2014 Raymond Town Fair

Sunny Weather Brings Out the Crowds at Raymond Town Fair
Penny Williams   7-17-14

This summer’s Raymond Town Fair had something to offer for everyone, from food vendors to information booths, craft booths to a book sale, parades to pageants, whatever goes into making up the consummate small town gathering. And it was capped Saturday night by a fireworks display that ended with a spectacular grand finale.




Most of the events took place on or around the Town Common. Aunt Abigail’s Attic, operated by the Raymond Historical Society, offered hundreds of items for sale; carnival rides stayed busy into the evening; food court vendors offered the usual fair fare, while the dunk tank offered a cool respite in the midst of the hot weather.




Friday evening started off with a line forming outside the Dudley-Tucker Library well before the 6 p.m. book sale opening. Mary Ellen Moulton of Plaistow brought a large wheeled carrier and said she hoped to fill it. With a sore shoulder, she thought the carrier would be the most comfortable way to transport her purchases.

“You know books are great and this book sale is a wonderful deal, and it also benefits a great cause,” she said. The sale is organized by the Friends of the Library.




Right on time the library doors opened at 6 p.m. and the line entered the building to browse and buy, right up to closing at 10 p.m. Library Director Linda Hoelzel said the book sale is the Friends of the Library’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The Friends, she said, help sponsor children’s programs and purchase museum passes, as well as purchasing books on CD, DVDs and other amenities for the library.

“This supplemental funding assists in promoting the use and enjoyment of the library by the community,” Hoelzel said.




Friends President Sabrina Maltby said the Friday night sales were terrific, going even better than expected. She said all the books on sale were either donated or culled from the library shelves. On Saturday, the final day of the sale, people could fill a bag with books for $2 between 2 p.m. and the fireworks at 10 p.m.

The amount raised from the sale topped $1,200.

“We see hundreds of people who come to the book sale,” Maltby said. “It is especially nice to see familiar faces who come every year. We gave two scholarships out, each for $300, one to Sabrina Mayo, a sophomore at UNH, and one to Kristin Reed, a freshman at Keene State College.”

She noted Walmart provided help in setting up and taking down the book sale.



Friday night’s big event was the Firemen’s Parade. And at the bandstand on the common, Dr. Harp’s Blues Revue Band entertained.

People began staking out spots to watch the parade along Epping Street early on, and as the clock ticked toward 7 p.m., anticipation increased.




Raymond Fire Chief Kevin Pratt, who has been involved in the parade for 37 years, 27 as chief, was enjoying the preparation, talking with the various entrants from surrounding towns as well as his own department members.

“We have trucks from as far away as Allenstown and Brentwood as well as from the towns that border our town,” he said. “We are pleased to have our trucks carry firefighters, Fire Explorers, and Miss Raymond and her court. Miss Raymond, Katie Masso-Glidden, was chosen Thursday night and one of her first duties will be to hand out the trophies to the winning fire truck drivers.”



Katie, 18, said as she prepared to get into Raymond’s 1930 Maxim Fire Truck to lead the Firemen’s Parade, “This is the first time I have entered the Miss Raymond pageant. I entered the Junior Miss Raymond competition back in 2008. This is such an honor but it definitely hasn’t sunk in yet. However, it is a lot of fun.”

Katie was excited to be beginning her reign as Miss Raymond and handled the social interactions with ease. She took part in a variety of events over the fair’s three days with grace and style and a smile that never wavered.

The parade headed out, sirens wailing, right on time, with Miss Raymond riding in the Maxim driven by Assistant Fire Chief Paul Hammond. The sirens wailed all the way down Epping Street to the Common, where Katie did the honors with presenting the awards. The awards were: Allenstown for the engine from farthest away; Deerfield with its 1981 engine for the oldest in service; Keith Rawlins of Deerfield for oldest privately owned engine, a 1941; Epping for the newest engine, from February 2014; and Stratham, the Judges’ Choice award for its HME 2011 engine.

Pratt noted that Deerfield brought four of its trucks and Plaistow has been part of the parade for all of his 27 years as chief, with one of the drivers taking part for 27 years as well.




Saturday dawned bright and sunny and turned into a scorcher. The Cub Scouts put on a pancake breakfast at the Historical Society Depot and registration opened for the Children’s Parade of Wheels at the Iber Holmes Gove Middle School.







Just as for the Firemen’s Parade, people began to gather along Epping Street for the Children’s Parade, which started at the middle school and ended at the Common. The parade included bikes, wagons, and other wheeled vehicles and there were as many excited parents as children. The parade was led by the Fire Department Cushman loudly announcing the arrival with its siren. Judges included Marla Aasen, Missy Perron and Rodie Krantz, with Carla Ahearn the parade event organizer.




Prizes for the Children’s Parade went to the “Bucket Brigade” in the Wagon/Carriage category, ridden by Samuel Bushey, Trenton Green, Lucas Larabee and Shane Larabee. Second place in this group went to “Circus,” with Cam Nieves, Wyatt Welch and Liam Welch. In the Bicycle Division, first place went to Circus, ridden by Brody Phillips, and second place to Lila Cole. In the powered vehicle division, first place went to the Lobster Shack, driven by Ellie and LJ Brewitt.

New to the fair this year were helicopter rides by C.R. Helicopters of Nashua, which took to the air from the former tannery site on Wight Street. Bob Cloutier, who owns the helicopter, said the rides each lasted for five minutes or so. He added that he tried to make sure the people, if local, got to see their homes from the air.




“We go about 800 to 1,000 feet up, so they can get a nice view of the town and surrounding area,” he said.

Linda Mulligan and her husband, Terrance, live on Chester Road, and as she awaited her ride, she said she wanted to be able to look down at the peace sign she had made in memory of her father in one of the fields on their 9-acre property.




“I know he can see it but I would like to be able to look down on it,” she said. “It can be seen even in the winter. Knowing my dad can see it, I think this will be a sort of spiritual moment for me, and I will be able to take pictures too.”

The Fair continued all day and evening Saturday, and included a Children’s Scavenger Hunt and the Junior Miss Raymond Pageant at Raymond High School. The winner of that title was Alexis Cote, 12.



“I feel really good about winning,” Alexis said. “I am happy to have the opportunity to help out at the Fair and help the community and the kids. I am pleased to be able to be a good role model for other kids.”

She joined Miss Raymond in handling trophy distribution and entertaining the crowds.




The afternoon brought a Dessert Cook-Off, organized by Linda Richards in an effort to get the townspeople more involved, as they are at the Deerfield Fair. Judges for the cook-off included Matt Nieves, Firefighter Trey Bushey and Caroline Welch. The winners included: Sara Gates in the Savory Pie category; Haley Miller in the Sweet Pie category; Valerie Moore for Quick Bread; and Nicole Hollenbeck for Cookie Bar.

Gates said, “I won the Lamprey River Elementary School contest last fall with the same pumpkin-cranberry pie. I am pleased and excited to have won again with it today.”



Throughout the afternoon, Phoebe Collins of Auburn, Miss New England, and Kennedy Chaney, 17, of Raymond, who is Miss Hooksett, entertained the crowds along with the Junior Miss Raymond and Miss Raymond duo, and helped with handing out awards.

Saturday drew to a close with a fireworks display staged by Atlas Pyrovision Productions from the former tannery site on Wight Street. The best viewing was right downtown by the Common.

Sunday continued the run of outstanding fair weather. While the Firemen’s Muster drew only two teams, Raymond and Deerfield, and Deerfield won the Water Polo contest 3-2, Fire Chief Pratt said numbers didn’t matter; it was all about having fun, and that was definitely taking place.




While the muster games were in progress the second annual Little Miss Raymond Pageant was going on at the bandstand. Erin Brewitt organized the contestants and spent about 45 minutes with them along with Junior Miss Raymond and Miss Raymond, teaching them a short performance. The youngsters paraded in and did their dance routine, answered questions and strutted their stuff for the judges - Miss Raymond court members Emily Vadevoncoeur, Alyssa Sylvia, Kayla Hogan and Katarina Vogel.



The winners included: Nori Mullin for the 5-year-old category; Dinkenegh Levesque in the 6-year-old category; and Laura Finnegan in the 7-year-old category.

Laura was barely able to contain her excitement but managed to say, “I’m just really excited to have won.”

Sunday was to conclude with a new event, the Eat-the-Town-Fair competition, which carried a $20 registration fee with pre-registration required. Participants would spend the final fair hour seeing who could eat their way through food provided by each of the fair food vendors. To the disappointment of Fair organizers, no one was brave enough to enter the competition.

But nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the crowds over the three-day annual summer event.



The Raymond Town Fair was coordinated by Steve Welch and Jeremy Brackett along with other committee members including Beverly Welch, Linda Richards, Carla Ahearn, Erin Brewitt and Judy Maynard who put the fair guide together.

Hope you enjoyed the fair and see you next year.


























































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