WITH GRAY THURSDAY, BLACK FRIDAY, CYBER MONDAY BEHIND US and just 19 shopping days left until Christmass, the holiday shopping rush is on.
The jolly old fellow has made several pre-home appearances over the past week, and is expected to make many more this weekend.
BUSY SCHEDULE: To boot (so to speak): Good elves Dot Seybold and Laura Tuveson note that St. Nick will be at Settlers' Green Outlet Village Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22, courtesy of the MWV Kiwanis. Settlers' Green's annual Holiday Tree Festival is set for Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with decorated Christmas trees, caroling, horse-drawn wagon rides and more. For further information, call 356-7031.
Conway Village will be visited by Santa Dec. 7, with festivities from 1 to 6:30 p.m. The day of holiday fun begins with family photos with Santa at the Conway branch of Northway Bank from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Creative Sole Dance Studio will also be hosting a complimentary 35-minute dance show, featuring seven dance sets, at Conway Elementary, coinciding with photos with Santa at 1 p.m. Santa will be arriving by sleigh at 4:15 p.m. for the tree lighting and live music at the Conway Village Information booth. Children are invited to join Santa afterwards in a sleigh ride to the Ham Arena where hot cocoa and cookies will be provided.
Following the tree lighting, families are invited to the Ham Ice Arena for the MWV Skating Club’s annual “Holiday on Ice” show, at 5 p.m with free admission, courtesy of Community Celebrations. The “Holiday on Ice” is a skating show featuring holiday-themed solos and group performances on ice by child and adult members of the Mount Washington Valley Skating Club. The Ham Ice Arena will also be sponsoring free skate rentals for families to “skate with the stars” of the ice show at the conclusion of the show.
The Christ Church Episcopal, meanwhile, hosts a Holiday Fair and Cookie Walk Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Traditionally Yours, Jackson, continues weekends through Dec. 21, with Jingle Bell chocolate tours Dec. 7 and 8 and Dec. 14 and Dec. 21. Board your Austrian Drawn Sleigh at Nestlenook Estate.
“You'll be whisked away to Jackson Village stopping at the Inn at Jackson, the Backcountry Bakery, The Wentworth, An Elegant Country Inn, J-Town Deli & Country Store, the Snowflake Inn and Flossie's General Store, where each will greet you with their especially prepared Chocolate Treasures,” notes executive director Kathleen Driscoll.
The sleigh brings passengers back to the Nestlenook Estate.
Jackson launched its Traditionally Yours celebration Nov. 29, and continued it Nov. 30 with the arrival of Santa.
Call 383-9356 or visit www.jacksonnh.com for the scoop.
The Conway Scenic Railroad presents its annual Santa's Holiday Express Dec. 7 and 8, Dec. 14 and 15, and Dec. 21 and 22. Call 356-5251 for the scoop on schedules.
Meanwhile, the always incredibly-in-demand Believe in Books Literacy Foundation's Polar Express continues weekends from the North Conway Train Station to the North Pole. If you'd like to volunteer, visit www.polarexpress.org or call the good elves at call 356-9980.
(We saw several family members in matching pajamas at Horsefeathers last Friday evening after they had taken their ride to and back from the North Pole. It's always a sign of the season here in North Conway, where like the little boy, people of all ages still believe in the magic of the season — you can tell if they're wearing pajamas out on the town).
RESORT LIGHTING: Speaking of that yuletide spirit, the Eastern Slope Inn Resort hosted a resort outdoor lighting ceremony Friday evening, Nov. 29, with Santa himself in attendance. Somehow, resort marketing director Frank Guerriero alas missed Santa's appearance, but he did show up after Santa had left the lobby, where St. Nick had read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to children gathered there by the fireplace.
“We're trying to make the resort lighting and cookies in the lobby with Santa an annual tradition,” said Guerriero,a jolly old fellow himself, who some may remember used to work in mareting at Wildcat Resort back in the Franchi ownership era.
A highlight of the ceremony was the impromptu a cappella performance of two angelic-voiced sisters from New Brunswick.
Sisters Claire (15) and Victoria (12) Dingee, who vacation with their parents each year at the Eastern Slope Inn, were here on vacation and present to greet Santa Claus at the resort-lighting event.
They sang for the crowd after Santa's reading of the classic Christms tale. They sang "The Snow Has A Song" and "Away In A Manger." Both girls sing in the Rothesay Kings' Rotary Girls Choir in New Brunswick and travel to sing at concerts in Ottawa and Walt Disney World.
They left the next day to head back north to Canada, which was too bad, as they would have made a nice addition to the spirited chorus that gathered in North Conway's Schouler Park late Saturday afternoon for Community Celebrations’ annual treelighting as part of the Village Snowflake Festival. Ken Martin of M&D Productions led the carolers in such classics as “Here Comes Santa claus,” “The 12 Days of Christmas” and “White Christmas,” to name a few.
That was followed by performance of Dylan Thomas' “Christmas in Wales” at Your Theater as a benefit for M&D Productions and Mountain Top Music.
Meanwhile, Arts in Motion is presenting “It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at the Eastern Slope Inn Playhouse Dec. 6 through 7, and Dec. 12 through 15, all at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit www.artsinmotiontheater.com/box-office or call 356-0110.
Looking ahead to next Friday, Jackson presents its Christmas Can Cure festivities beginning on Friday, Dec. 13, in front of the Jackson town offices. This sixth-annual event will honor three Wounded Warriors and their families, and treat them to an all-expenses-paid, old-fashioned Christmas week in the heart of the White Mountains. The public is invited to the flag-raising ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m.
Christmas Can Cure is a 501 (c) (3) foundation, and all donations are tax deductible. Send checks (payable to Christmas Can Cure Inc.) to Christmas Can Cure, c/o Leslie Schomaker, P.O. Box 209, Jackson 03846, or donate online at www.christmascancure.org.
HOLIDAY MUSIC: On the music scene, the MWV Choral Society presents its Holiday Concert Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., both at Christ Church Episcopal in North Conway.
The Heather Pierson Quartet performs ”A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Little White Church in Eaton Dec. 6 — a show that's guaranteed to put you in the Christmas mood. Tickets are available at the door and online at www.heatherpierson.com.
Heather performed with the boys at Hoot Night at the Wildcat this past Tuesday, and she was excellent. The always colorful Swamp Dog also jammed with Heather and the assembled musicians.
Tom Dean, Rex Fowler, Alana MacDonald and fellow Nutopians present their musical, tasteful tribute to the great music of John Lennon at the Flying Yankee in Plymouth tonight, Dec. 6. Visit www.flyingmonkeynh.com/ for ticket and event information, notes guitarist/ensemble member Tom Dean of North Conway.
Another always great holiday show returns to the Little White Church Dec. 8, when pianist Dana Cunningham and cellist Max Dyer, along with other invited special guests, perform in concert at 4 p.m. Tickets are for sale in advance at White Birch Books (356-3200) and at the Eaton Village Store.
Jonathan Sarty and the Cold River Radio Band perform their “Cold River Radio Band: Volume 1” CD release concert at the Leura Hill Eastman Center Dec. 8.
ANGELS AND ELVES: Meanwhile, as of Thursday, sponsors were still needed for Angels and Elves, note co-organizers Dick Ficke and Marie Lee. “The request deadline was Dec. 2. As of this morning, we have 510 applications and 427 sponsors, so we still have 83 to go,” Ficke told The Sun Thursday afternoon.
Hours for Elf Headquarters (in the former Wild Things store in North Conway) are daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Dec. 16. For further information, call 356-8710.
USED TOY DRIVE: Also on the toy front, the valley's “gently used” toy drive has been a tremendous success so far, according to co-organizers Emily Smith-Mossman (662-3443) and Amy Smullen (662-5822).
“It's been really awesome, especially to see how proud the young kids are when they come in to drop off their toys. They are very proud to be able to be part of the holiday spirit and to give their toys to the cause,” said Smith-Mossman, who works as a designer at her dad Brian's North Country Fair Jewelers.
The deadline for donations is Dec. 7 at North Country Fair, the Book Warehouse in Conway, the MWV Children's Museum, and the Bartlett Preschool. Pick-up for toys is Dec. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the MWV Children's Museum.
BOWLS FOR HUNGER: Kudos to Kennett art teacher Sandy Hall and students for yet another very successful Food for Hunger. Held at Kennett High, it raised more than $1,200 for Vaughan Community Service Inc.'s food pantry Tuesday night. The food donated by local Valley Originals restaurants was fantastic, as was the musical entertainment by freshman Riley Parkhurst and writing teacher Ed Fayle.
Happy birthdays to one and all, including Jac Cuddy (12-4) and Ginny Gaudreault (12-11)...Ho, ho, ho, we're nearing the home stretch for this sleigh, so be sure to lend a hand to help. It's a generous valley at that, as is demonstrated time and time again.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2013 05:05
HOPE YOU ALL HAD A GREAT TURKEY DAY, with all the fixin's. We could have gobbled up a bit more snow out of the pre-Thanksgiving storm, which dropped two to four inches of rain and caused havoc for holiday travelers in the East. Just think if it had all been snow!
Remember when Thanksgiving used to be about turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, butternut squash and football?
For the past few years, it has been the day before Black Friday, the craziest shopping day of the season.
I've got no quarrel with that — I mean flat screens for everyone, I say, right?
But now, for the past few years, the actual holiday (or parts of it) has become … a shopping day. Why? Because hanging out with your family is really such an ordeal? Or, what, you don’t care to watch football on TV? You don’t like taking walks with your family in the woods either prior to or after a hearty feast?
Last Updated on Friday, 29 November 2013 04:36
Turkey Time Skiing is giving skiers and riders something to gobble about this Thanksgiving Week.
Fresh after Wednesday's very successful 12th annual Mount Washington Radio Group/Vaughan Community Service Inc. Thanksgiving food drive, where a record 571 frozen turkeys were gathered along with lots of cash and food donations, we received word that Cranmore Mountain will open a week earlier than planned based on productive snowmaking weather over the last two weeks. The area will open for top to bottom skiing and riding with five trails and two lifts operating on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23 and 24.
We also just got word that Wildcat Mountain, Attitash's sister Peak Resorts area, wil be opening on Saturday as well.
Bretton Woods and Sunday River have been open for a few weeks now, and snowguns have been blasting at Wildcat Mountain.
“It’s exciting to get open in November so that season passholders and weekend guests can enjoy some early season skiing and riding,” said Cranmore president and general manager Ben Wilcox. “Our continued investment in snowmaking this year and over the past few years is really paying off for us and is a major reason why we are able to open top to bottom in November.”
Cranmore has invested $100,000 in snowmaking equipment this season including the addition of 35 new energy efficient tower guns, and additional snowmaking trails. The investment brings Cranmore’s total of high efficiency snow guns to over 400, serving 163 acres and 16 miles of terrain, over a 300 percent increase in tower gun inventory since 2010.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 21:30
CONWAY — THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT WASHINGTON SHINED bright under its coat of new snow in the brilliant light of Wednesday and Thursday's glowing November sunshine, seemingly in tribute to fallen departed and much beloved executive councilor Raymond S. Burton (R-District 1), who passed at his Bath home early Tuesday morning.
He was 74. He lost his battle with kidney cancer that was first diagnosed and treated in February, and which returned in October.
An outpouring of remarks in respect to the late northern New Hampshire public servant flowed into the newsroom, and on Facebook. A sign was erected in North Conway's Schouler Park this week, saying, “Burton for Certain: Thanks Ray.”
As fellow scribe Lloyd Jones posted in a recent Conway Daily Sun headline following the dedication in his honor Nov. 1 of the new scenic rest area near the entrance to the Omni Mount Washington, “Everyone loves Raymond.”
We all did, especially his impartiality. He always ran as a Republican, mostly unopposed, over the course of his 18-term career, but above all, he loved New Hampshire, especially the North Country, and it didn't matter to him what your party affiliation was. He cared about people, and fixing problems.
First elected in 1977 to a two-year-term, and other than losing one election in 1979, he served from 1981 to 2013, the longest-standing elected official in the state. He also served 22 years as a Grafton County commissioner, and played organ for his church. He said he walked down the middle of Main Street politically.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 November 2013 06:10
IT WAS A GATHERING OF SKI LUMINARIES at the Grand Summit Hotel at Attitash Saturday night as skiers, friends, fans and family gathered to pay tribute to 1972 valley Olympian and former World Pro Ski Tour racer and coach Tyler Palmer, 63, of Kearsarge, who was the recipient of this year’s “Spirit of Skiing” award from the New England Ski Museum.
As we noted in last Saturday's feature in The Sun, the award honors a figure from the sport of skiing who embodies the axiom originally voiced by Dartmouth and St. Lawrence ski coach Otto Schniebs that skiing is not just a sport, but a way of life. As a Spirit of Skiing honoree, Palmer joined such greats as Stein Eriksen, Tom Corcoran, Georg Capaul, Penny Pitou, the late Herbert Schneider and last year's honoree, Boston Snowsports Expo promoter Bernie Weichsel, the latter of whom was among the 235 present Saturday.
Even though he said he gets nervous when speaking before more than 12 people, the newly-clean-shaven Tyler was totally at ease and totally entertaining in his remarks to the crowd.
Tyler won the Junior Nationals in 1969 and moved on to the U.S. Ski Team. He skied on the World Cup circuit from 1969-72.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 November 2013 05:14