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Fifth annual SkateFest brings out crowds



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SkateFest brings families to the Center Harbor town rink. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
February 20, 2019
CENTER HARBOR — A big winter beach party brought out a big crowd for skating, demonstrations, food, and more winter fun during the fifth annual SkateFest.

The SkateFest Winter Beach Party took place Sunday afternoon bringing big numbers to the annual event. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the event put on by the Center Harbor Community Development Association and local partners.

Bill Ricciardi of the CHCDA and The Edge Tie Dye said SkateFest was "little more crowded this year." He said a lot of information was spread by word of mouth and posts on social media about the event passed around.

The weather helped the event, guests enjoyed warmer temperatures and sunshine.

"The weather was perfect; it's warmer than I thought it was going to be," said Jill Weed of The Edge.

A number of local businesses provided free food to visitors. EM Heath's donated hamburgers and hotdogs for the grinning outside the tent. Inside the tent Piccolo Market, Canoe, Rubbin' Butts, The Mug, and Osteria Poggio gave free samples of their food.

Ricciardi and Weed both made and decorated 500 cookies with tie dye icing for the event. Weed said all of them were gone in a few hours.

The Center Harbor Fire Department did a cold water rescue demonstration by the docks.

The Moultonborough Snowmobile Club offered rides out on the ice in their groomer.

"We love it, we've been trying to get more involved in the community," said Jason Heaton of the Moultonborough Snowmobile Club.

He said last year was their first year at the event and it was a big success.

This year marks SkateFest's fifth anniversary.

"I'm actually kind of amazed that it went by so fast," Ricciardi said.

Among the guests were a few families who were up from Reading, Mass., already in the area to ski at Waterville Valley. Brian Walker said they were looking for something fun to do during the day and heard about SkateFest.

"I love how all the local businesses come together for the food," Walker said.

The kids with them agreed the mac and cheese from Canoe was the best.

"We decided to do a family friendly, outdoor activity," said Jen Walker.

Brian Walker also said the fire department demonstration was also great.

"I think it's incredible that everybody comes out and does these things," said Mark Epstein. "It's great that the community comes together."

Employees from Keepsake Quilting volunteered at the event.

"I think it's great and this is our first time involved and we're already talking about what we want to do next year," said Keepsake staff member Patty Donovan of Tamworth.

She said it's a great opportunity to meet local people, including town representatives and local businesses. Donovan also liked the fire department demonstration.

"It's important for us, I think, to see the effort that the fire department and the rescuers go through to save lives," Donovan said.

The store offered a quilt raffle. Volunteer Dawn Carlson of Gilford said Keepsake Quilting has done raffles for other causes such as breast cancer awareness.

"It would be nice to do something here in Center Harbor," Carlson said,

Carson said she loved being part of this.

"This is amazing; I can't wait to do it next year," Carlson said.

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