EARLY JUNE, TIME FOR lilacs, black flies … and lumberjacks? That’s right, Tuckerman Brewing Co. is hosting a Lumberjack Festival today from noon-5 p.m. at its location on Hobbs Street in Conway Village.

Brews, food and lumberjacks are the order of the day. “Ben Marshall, who puts on these events throughout the country, is a nationally ranked lumberjack,” said Tuckerman Brewing Marketing Director Victoria Noel.

In addition to lumber skills competitions, there will also be keg toss and beard contests. Admission is $5 for adults; children 18 and under are free. From 5-8 p.m., Martin and Kelly will perform indoors. Call (603) 447-5400 or go to tuckermanbrewing.com.

ALSO ON THE AGENDA for this at long last splendiferously sunny weekend is Great Glen Trails’ “Black Fly in My Eye” footrace, with 3- and 10-mile options. The event will also feature a post-race barbecue and music by Shark Martin. For further information, call (603) 466-2333

LAST SATURDAY’S annual Boots ‘n Bling was yet another successful event, held at White Mountain Hotel and Resort for the benefit of Starting Point.

Also last Friday, the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Culinary Federation held its 22nd annual Taste of New Hampshire Gala at the Eagle Mountain House, always a seasonal highlight in the valley for food aficionados.

IN MUSIC NEWS, De Capo is presenting two shows this weekend: the first is today at the Fryeburg First Congregational Church at 2 p.m.; the second is Sunday at the Whitney Center at 4 p.m. The music of Bob Seger, Van Morrison, Billie Holiday, Paul Williams, Duke Ellington and more will be featured. A $10 donation is suggested.

BLUES SUNDAY: The Chicago Blues Club makes a triumphant return to the Red Parka Pub in beautiful downtown Glen Sunday from 5:30-9 p.m.

AMANDA FISH, winner of best emerging blues artist award for her album, "Free,” appears Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Farmstand in Chocorua Sunday in the ongoing “Feel the Barn” summer concert series. Other upcoming shows include: June 16: Peter Gallway and the Real Band, with special guest Tom Dean; June 23: Harvey Reid and Joyce Anderson; and June 30: Jamie McLean Band. Go to farmstand.net for the full lineup.

COLD RIVER RADIO NEWS: Acoustic Nuisance, comprised of transplanted Brits Davey Armstrong, Kevin Dolan and Simon Crawford, return to the Wildcat Tavern in Jackson at 7 p.m. June 22. Go to coldriverradio.com or wildcattavern.com for the scoop.

On June 30, the Cold River Radio Show returns to the Theater in the Wood in Intervale with Maine music legend Denny Breau as headliner, along with Micromasse, Miss Maybelle and the Jazz Age Artistes in the “Local Spotlight;” short story writer Joseph Souza and, of course, “the Mount Washington Moment” with Dr. Peter Crane of the Mount Washington Observatory.

Tickets  available at Spice and Grain in Fryeburg; J-Town Deli and White Birch Books or at coldriverradio.com.

THIS PAST TUESDAY night’s Hoot Night was a doozie at the Wildcat, with plenty of great music by host Jonathan Sarty, Al “the Rev” Shafner accompanied by drummer Don O’Leary and percussionist Glen Mori and others, as well as by Pedro, Jim Pacheco and young Liam Van Rossum and others.

The night served as a fundraiser for recent Berlin house fire victims Crystal Bell and Wildcat Tavern bartender Ryan Hannigan, with the Wildcat’s Sue Holt and friends doing a great job of raising funds through a raffle and a silent auction, featuring prizes donated by valley businesses.

“The fire went so quickly. It was scary. We’re just glad to be here,” said Ryan in a break in the music and fundraising. “It’s amazing to see the help that people are giving us. I’ll never forget it,” Ryan told me, commenting on the May 28 fire that left he and Crystal and another tenant homeless.

Ryan and Crystal are staying at the Wildcat Inn in the shortterm, according to Wildcat/Kearsarge Inn front desk spokesman John Lajoie.

“We’re about the same size, so I told him I’ve got plenty of shoes and shirts if he wants them,” the Texas-raised John told me as we were out back in the Wildcat Courtyard prior to Hoot Night, looking at the old Igloo guesthouse in back of the Wildcat, that was razed that day.

The old Igloo had several issues, John said, so it is being replaced with a new three-bedroom, freestanding structure that will be available for nightly, weekly and monthly rentals beginning in mid-September, according to John.

By the way, if you haven’t been to Hoot of late, it now starts at the civilized hour of 7 p.m. so you can head on up right after work and catch the music and maybe have dinner without throwing off your schedule on a work or school night.

I RECEIVED many comments about the D-Day stories that we ran last Saturday as well as about "Rookie of the Year" reporter Brett Guerringue’s column Thursday on June 6.

Simon Crawford, for instance, told me his father as a Scotsman fought with the Canadians when they stormed the beaches at Normandy.

Simon shared that story during last week’s Friday night gig at Almost There, which was a stunning night of music by the Simon Crawford Band, backed by guest vocalists Alana MacDonald and Marcia Briggs. Marcia has since gone back to Florida, but it was a real treat to hear these two gifted valley vocalists perform.

Also on the WW II front, Channels 8 and 9 came up to interview D-Day veteran brothers Fred, 102, and Ed, 100, Wood of South Conway, whom we profiled in last Saturday’s edition, for a piece that aired Thursday.

In addition, about 25 people attended the screening of “The Longest Day” at the Conway Public Library on Thursday night, as presented by Dr. Gene Long.

IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS, we salute one and all, including Lauren Basile, Cheryl Moody, Brett Russell and Fryeburg Selectman/Realtor Kimberly Clarke (6-10); longtime music fan, Realtor and Eastern Ski Writers founder Jacquie Jones (6-11); Almost There Friday night guest guitarist and Cranmore Ski Patrol Hall of Famer Dana Cosby; Frank “Snuffy” Curtis, Outside TV’s Christie Ann Rochette, former Inn at Thorn Hill owner Ibby Cooper, Jackson’s Suzanne Solamiero, writer Donna Stuart and Marcia Briggs (6-13); and on Flag Day, Patty Phillips and dedicated walker Lois Nelson Hatch (6-14).

SPEAKING OF FLAG Day, Rep. Steve Woodcock notes that American Legion Post 95 will again be collecting old, tattered, torn, faded and otherwise damaged U.S. flags  they may be disposed of in a dignified manner. The flags will be collected at Post 95, located at 116 Kearsarge Road from 9 a.m.-12 noon, June 14, Flag Day.

LASTLY, Go Bruins!, and see you at White Mountain Oil and Propane's 38th annual Bratwurst Broil and Open House, rain or shine, next Friday, June 14.

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