Published Date Written by Tom EastmanHAPPY ALMOST Cinco de Mayo, which, as usual, returns on May 5. This year, it happens to coincide with Valley Pride Day.
So, one of my colleagues asked, what is Cinco de Mayo?
According to our dear (and usually reliable) reference source, Wikipedia, in addition to margaritas, burritos and the tango, the day celebrates the Mexican army's “unlikely victory over France forces” at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
“Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day — the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico — which is actually celebrated on Sept. 16,” notes Wikipedia.
Several local restaurants are getting into the spirit of the day, including Rafferty's, the Red Parka, and the Inn on Crystal Lake, to name a few. Check the ads in this issue for the scoop.
Others wanting to celebrate Cinco de Mayo musically will want to attend Mountain Top Music Center's Fiesta Musicale at the Salyards Center at 8 p.m. May 5, featuring Pablo Sarasate's Spanish Dances, a tango by Isaac Albeniz and two piano pieces by Mexican composer Manuel Ponce.
If you get inspired to try the tango, Jackson sculptor Dick DeVallian says the North Conway Community Center offers lessons Sunday afternoons. We ran into Dick at the newly-relocated and fabulous Frontside Grind Sunday, and he said that was where he was off to next after his latte.
VALLEY PRIDE DAY: Trash-talkin' honcho Donna Woodward tells us that plans are looking good for this year's Valley Pride Day on Cinco de Mayo.
Now in its 12th year, Valley Pride is a 28-town effort to spruce up the roadways of the valley.
“Awareness has really grown. We've been getting many calls, not only to me, but to all my town chairs,” said Donna on Thursday, two days before the big sweep.
Volunteers meet with their chairs in their respective towns at 8:30 a.m., and then head out to the roadways. They will then congregate at the Hampton Inn at noon for a barbecue, with music provided by Nancy Ray.
“Kids are asked to bring their bathing suits, because the Hampton Inn is going to throw a swimming party at its water park for volunteers,” said Donna.
She said that if anyone wants to volunteer for a particular roadway, East Conway Road (as we all know) is in need of some major help — for that matter, it would be nice, given the state of the bumpy road, if everyone volunteered with tractors and road graders, right?
Just kidding — but as East Conway Road travelers well know, the road needs some work. A lot of it. But that's another story.
“[Volunteer] Karen James will be at Twombly's Market in East Conway, so if you'd like to lend a hand to a road that really needs some help, join her there at 8:30,” said Donna.
She added that New Hampshire Beautiful and Waste Management are once again providing 3,000 trash bags.
“New Hampshire Beautiful is so impressed with the way communities take part up here, they want us to film part of the cleanup so they can use it to get other communities to participate in their part of the state.”
To learn more, visit www.mountwashingtonvalley.org and click on Valley Pride Day; follow them on Facebook, or call Donna at (207) 441-8170.
ON THE TOWN: Other activities for this weekend include the annual Carroll County Fish and Game Club's Madison Kids Fishing Derby May 5 from 9 a.m. to noon. Come watch the young anglers make their catches!...The Ham Arena Saturday and Sunday is hosting the fourth annual Mount Washington Radio Locals' Home Show, May 4 and 5, with more than 40 vendors in attendance. Call 447-5886 or 356-8870 for the scoop...TO HALFWAY: The Mount Washington Auto Road on May 5 opens its gates to the public for drives to the treeline at 4,200 feet on the Northeast's highest peak, weather permitting. Call 466-3988 for the latest updates...RUN FOR THE ROSES (and funny hats): The Red Parka Pub (383-4344) encourages one and all Kentucky Derby fans to join them in wearing festive hats (prizes to be awarded) as they watch the Race of Kings May 5 at 6 p.m., followed by Cinco de Mayo events at 8 p.m. with music by Gumbo Diablo...On Sunday, the 12th annual Spring Into Spring 5K Road Race is scheduled at Pine Tree School in Center Conway. The Pine Tree PTA is hosting this event as a fund-raiser for the PTA to support their mission to benefit the children of Pine Tree School. In addition to an extremely fast out-and-back course, the race features a post-race barbecue sponsored by The Valley Originals, a 50-50 raffle and award certificates for age group winners. A link to online registration can be found at www.raceit.com or at www.whitemountainmilers.com...Happy b-days to one and all, including Susie Hall Kennett and Sarah W. Eastman (both 5-4).
LEGENDARY LOCALS: In closing, we salute the late Ed McKenzie of Albany and late journalist Richard Mowrer of Tamworth, 100. Both were members of the Greatest Generation. We wrote several articles about Ed, who was borin in 1925 and who served during World War II as a ball turret gunner in a B-17 based in England that was shot down over Bubach, Austria. He survived the crash, was captured, and served in a POW camp.
Richard, meanwhile, served as overseas correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, as well as freelance correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and more than 30 other newspapers throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East during his 40 years of reporting. Along with others whom we've recently lost, they will both be missed for the social capital they brought to this valley of ours in the shadow of Mount Washington.