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Fall Festival kicks off Belmont's 150th anniversary celebration

There were several fun activities for children at Belmont's Kickoff Event for their upcoming 150th Anniversary, including old-time sack racing, which Kali, Hunter and Jaden decided to try last weekend. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
October 10, 2018
BELMONT – As the Town of Belmont prepares to kick off their 150th Anniversary in 2019, a community fall festival helped kick things off with the unveiling of a special anniversary banner along with some outdoor fun for families to enjoy.

Present for the event were Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin and Selectmen Jon Pike and Ruth Mooney, who welcomed everyone to the event.

Mooney said that the area was originally part of the Town of Gilmanton, formally known in 1859 as Upper Gilmanton. Ten years later in 1869 an act by the New Hampshire Legislature separated it from Gilmanton and gave it the new name of Belmont.

She said the town now encompasses 30-square miles of land and has a current population of roughly 7,300 people.

Recently, the town has undergone some major changes and she was proud of what Belmont has accomplished thus far in the time leading up to its anniversary year.

"A great deal of time and effort has gone into the revitalization of the village area with the restoration of the Victorian bandstand, construction of the Tioga Pavilion, paved walkways and the recent addition of two covered bridges over the Tioga River," she said.

Another addition to the town has been the development of the Winni Trail, allowing people the opportunity to walk and bike along scenic Lake Winnisquam where they can even connect to the WOW Trail, which runs through Laconia.

"As we look to 2019 and our 150th year as the Town of Belmont, there are events planned throughout the year. Please take time to offer suggestions and help us to reach our goal of 150 Ways to Celebrate Belmont," Mooney said.

Forms were available at last Sunday's Kick Off event for people to make suggestions on ways the community could celebrate, as well as another questionnaire asking for suggestions on items to be placed in a time capsule next year. But in the meantime, everyone also enjoyed the day's activities.

There was a corn hole game set out on the grass between the Tioga Pavilion and Belmont Mill, a large inflatable challenge course that kids all enjoyed, as well as face painting and hula-hoops. Loose bales of hay found both children and parents alike relaxing or romping through the hay while others tried out some old-time sack racing.

A Scavenger Hunt also took place where participants could win prizes for identifying features of some of the landmarks in the village, and the Friends of Belmont Library held a raffle to raise funds for future programs at the library. Paintings of historic buildings by Belmont resident Polly Murphy were also on display. Adding to the liveliness of the day was music by the band, "Stolen Thunder" and free ice cream from Jordan's Ice Creamery.

Families who attended the event were pleased to have activities and entertainment over the long holiday weekend.

"We live in Belmont, and love coming to all the community events," said Brooke, the mom of three little ones. "If there's anything fun going on in town, we're here!"

The 150th Anniversary is also almost here and those willing to make it a community celebration that people will remember for years to come are asked to contact Belmont's Special Events Coordinator Gretta Olson-Wilder with suggestions or a willingness to volunteer for any of the 2019 anniversary events. Olson-Wilder can be reached at dbwilder@metrocast.com or by calling 998-3525.

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Varney Smith
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