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A Holiday Candlelight Stroll Through Gilford Village

Christine Randall - November 29, 2012

The Town of Gilford has been celebrating its Bicentennial all year long, with parades, contests, and a number of other special events.  For the Bicentennial year’s Grand Finale, everyone is invited to enjoy a candlelight holiday stroll through Gilford Village on December 15th from 4 – 7 pm

“We’re hoping the last event, the ‘Village Candlelight Stroll’ will also be a fun-filled evening to reflect on this past year and all the things, we as a community, have done,” says Dee Chitty, a member of the Bicentennial Committee.  “Gilford people have great pride for the town we all share, and so many residents and businesses gave to the Bicentennial celebration.  It was amazing to see everyone pitching in to make things happen, as well as seeing so many things marking this very special year.”

Festivities and events planned for the Village Candlelight Stroll, which will be centered along candlelit Potter Hill and Belknap Mountain Roads, include craft demonstrations and sales, horse-drawn hayrides, open houses, refreshments, a bon fire at the village field entrance, a roaming Town Crier, carolers, musicians, and other holiday entertainment.

The Grange Hall (1857), the Meeting House (1824), and the Rowe House (1838), three historic buildings around the center of town which are maintained and operated by the Thompson-Ames Historical Society, will be festively decorated for the evening, with toy demonstrations, gingerbread cookies, and other surprises for visitors inside.

The Gilford Public Library on Potter Hill Road will host a holiday open house, featuring refreshments, holiday stories for children, and a book signing with local author Carol Anderson, who recently published a book on Gunstock’s history.  Local celebrity, Olympic medal-winning skier Penny Pitou, will also be on hand.

Some of the private homes on Potter Hill Road and Belknap Mountain Road will also be hosting holiday open houses, with refreshments and craft demonstrations, including a candle-making demonstration by Kathy Denutte of Denutte’s Delights Candles at the Bickford/Snow House.  The Bickford/Snow home will also be hosting trapper Brian Denutte, who will talk about winter wildlife in New Hampshire.  You can enjoy additional craft demonstrations and craft sales at the SAU building on Belknap Mountain Road.

Adding to the festivities, horse-drawn wagon rides between the library and the Rowe House will be available at a cost of $5 per person, with children under the age of 5 and senior citizens riding for free.   At 7pm the Gilford Community Church will present a “Dickens Christmas Concert.”  Tickets for this event will be available at the church.

Tickets and maps for the Candlelight Stroll will be available for sale during the event at the Grange Hall for $5 per person, with a maximum cost of $20 per family. You can also pick up tickets ahead of time at the Gilford Public Library, the Gilford Public Works office, and at Kitchen Cravings.  Proceeds will benefit the Historical Society.

For more information about the Village Candlelight Stroll, call Dee Chitty at (603) 527-4732, or log on to the Gilford Town website

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