First Day in Franklin to feature 34th annual kayak run on Winnipesaukee River

FRANKLIN — 2015 will start with a thrill in Franklin on Thursday, January 1 as we welcome kayakers splashing and slicing through snow and ice-filled class IV rapids. This year marks the 34th annual New Years Day run on the Winnipesaukee. It is a sight to see.

This is the tenth year that spectators are encouraged to attend with best viewing at Trestle View Park, which is the take out for paddlers on the lower section. The park will feature a heated tent with coffee, cocoa, chili and "Hoppin' John", provided by Choose Franklin, Big Cat Coffee, the Franklin Rotary Club and Franklin Savings Bank, along with information about the wealth of activities being put on by area organizations this winter. Spectators can walk, snowshoe or ski on the Winnipesaukee River Trail to watch paddlers coming down the class III and IV rapids.

Choose Franklin invites all businesses, organizations and groups to be a part of the festivities. Reserve your event table in the heated tent, free of charge, by calling 918-1998. Inform spectators of your winter activities, and help welcome the Merrimack Valley Paddlers as they paddle down the Winnipesaukee River in Franklin, Northfield and Tilton again this year.
Paddlers will take to the water between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. with novice and intermediate boaters paddling the "Upper" Winnipesaukee from Route 140 to the Train Station in Northfield. Advanced boaters will paddle the "Lower" Winnipesaukee from Cross Mill Road in Northfield to downtown Franklin taking out at Trestle View Park. A summary video of last year's event can be enjoyed at: A ten-minute video of the 2010 event is available via the following link:

Choose Franklin is the main sponsor of this 10th annual First Day Franklin and is seeking co-sponsors for the event. Last year Franklin Savings Bank provided refreshments for the tent set-up crew. Franklin Rotary Club delivered the hot food for the warming tent and the Franklin Fire Department, Franklin Recreation Center, Aubuchon Hardware and Franklin Storage Company provided tables, heat and electricity for the event tent.

For more information, to reserve a table for your business or organization, to volunteer to help with the tent or refreshments, to be a sponsoring partner, or be involved in any way, contact: Dan Darling at (603) 918-1998, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or Sarah Stanley at Franklin Savings Bank (603) 934-8343.

Muehlke Family Tree Farm donating $1 from every sale to Conservation Trust

GILFORD — The Muehlke Family Tree Farm of Gilford is pleased to announce that it will donate $1 from every Christmas tree sold during the 2014 holiday season to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust in support of LRCT's land conservation efforts.

The Muehlke Family Tree Farm is a certified Tree Farm of the American Tree Farm system and a member of NH-VT Christmas Tree Association. The Farm offers many varieties of Christmas trees to choose from, and guests can enjoy free hot cider while you walk the beautiful property to choose and cut their own tree.

"It felt like a natural partnership," said Rick Muehlke of the Farm. "Both of our organizations are dedicated to the conservation and protection of the land in Gilford and the Lakes Region." Muehlke noted that most of their Tree Farm, owned by Al Rollins and Jane Muehlke-Rollins, was placed in a conservation easement with the Town of Gilford in 1996. This has permanently protected 120 acres on the western slopes of the Belknap Mountains, including the site of the first ski lift in New Hampshire, a 3,000 foot long rope tow.

LRCT President Don Berry said that "LRCT is very grateful for the Muehlke Family's generosity in making these donations and also for their commitment to land conservation in Gilford and the Belknap Mountain Range."

Recently, LRCT and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, along with the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition and its members, have worked together to conserve four key parcels of land in the Belknap Range totaling over 950 acres and encompassing parts of key hiking trails, including the most popular trails to the summit of Mt. Major. More than 1,800 individual donors, foundations, and other grant-making organizations, and the towns of Gilford and Alton, provided support for the project, and the $1,800,000 campaign goal was reached in late August 2014. To learn more about the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, visit LRCT's website at or call 603-253-3301.

The Muehlke Family Tree Farm is located at 320 Belknap Mountain Road in Gilford and is open weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For further information about the Muehlke Family Tree Farm, visit the Farm's website at or call 603-524-9507.

Tilton Winter Farmers’ Markets to start on Dec. 13

TILTON — The 2014-2015 Tilton Winter Farmers' Market will open Saturday, December 13, located off I-93 at Exit 20, diagonally across from AutoServ Dealerships of Tilton. The market will operate Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from December 13 to March 28.

Now in its fourth year in the same location, featuring more than 50 area food vendors and artisans, the market offers the state's finest fresh and locally-produced food products, along with carefully selected, agriculturally-based crafts. In addition to bringing a winter farmers' market shopping opportunity to the area, the market provides an economic boost for local entrepreneurs. "This market has not only allowed local businesses to expand and be accessible to shoppers during the winter, but many vendors have brought on employees to keep up with demand for their products," said Joan O'Connor, market founder and director. "Customer demand is higher than ever. People are speaking with their dollars, and vendors are responding by bringing high-quality, local products to the market to meet their needs."

Throughout the winter, Tilton Winter Farmers' Market attracts shoppers from throughout the Lakes Region and beyond, including vacation-home owners and other out-of-state visitors. The market offers a wide range of locally-produced, farm-fresh and organic produce and greens, winter storage crops, meats, eggs, dairy, cheese, breads, pastries, gourmet popcorn, gluten-free products, vegan foods, tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, veggie burgers, fudge, apples, cider, honey, granola, maple syrup, jams, jellies, freshly roasted coffee, teas, wine, gourmet food items, body care products, information on composting worms, herbal products, dog treats and more. New this year, the market will feature fresh apple cider donuts, made on site, at the market. Each Saturday will also feature live music, information about sourcing local products and services and abundant sampling of delicious foods.

Tilton Winter Farmers' Market Founder and Director, Joan O'Connor, says, "For the fourth year running, The Gaudet family and AutoServ have stepped up to help, providing the perfect space for a big winter market, along with so much support every week to make sure the doors open." The market brings thousands of people through its doors every weekend and has become a winter farmers' market destination for shoppers. "Having such strong community support for the market has really helped," said O'Connor.

For more information on the Tilton Winter Farmers' Market, visit or visit the market on Facebook.

Guided tours of Meredith’s Sculpture Walk offered on Sunday afternoon

MEREDITH -- Guided tours of Meredith's Sculpture Walk will take place this Sunday, Dec. 7, as part of the Holiday Open House sponsored by Mill Falls Marketplace.

Tours will start at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. in front of the Innisfree Bookstore in the Marketplace. The public is invited to tour the sculptures with a trained guide while viewing the sculptures.

Sponsored by the Greater Meredith Program, the Meredith Sculpture Walk is a committed to developing awareness and enjoyment of public art in Meredith for residents and visitors. It is a year-round, outdoor, juried exhibition featuring works by 18 New England artists.

Further information can be obtained by calling (603) 279-9015, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website at