Published Date Written by Tom EastmanFROM A STORMY BUT GOOD FOURTH with Uncle Sam, to the much-anticipated return of Thomas the Tank Engine to the Conway Scenic Railroad, July 6 through 8 and July 13 through 15, summer is rolling down the tracks and into high gear, my fellow firecracking Yankee Doodle Dandees.
The word from around the valley was that the Independence Day parades were great (especially loved those Segways from Cranmore in Conway's parade Wednesday afternoon).
Despite the threat of showers and real-life thunder boomers, local fireworks were also splendid, including in Conway — which helped wipe out any lingering memories of last year's Fourth fireworks fiasco, when the Londonderry-based RS Fireworks' produced show was 65 minutes behind schedule.
This year's, produced by Atlas Fireworks, the largest fireworks company in New England. got the job done superbly.
Due to the expected arrival of another storm, the fireworks were moved up by Conway Recreation Center director John Eastman by about 20 minutes to 9:25 p.m, which turned out to be a wise move.
I was out there in the park with everyone, and it looked pretty cool to have the low cloud cover combine with the fireworks. The fireworks would often be shrouded by the low-hanging smoke to create a surreal scene that looked like something out of a battlefield — which was appropriate for the Fourth, given that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write “The Star Spangled Banner” after the British attack on Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 two centuries ago.
Thanks to the traffic control efforts of Conway's finest, the traffic dissipated after the fireworks in about 35 minutes, which wasn't bad at all. (Many folks headed over to Spoons at Horsefeathers to have an ice cream or cocktail at the bar to wait for the post-fireworks traffic to ebb).
Those who were walking back to their parked cars over near Mechanic Street had a post-fireworks surprise, when they came upon a bear that was up in a tree, according to Lt. Chris Perley of the Conway Police Department.
We're not sure if the bear climbed the tree to get a better view of the fireworks, but we're sure he got an earful at any rate from the boomers.
That village bear is one of many that have been making their way around the valley this season, according to Perley, Bartlett Police Chief Tim Connifey and Fish and Game's Brian Abrams.
They're hungry and ahead of schedule due to the warm spring, but the berries have yet to appear, so they're on the move. People are being asked to secure their garbage and food.
“Again, I've said it before,” said Lt. Perley. “We don't have a bear problem — we have a people problem. The bears are just being bears.”
But back to the main show: kudos to John Eastman, Mike Lane and Lynore Wagner, all of the Conway Recreation Department, for putting on a great parade and show in Conway, and thanks to the valley's “Community Celebrations” caretakers for their generous donations.
“Presenting Caretakers” are the Town of Conway, PainCare and the Mount Washington Valley Preservation Association. “Spirit of Community Caregivers” are North Conway Hannaford, North Conway Country Club, Northway Bank, the Eastern Slope Inn, Badger Realty, Public Service of New Hampshire, the North Conway Village Association, 93.5-FM, Magic 104 FM and Valley Information Radio; the North Conway Water Precinct, and Conway Fire Department.
“Community Connector Caretakers” are the Muddy Moose, Zeb's General Store, Varsity Beverages, Fields of Ambrosia, the Conway Daily Sun, the Mountain Ear; Gamwell, Caputo, Siek and Co. CPAs; Hancock Lumber, Conway Family Dental Care, and North Conway Rotary.
For further information, visit www.conwayrec.co or www.mwvpa.org.