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Joyce Endee

Old Home Day celebrates the history of Hill

When the Town of Hill holds its Old Home Day festivities on Saturday, July 31, the public is invited to not only celebrate the 80th Anniversary of New Hill Village, but enjoy a self-guided tour of Old Hill Village, where local Eagle Scout Tylet Kulacz recently placed new signs designating places of interests along the Pemigewasset River where the town was first built in 1753. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
July 29, 2021
HILL — There will be fun for all in the Town of Hill this weekend, when their Old Home Day celebration kicks off bright and early on Saturday morning and continues until the last of the fireworks fade away in the evening sky.

Unlike many communities that hold annual Old Home Day celebrations, Hill holds its celebration every 10 years. The exception to that tradition was five years ago when, in the middle of their 10-year cycle, "New" Hill VIllage turned 75 years old and a special Old Home Day was held to celebrate the landmark anniversary. After 2021, the next Old Home Day in Hill will not take place until 2031.

The original Town of Hill was founded along the banks of the Pemigewasset River in 1753 under the name of New Chester. In 1837 the residents decided to rename the community Hill after New Hampshire Gov. Isaac Hill. In 1937 plans for a flood control dam along the river, which would affect the riverside town, was announced and so the resilient residents picked up their community and moved it up the riverbank. The town gathered at the "old" town hall in June of 1941 to announce the completion of the move then reconvened in "new" Hill Village town hall later that same day. All this and more is what people can discover on July 31 at the Hill Library where the historical society will have an exhibit of the town's unique history. The historical society will also hold a fun and educational Scavenger Hunt and the gate at Back Rd. leading into Old Hill VIllage will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for those who want to reminisce or come explore the riverside community that used to be. Hill Historical Society members will also be on hand in the old village that day to sell maps of the original town for those who want to take the self-guided tour. New this year will be signs that were recently created and erected as an Eagle Badge project by local Boy Scout Tyler Kulacz, pointing out where places of interest once stood more than 80 years ago.

The day will include much more than that, however.

The celebration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a 5K road race through both the old and new village. There will also be a pancake breakfast in the Jenny D. Blake School cafeteria from 8:30-10 a.m.

At 9 a.m. the rest of the fun gets underway. It will all start with "Kids Corner" on Maurice Wheeler Ball FIeld (behind the school and the town library) where there will be games, races and all kinds of fun for children to enjoy. At 10 a.m. a Bouncy House will also join the action.

Out on the Common (in front of the school) and beside the pond, on the other side of Crescent St., crafters and "Carnival Vendors" will be ready to welcome the public from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.. Committee member Lynn Christopher said among those vendors will be local nonprofit organizations, with all proceeds from their booths benefiting their individual causes.

Food vendors will open up at 11 a.m., and from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. a Dunk Booth will provide additional fun on the Common.

At noon, crowds will gather along Crescent St. when this year's Carnival-themed parade will kick off. Christopher said the committee hopes this year's parade will be extra special with horses, floats, antique cars and more rolling through the village.

Immediately following the parade, there will be opening ceremonies in front of the flag stand at the pond as well as words delivered by town officials who will dedicate a tree that was recently planted in honor of Selectman James Michael Brady who passed away on Oct. 30, 2020 while still serving the community.

From 1-2 p.m., a car show will take place around the Common along with a Touch-A-Truck event for kids of all ages to enjoy. On Maurice Wheeler Ball FIeld Pony RIdes will be available from 1-3 p.m. and kayak racing on the pond will be held during that same time period. Kayaks will be provided and safety officials will be on hand to oversee the event.

Rounding out the afternoon excitement will be a special comedic performance on the Common from juggler Bryson Lane, who will entertain folks of all ages from 3-4 p.m.

Throughout the day DJ Dean Ward will be on hand to make announcements and keep the crowd entertained, but from 4-6 p.m., it will be Errol Wayne on the bandstand to provide music as everyone enjoys a chicken barbecue, available from the Hill Fire Department and served at the school cafeteria.

From 7-9 p.m., the band Beechwood will take over the bandstand for a Street Dance that will lead up to the fireworks on the ballfield at dusk, which will end the fun-filled day.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
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