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Holiday Hometown Parade headlines Plymouth festivities



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Accompanied by the Plymouth Elementary School Jazz Band playing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the PES Student Council adopted the legendary team leader as the symbol of the “leader in all of us,” lighting the way for the Holiday Hometown Parade in Plymouth on Saturday night! (For more photos of the parade and other festivities in Plymouth this past weekend, visit the Record Enterprise on Facebook!) (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
December 08, 2010
PLYMOUTH – It's the most wonderful time of the year!

With just the slightest hint of snow in the air, the season got underway in Plymouth with the Holiday Hometown Parade and a host of other festivities this past weekend.

From the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Common, with Plymouth's hometown favorite, "Karaoke Tim Keefe," serving as Master of Ceremonies and leading the caroling, to the "Joyful Noise" of the PSU choirs on Sunday afternoon, the weekend was filled with fun and family activities.

As always, the Holiday Hometown Parade drew a huge crowd from all across the region. Storefronts on Main Street are decorated for the holiday, welcoming visitors and setting the stage for the celebrations of the season. Hundreds of aspiring shoppers had a lot of fun "window shopping" while waiting for the parade to kick off. Others gathered on the Common to decorate and enjoy their own cookies, courtesy of Plymouth State University.

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Saturday night’s festivities culminated in a fireworks display, a “chill buster” barbeque, courtesy of the Plymouth Rotary and the Comman Man, and a beautiful bonfire on the banks of the Pemi River. Does it get any better that this? (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
There were almost 30 entries in this year's parade, starting off, as every good parade should, with a waving Councilor Ray Burton and the Baker Valley Band and finishing up with Santa himself atop a shining Plymouth fire truck. In between, there were dozens of floats, marching bands from as far away as Belmont and Laconia and as near and dear as Rumney's Russell Elementary School, and of course, the Plymouth Elementary School Jazz Band.

This year's Holiday Hometown Parade judges are not to be envied their difficult task of somehow selecting the parade "winners," but rising to the occasion, they made their decisions while acknowledging the outstanding contributions of so many participants.

Winners for the Plymouth Holiday Hometown Parade are: Youth/Teen Category; 1st - Laconia Band, 2nd - PRHS Honor Society, 3rd - Plymouth Regional Huskies.

In the Business Category; 1st - White Mountain Jazzercise, 2nd - Mauchley Electric, and 3rd – The Flying Monkey.

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New to the Hometown Holiday celebrations this year was free “Skating with Santa” at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena, with assistance from the Pemi Youth Center neighborhood elves, and many, many others. (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
In the Civic Group Category; 1st - PSU University Relations, "Let's Skate", 2nd - US Forest Service, and 3rd – "God's Gift."

Finally, in the Animal Category, first prize went to Holiday Horses, with special appreciation for the yeoman assistance of the good spirited elf, Richard Smith. Thank you, Richard.

After the parade, everyone moved to the Green Street riverfront to enjoy the "chill buster" barbecue, courtesy of the Plymouth Rotary and the Common Man, a bonfire courtesy of the skilled crew from the Plymouth Fire Department, and the Plymouth State University "Festival of Trees" at the Plymouth Regional Senior Center. The "voters" were lined up out the door for a chance to win their favorite themed holiday tree. If only that many folks showed up at the polls on election day!

For more information and photos from the Festival of Trees, check out the Record Enterprise Facebook page.

The evening ended with a grand finale of fireworks over the Pemigewasset, but activities continued on Sunday, thanks to Plymouth State University. Hundreds of "kids of all ages" turned out for the free "Skating with Santa" at the brand new, state-of-the-art Ice Arena. Thanks to Wes Lavin for taking everyone's picture with the Jolly One himself, who must have been exhausted by then, but appeared full of good cheer. Thank you, Santa, for all that you do for the Plymouth Community.

Public skating is available at the PSU Ice Arena on a regular basis, and skating lessons for all ages are also offered. An extremely popular Teen Night is held every Friday from 7 until 10 p.m., and Family Nights are wonderful for everyone. (More information can be found online at www.skateplymouthstate.com, or call the office at 535-2758.) Evidence of the good work of PSU skating teachers was on display as dozens of tiny tots waddled onto the ice behind stacked milk crates for support (what a wonderful teaching technique!) and budding young ice ballerinas executed flawless figure eights and pirouettes of some skill. Then there were the rest of us (your correspondent did indeed succumb to the temptation!), who have not donned blades for decades… and have the blisters to prove it! It is recommended that you rent comfortable skates from PSU, rather than break out the 25-year-old pair that has been sitting in the closet.

It all came to a conclusion Saturday afternoon with a lovely concert of "A Joyful Noise" at the Silver Center of the Arts at Plymouth State University and a "musical prayer for peace," "Dona Nobis Pacem."

Martin Lord Osman
Summit
Varney Smith
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