HAPPY EASTER to you and your favorite masked and hopefully soon-to-be vaccinated bunny as we roll into April with a sunny spring weekend.

THE CONWAY SCENIC has its Easter Bunny Express today and Sunday with three excursions at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Go to conwayscenic.com for the scoop.

FOUR YOUR PAWS ONLY invites canine owners and pets to its annual Doggie Easter Egg Hunt today from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Find the hidden Golden Egg and win a doggie Easter basket filled with treats and toys. Go to fouryourpawsonly.com for more.

CONWAY PARKS AND REC'S 2021 Mobile Easter Egg Hunt "Extravaganza" is happening today from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Go to conwaynh.myrec.com for more.

WILD CORN SHINDIG: Granite Backcountry Alliance’s Tyler Ray says there ought to be a lot of good socially distanced outdoor fun at the fifth annual Corn Dog Shindig, today at King Pine Ski Area in East Madison. It was moved two weeks ago from Black to King Pine due to spring snow cover concerns.

You can get your ticket at the door. Demos of backcountry ski and split-board gear will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; a backcountry ski patrol winter rescue demo will be at 10 a.m.; Mammut Probe Park opes at noon, with the Wild Corn Skimos Race sponsored by Andrew Drummond’s Ski the Whites at 4 p.m.

All-day barbecue and beer will be served from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and the King Pine Summit Bar will be open from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., with live music at the DPS soundStage featuring Portsmouth’s Farm to Table at 10 a.m.; Shark Martin at noon; Rek-lis at 2 p.m.; and the Jason Spooner Band at 5 p.m.

A jump has been built and will be part of the race course.

Tyler encourages one and all to celebrate spring by wearing a costume and to bring a cowbell. For more, go to granitebackcountryalliance.org.

MUSIC SLOWLY RETURNS: Nice to see the Red Parka Pub is featuring music Wednesdays and Sundays from 5-7 p.m., with Mitch Alden performing Easter Sunday and Jon Sarty playing every Wednesday.

The Snowvillage Inn is offering music Fridays with reservations required for dine-in service. Deacon Street has Dennis O’Neil on Fridays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 4-6 p.m. The Shannon Door has music Friday through Sunday (except Easter Sunday) from 6-10 p.m, with Dennis O’Neil there tonight and Jeremy Holden there next Friday; and the Wildcat Tavern has entertainment from 6-9 p.m., featuring Al “the Rev” Shafner every Friday, Jonathan Sarty Saturdays and hosting Hoot Night Tuesdays; and Rafe Matregrano Wednesdays.

SPEAKING OF MUSIC, it’s Mountain Top Music’s annual “24 Hours of Music,” hosted by Executive Director George Wiese and Director of Education Julia Howell. Musicians of all ages will play from noon today to noon Sunday to “keep the music going” in the valley, streamed live from the newly renovated stage of the Majestic Theatre. Go to mountaintopmusic.org for a free ticket code.

This year, Saturday evening will feature a special ticketed concert at 7 p.m. by Maine piano and jazz virtuoso Tom Snow and nationally known jazz clarinetist/tenor sax virtuoso Ken Peplowski. Virtual seats are $15 per person and available through mountaintopmusic.org/concert-series.

Otherwise, the entire event is free to view (but all contributions are gratefully accepted).

FACT OR FICTION? Be sure to tune in to WMWV 93.5-FM Fridays after the 8:30 a.m. newscast for “Fiction or Fact from George Cleveland’s Almanac” to brighten your spirits. It made its debut Friday, with George discussing cow facts culiminating in Roy “the Skiing DJ” Prescott playing Cormac McCarthy’s classic and udderly whimsical classic, “Cows.”

IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS this week, we salute one and all, including (belatedly) my friend Ellen Keith (4-2); (David Ainsworth (4-3); Dan Andrews and Sasha Pietkiewics (4-4); Linda Burns and Kim Beals (4-5); Little Angels Service Dogs’ Darlene Davis Drew and Celtic musician Dexter Harding (4-6); conservative columnist Tom McLaughlin (4-7); Dennis Egan, Gene “the Swami” Pelzar and Silver Lake vocalist Carol Kramer (4-8); plumber Tom Smith and keyboardist Steve Brown (4-9); and all others.

HOPE EVERYONE enjoyed this week's annual April Fool's edition — and if we ruffled anyone's feathers, it was all well-intentioned to bring some mirth during these tension-filled days.


Yours truly had a rewarding week getting to interview local clergy for today’s cover story on Easter. I had not set foot in a church in a year, due to my health concerns and wanting to be ultra safe rather than sorry, finding my spiritual connections instead through walks and skis through the woods. So, it was very comforting to go back inside Our Lady of the Mountains for this week's story.

I remember once feeling guilty for going skiing on Easter Sunday rather than heading to church. I shared that story with the Rev. Violet Mills Eastman of the Congregational Church of Fryeburg this week, joking that I felt “a little closer to heaven” by being on a mountaintop skiing, to which she replied that that’s OK, that we all "find God in our own way — and that can be out in nature just as much as in a church."

I have always held that to be true — but being Catholic, I'll feel the guilt, anyway and hopefully be back in church soon while continuing my walks.

May peace — and good health — be with you.

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