display, will start at 8 and 9 p.m.

Free shuttle bus services will also be available throughout the day in order for everyone to be able to enjoy life on the lake.

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