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Bristol kicks off Bicentennial year

Joining in the kickoff of Bristol's Bicentennial year are, from left, Rick Alpers, Wayne Anderson, Lucille Keegan, Don Milbrand, Hilda Bruno, Leslie Dion, Janet Cote, J.P. Morrison, and Nik Coates. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
January 09, 2019
BRISTOL — The town of Bristol kicked off its Bicentennial year with a proclamation from the selectmen and town administrator on Jan. 3.

Selectmen issued the proclamation after offering their thanks to the members of the Bicentennial Committee, headed by former selectman Janet Cote.

"The planning is in the can," Cote said; "now it's the executing, and we need plenty of volunteers."

The first of the scheduled events will take place at the Slim Baker Lodge on Saturday, Jan. 19, with cocoa, cookies, and a campfire. Visitors are encouraged to bring sleds and snowshoes to enjoy the area, while having an opportunity to warm up at the indoor and outdoor fires, between 2 and 6 p.m.

Also planned this year is a Bicentennial concert on Wednesday, April 10, featuring the bands from Newfound Memorial Middle School and Newfound Regional High School.

There will be a community dance on Saturday, June 22, and a celebration dinner Sunday, June 23. The actual date of the town's incorporation is June 24, and there will be a birthday party and proclamation for the day on that Monday.

The main events will occur during Old Home Week, Aug. 22-25, with a Bicentennial parade, concerts, games, fireworks, historical re-enactments and displays, and a community service at Inspiration Point, along with a pancake breakfast, artisan booths, and a barbecue.

Other activities will include an ice cream social, a community picnic, an "Old-Time" baseball game, and a community photo. There is even a two-act historical play in the works.

Members of the Bicentennial Committee, in addition to Cote, are Hilda Bruno, Lucille Keegan, Danna Manfra, Kerrin Rounds, Kerry Mattson, Bill and Nancy Dowey, Al Blakeley, and Jenne Walker, with Stacy Buckley representing the Newfound Area School District and Jennifer Rosene representing the Newfound Area Nursing Association. Leslie Dion is the selectmen's representative on the committee.

The proclamation that the selectmen read into the record on Jan. 3 states:

"Whereas, the Town of Bristol, Grafton County, New Hampshire, in the United States of America, will recognize its 200th anniversary in the coming year…

Whereas, the Town having been incorporated on June 24th, eighteen hundred and nineteen, during the tenure of Governor Samuel Bell …

Whereas, the Town possessed large deposits of clay and sand similar to the Bristol sand in Bristol, England, used in making fine pottery, giving this town its name …

Whereas, the Town of Bristol recognizes the hard work and sacrifice that the original founders and settlers of Bristol endured to carve out a community in the Lakes Region …

Whereas, the Town of Bristol has enjoyed a long and storied history involving brick making and manufacturing of paper, leather, woolens, flannel, bedsteads, and piano stools …

Whereas, the Town of Bristol has become a summer destination for visitors to enjoy the pristine water of Newfound Lake …

Whereas, the Town of Bristol has become known for its hospitality and natural beauty which are second to none in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire …

Now, therefore, We, the Board of Selectmen in the Town of Bristol, Grafton County, New Hampshire, by the virtue of the authority vested in us, do hereby proclaim 2019 as Bristol's "Bicentennial Year" to honor the Town and its inhabitants and visitors. We urge everyone to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

In witness thereof, we the Select Board set by our hands this 3rd day of January, in the year of our Lord, two thousand and nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, this two hundredth and forty-third year,

Richard Alpers, Chair; Donald Milbrand, Vice Chair; Leslie Dion, Member; J.P. Morrison, Member; Wayne Anderson, Member; Nicholas Coates, Town Administrator."

Along with issuing the proclamation, the selectmen's meeting served to introduce the Bicentennial banners that will be placed on downtown during the year-long celebration.

The town is looking for additional volunteers to help out with events, along with sponsorships to assist in the funding of activities. Salmon Press, publishers of the Newfound Landing and Record Enterprise, is a partner in the celebration, and Cote said other members of the business community have responded well in supporting the events.

In addition to the business and family sponsorships, the committee is looking for people to sign up for parade floats, special merchant sales, and period costumes. Blakeley is putting together a trivia contest and is welcoming the contributions of facts to include in the contest. Later this year, there will be commemorative ornaments, a program book, and other items for purchase.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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