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Music, games, good foods and crafts fill Sanbornton OHD weekend

Nicole Swain parades her pet cow Lila through Sanbornton on Saturday before Lila took center stage in a game of Cow Bingo later in the day. Donna Rhodes. (click for larger version)
July 21, 2010
SANBORNTON — A beautiful weekend saw people coming out to enjoy themselves at Sanbornton's Old Home Day celebration, with old-fashioned fun for current residents and old friends who came back to celebrate "Then and Now" in the rural community.

A chili cook-off in conjunction with baking competitions, cribbage tournament and the weekly farmer's market kicked things off on Friday. Sue Hankard took home the best chili honors as everyone raved over her unique recipe for Hawaiian Turkey Chili.

"It had pineapples and turkey in it and one woman even confessed she was voting for Sue's and not her own," said coordinator Carolyn De Nitto.

Also on Friday Samantha Newman won Best Adult Cake, Denise Bodwell won for best pie and Bob Chertoff submitted the best bread. Mackenzie French won in the children's category with her cupcakes along with Abigail Storrer for her cookies. At the end of the night it was Paul Colp who won the annual cribbage tournament.

All weekend the library hosted a variety of displays and contests where people could vote on their favorite photos or artwork, view creative handcrafts and read entries for the town's first essay competition.

On Saturday a marketplace appeared behind the library where vendors from the area displayed maple products, baskets, jewelry, woodcrafts and much more. Tee shirts sales and Milly Shaw's necklaces crafted from tightly rolled wrapping paper, along with her lavender sachets all sold very well, with proceeds benefiting next year's Old Home Day celebration.

Musicians played all afternoon in one corner of the grassy expanse and children's games kept everyone entertained. Exhibits from blacksmith Steve Ober, energy booths and a wildlife display from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers educated as well. At one point a round of Simon Says had kids of all ages playing along in the timeless game led by Roger Proulx of Just Maple Farm.

A parade filled the roads from Sanbornton Central School, down Tower Hill and through the village past Lane Tavern. Lead off by the colorful Knights of Columbus, a spectacular array of vintage and antique cars along with old and new versions of farming equipment, stately teams of Belgian horses and some cuddly looking young calves marched amidst floats and local political hopefuls. A hardy round of applause was heard for local candidate Bill Tobin and his float. Tobin and his wife Faith built a replica of the state Seal of New Hampshire, which has been a crowd favorite in parades across the Lakes Region all summer long.

"There's nothing political about it. It's just meant to show pride for New Hampshire," Faith Tobin said about the float.

Grand Marshall this year was Gertrude Gilman, a decades long resident whose husband Bob, former Road Agent in Sanbornton, had led the parade himself on horseback for many years before passing away at the age of 58. Four generations of Gertrude's family were on hand to see her take the honor their father, grandfather and great-grandfather had once held and they all cheered as she passed by their vantage point.

"This is just wonderful," Gertrude said after climbing out of the open air Cadillac that motored her along the route. In true New Hampshire form she sported a John Lynch for Governor sticker on her blouse but the most noticeable thing about the 95-year-old woman was her big smile. Raised in Laconia she moved to Sanbornton following graduation and marrying her husband after high school and has lived in the town ever since. She was proud to have been selected as Grand Marshall and even prouder of the family that gathered around her.

"My daughters all came, even from as far away as Portsmouth and it's just wonderful to have them all here. It's such a nice honor," she said.

While dinner was served in the Old Town Hall, music continued through the early evening hours from the bandstand out front as families gathered on the lawn to listen.

On Sunday a community church service and luncheon at the Second Baptist Church wrapped up the festivities.

Martin Lord Osman
Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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