Published Date Written by Tom EastmanFROM PARADES AND CONCERTS, TO COOKOUTS, rubber duck races and ... would you believe? ... 48 yard sales that we know of, it's Memorial Day Weekend in Mount Washington Valley, marking the unofficial start to summer 2012.
It's also the kickoff weekend for all local valley attractions, including the Mountain Coaster and new Segway at Cranmore, the Nor-Easter Mountain Coaster at Attitash, and the Wildcat ZipRider, to name a few. Be sure to check out our first edition of the summer of the Sun's Valley Fun (www.northconwayplaces.com) for the scoop.
FRYEBURG CONCERT AND PARADE: Fryeburg will be the site of two big events for Memorial Day.
The sixth annual Memorial Weekend Concert featuring the Seacoast Wind Ensemble will be held at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center located on Bradley Street at Fryeburg Academy on Sunday, May 27, at 7:30 p.m.
“The performance by the ensemble has been underwritten by retired Air Force officers, Lt. Col. Jim and Col. Karen Umberger and Major Arnie and Donna Schiegoleit,” notes Cindy Russell, who is also events coordinator Arts Jubilee, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary season starting in July at Cranmore.
Then, on Monday, Fryeburg's annual Memorial Day celebration will take place. A parade from the American Legion Hall to Bradley Park will start at 1 p.m., followed by a ceremony at the Bradley Park gazebo. Children riding bikes or walking are welcome to participate in the parade. Fryeburg Academy and Molly Ockett Middle School bands will also participate. Featured speaker at the ceremony following the parade will be Ryanne Johnson, president of Fryeburg Academy's senior class.
MADISON BREAKFAST: On Monday, May 28, the Madison Old Home Week Committee is sponsoring its annual Memorial Day Breakfast at the Madison Fire Station with a new starting time of 8 a.m. The community is invited to attend before or after the parade. The menu includes blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and more. There is no cost but donations are gratefully accepted and profits go to the Veteran's Memorial Committee.
The Madison Memorial Day parade starts at Madison Church on Route 113 May 28 at 9 a.m. The parade will go to the Gilman Cemetery on East Madison Road. All are welcome to march in the parade. Prior to the parade, veterans will meet at the Lyman Cemetery on High Street to decorate graves at 8 a.m. For more information contact Michael Brooks at 367-8656.
DUCKY WEEKEND IN JACKSON: On a zanier note, Memorial Day Weekend always marks the return of the 23rd annual Wildquack River Festival to the federally designated Wild and Scenic Wildcat River in Jackson.
The event has evolved over the years to include a parade, cookout, cake contests, photo opps with Wildquack, the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce's duck, and a Christmas in June tent, featuring an appearance by Summer Santa.
The rubber duck race features 3,500 ducks. More than $12,000 in prizes will be awarded, including including an autographed Red Sox baseball from pitcher Daniel Bard, vacation stays, dining certificates, spa treatments, gift baskets, attractions tickets and so much more.
The duck deemed “Last Duck” by master of ceremonies Rob and son Andrew Clarke to cross the finish line will win a mountain bike donated by Black Bear Realty.
The festive day's schedule includes:
• noon: decorated ducks kids parade from the Jackson Covered Bridge (this was originally to have been held at 1 p.m., but the schedule was revised);
• 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: silent auction; and “Five Minutes of Fame” on the Duck Stage.
• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Jackson Fire Department presents its obstacle course, MWV Dolphins present homebaked goods; and local food vendors feature goods.
• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Black Mountain offers pony rides in the park.
• 1:30 p.m.: Jackson Cake Box competition; winners announced at 2:30 p.m.
• 1:45 p.m.: Olympic Big Ducks post time.
• 2 p.m.: Regular ducks post time.
The always upbeat and personable Kathleen Driscoll of the Jackson Area Chamber thanks all for their support, but in particular gave a shout out to Howie Wemyss of the Mount Washington Auto Road for donating the use of the road's cannon, which is to be fired off to start the races.
Buy your tickets now for $6 each (four for $20) at the Jackson chamber or call 383-9356, or for more information, visit www.jacksonnh.com.
YARD SALE MANIA: We're not kidding: there really were 48 yard sale ads in the Sun's Classifieds section as of Thursday heading into the Memorial Day Weekend.
A new service being offered as of Wednesday on the Sun's webpage (www.conwaydailysun.com) is a Google map showing all the yard sales that have purchased Sun ads. Yard sales go high-tech. Pretty cool, huh?
ON THE TOWN, ETC.: FLOWER POWER: Nice to see everyone at the 10th annual Western Maine Home, Garden and Flower Show May 18-20 at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds. I was treated Saturday to a golf cart tour of the grounds with worker Donna Woodward, along with a great lunch feast prepared by Maestro's chef Bill Bennett as part of the “Best of the Chefs” cooking series. Hey, I'll work for food any day!...NICE TRIBUTE TO DOUG PHILBROOK: The Mount Washington Auto Road opened to the summit May 19. Part of the day's events was the dedication of the new Douglas A. Philbrook Red Barn Museum at the base. Doug, who died in 2001, was the longtime present and general manager of the Auto Road. A retired marine, he drove Jaguar cars to the summit in the Climb to the Clouds of the '50s. The new museum not only features wagons and vehicles that once served on the Auto Road, but also his collection of memorabilia from a lifetime of collecting White Mountain history. It was an honor to have known him!...PADDY WOWS 'EM: An appreciative crowd of Irish music lovers turned out at May Kelly's Irish Cottage Saturday and Sunday for proprietor Marie and Patsy McArdle's first Celtic Seisiun Festival. May Kelly's always has a seisiun on Sundays from 4 to 7 p.m., as you well know, but they added concerts on Saturday for the festival. The highlight was Saturday evening's incredible performance by Paddy Keenan – the “King of the Pipers.” He wowed everyone with his haunting and evocative uilleann pipe tunes. He first gained fame as a founding member of The Bothy Band...ENTRAIN RETURNS: Entrain, the Martha's Vineyard-based, energetic percussive band returns to Theater in the Wood May 26 for a BYOB concert at 7:30 p.m. Call 356-9980 for details...HEY BREAU: Maine guitarist Denny Breau performed a great show at the second Drylongso coffeehouse Wednesday night at M&D Productions' Your Theatre. Next up June 13 is Joyce Andersen, the incredibly talented York-based singer-songwriter and violinist. Friend Drylongso on Facebook for the complete schedule or call M&D at 662-7591...TO GILLIAN: Speaking of M&D, their latest show “To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday” opened Thursday and is running Thursday-Saturday through June 9, at 7:30 p.m...COMMUNITY SPIRIT: In closing, we salute all who turned out to help chief deputy Greg Sanborn of the Maine Deputy Warden Service at Fryeburg Academy Saturday and Sunday. He is battling T-cell lymphoma, and needs a stem cell donor match. To help out in the cause, call Ellen Benson Guilford at (207) 754-3143...Have a great Memorial Day Weekend — and get those duck tickets while they last.