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WEEKEND - Knowing a little about its history adds to enjoyment of the Sandwich Fair

SANDWICH — What has become a fall Columbus Day weekend tradition, the Sandwich Fair started out as an agricultural event that local farmers hoped would turn into an annual market day where they could trade and sell their cattle. Records show that in 1886, area farmers exhibited 184 yoke of oxen at the fair.
In August of 1887 it was decided that the fair would be held on October 11th and that a band would be hired and a baby contest considered. Judges were appointed for the various categories and a prize list was announced. The fair was held as planned, with 3,000-4,000 in attendance.
During the summer of 1888 a plan for a fair in October was formulated. A committee to nominate a slate of permanent officers was appointed and J. Edwin Beede was elected president. Fancy work, curiosities and antiques, flowers and plants were again shown in the G.A.R. hall. A baby contest for the pretties, heaviest and best dressed (under the age of two) was planned. For the first time there was a printed program of events. That year the weather was miserable with snow and only a small number of people attended.
A 1893 report from the "Sandwich Reporter" states regretfully that all the prizes in the baby show which was held in Mrs. A.E.R. Beede's hall were won by Moultonboro babies. It was also reported that the traffic was heavy and that Wilfred Plummer was run over by a horse driven by Eugene Wright and suffered a fractured arm. It was estimated that 3,000 people attended the fair and very little drunkenness was reported and all of those drunk were from out of town.

At the 1894 fair, one of the unusual exhibits recorded for display was a large American Eagle and the fox; shown by Dr. J. Alonzo Greene of Roxmount Poultry Farm on Long Island. Moultonborough.
For many years the fair was held in a grove with exhibits scattered around town and that changed in 1937 when it moved to Quimby Field, its present location. By 1980 the fair was running one and a half days with a parade on Sunday and the fairgrounds open Sunday afternoon and Monday.
According to records kept by fair organizers Sunday, October 12, 1986 was a delightful sunny day, and as always the parade was much enjoyed. Monday was cloudy, but the rain held off until late afternoon. This year there was an all new midway, and the stage shows featured bluegrass and popular music from the 1950's and 60's. Poultry from local breeders were shown, but out of state poultry was still banned. Due to a poor growing season and early frosts there was a scarcity of fresh flowers at the flower show.
It was a nasty, cold Sunday in 1987, but the parade went on despite snow, sleet and mist. A new horse pulling ring and horse logging area were constructed and the old ring was used for judging dairy and beef cattle. There were less canned foods than in previous years; freezing has become more popular. David Dodson, a singer, songwriter from Maine performed on the stage.
The first three-day Fair was held on October 8, 9, and 10 1988. Good weather held for all three days. Stuart Heard led the parade on horseback, and a group of riders on antique bicycles were part of the parade also. A new cover had been put over the stage, paid for by a concert held in August. There were five stage shows, all musical. A new single horse or mule twitching area had been constructed. There were cow-pie pitching contests (using a manure fork) and wood pitching contests. Thirty-two categories of cooked (baked) food were on display, and last year's prize winning recipes were posted.
The three-day fair, which has drawn over 40,000 in recent years, gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday with a  variety of events, including an antique auto show, demonstrations and exhibits. Sunday will see the Grand Street Parade at 1 p.m. as well as horse competitions and a woodsmen's field day.

This year's fair will see additional parking available according to Dan Peaslee, Sandwich Fair president, who says that a seven-acre plot of land just up the road from the midway on Rte. 109 was purchased last year from the Emerson Trust and provided more than two additional acres of parking last year. Two more acres have been added this year. Gillette Shows will once gain provide rides and amusements and there will be dozens of food vendors on the midway.
This year's Sandwich Fair Handbook is dedicated to Roland ''Chappy'' Kilgore, who has been the lot-man for Sandwich Fair concessions since 1975 and served with seven Sandwich Fair Association presidents.
Kilgore, a 1960 graduate of Ashland High School, served four years in the Marine Corps, and started his own concession business when he returned to Granite State. He owns Chappy's Concessions, which is located in Canaan and sponsors the Chappy's Concessions 100 Modified Racing championship at the Canaan Fair Speedway.
Kilgore has worked with countless concession owners over the last 39 years and officers and directors of the fair say that he always arrives early and leaves late and is always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need of assistance.

CAPTION: pix slugged Chappy

Chappy Kilgore has been lotman for the Sandwich Fair concessions department since 1975.
(Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 October 2014 12:05

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Cars runs up into back of paving truck on Rte. 106 in Belmont

BELMONT — A Meredith man was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia yesterday morning after his car collided with a GMI Paving Truck.

Police said Joshua Fox was driving a 4-door compact sedan south on Rte. 106 at 6:40 a.m. when he drove into the back of the paving truck that was trying to accelerate up the hill after coming out of the GMI driveway.

The driver of the truck was uninjured.

The front end of Fox's car was heavily damaged.

Police said they don't know why Fox rear-ended the truck and are investigating the speed of both vehicle as well as the sight lines on that section of road.

If anyone witnessed the crash they are asked to call Belmont Police at 267-8350 and ask for Officer Joel Pickowicz.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 October 2014 12:04

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Sachems stuff Plymouth's 2-point conversion try in OT, win 28-27

LACONIA — The Laconia Sachems stopped a 2-point Plymouth conversion try in overtime Friday night on Fitzgerald Field to secure a 28-27 win. 

The visiting Bobcats scored a typing touchdown with 1:20 left in the contest to send the game into overtime, in which the competing sides alternate attempts to score in four downs from the 10 yard line. Laconia scored in three plays to lead things off and then settled for a kicked extra point.

Plymouth also scored in three plays but decided to end the game on one final running play, which Laconia stuffed.

Laconia lost its only game of the season, at Lebanon, when it also failed to convert on a game-ending two point conversion attempt.

Quarterback Matt Swormstedt scored two rushing touchdowns for Laconia and Keith Schultz returned a fumble 89 yards for another second half score for Laconia.

Plymouth held a 7-0 lead at halftime but Swormstedt ran 49 yards to score on the first play from scrimmage of the second half. Regulation play ended with the teams tied at 21.

Laconia hits the road next Friday at Merrimack Valley (Penacook). The Pride has this week off after a 48-26 victory over Kingswood (Wolfeboro) last week. Merrimack Valley is currently in second place with a 3-2 record in the NHIAA Division II East Conference.

The Sachems are now 4-1 in Division II North Conference play. Plymouth is 1-4.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Hybrid roundabout proposed in Meredith

MEREDITH — The Rte. 3-25 advisory committee yesterday decided to look at a hybrid one-lane roundabout plan for the critical intersection, which would feature a traffic light as well as a roundabout configuration.
The hybrid roundabout idea was suggested by Rusty McLear, who described himself as ''a pro-roundabout guy''. He said that the light would only be operational during peak hours, which amounted to three or four hours, two days a week for about 10 weekends a year.
Gene McCarthy of McFarland Johnson, Inc., project manager for the DOT, said that he wasn't sure what the impact of a hybrid roundabout would be on traffic flow. He said that hybrid roundabouts create a pause in traffic as it enters the roundabout but that data is sketchy on how well they work.
McLear's suggestion came after Rte. 3-25 committee member Warren Clark said that he thinks that the model used by Johnson, which recently concluded that a signalized intersection at Rte. 3-25, will move more cars than a one-lane roundabout was flawed.
''I question the model,'' said Clark, who said that he wanted to see some ''pro-roundabout experts'' before making a decision on whether to support a signalized intersection or a roundabout. He said that he is convinced that a series of roundabouts are the answer .
McCarthy said that the criteria used for assessing the effectiveness of roundabouts has changed in recent years as they have become more popular. ''It used to be that the only data we had was from England. What we've found from studies in this country is that they're not as effective in moving traffic here as in England. American drivers are more hesitant and don't drive through them as fast as the English do,'' said McCarthy.
Committee member Jack Carty said that he thinks a roundabout should be as free as possible of interruptions and said that he thinks the immediate goal should be to solve the movement of traffic at the current stoplights in Meredith. He said that a series of roundabouts would actually slow the flow of traffic southbound on Rte. 3 to Rte. 104 and compound problems at the Rte. 3-25 intersection.
''If we can solve the problem at Ground Zero maybe we can tackle the other issues later,'' said Carty.
The committee decided to look at the impact of a roundabout at Lake Street which would also include a two-phase crosswalk with a raised median where pedestrians could pause halfway across the street. There would be no left turn in either direction due to the raised median.
Also under consideration is a pedestrian overpass bridge at Dover Street which would have elevators as well as stairways at both ends. The bridge would have to be 18 and a half feet high and would be covered.
It would also have to be maintained by the town and the elevators alone would cost at least $240,000 according to Meredith Town Manager Phil Warren.
The next meeting of the committee, which is chaired by Selectman Lou Kahn, is scheduled for November 6 at 3 p.m.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 12:55

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