Selectmen again upset by 'unprofessional' fireworks show

GILFORD — Selectmen expressed their displeasure with the Atlas Fire Works company at Wednesday's meeting because technical difficulties extended the show longer than what was expected.

Selectman Richard "Rags" Grenier waited until the end of the meeting to voice his unhappiness, saying that the display took so long — 52 minutes — that people started to leave.

Grenier said the "electrical board" and the back-up electrical board both failed to work and called the show "unprofessional".

He volunteered to go to the Old Home Day Committee and express his concerns.

"Gilford is known for having the best fireworks," said Selectman Chair Gus Benevides. "It has to be addressed."

Benevides said selectmen were disappointed in the 2014 show as well and selectmen mentioned it to the Old Home Day Committee.

Speaking last night, Charlie St. Clair, who was one of five Atlas employees on the scene on August 29, said there were technical difficulties with the electrical boards and during the early portion of the show fireworks had to be fired by hand and not electronically.

"They had a problem with the electronic equipment," he said. "It's unfortunate but it happens."

"I don't know a fireworks company in the world that doesn't have occasional problems," he said.


  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 984

Multicultural Festival Entertainment Schedule (453)

Multicultural Festival Entertainment Schedule
10:30-11 a.m. Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy of Malden, Mass., promotes the study of the Chinese martial arts. It fosters the development of strong mental and physical well-being for its members, who become well-rounded martial artists. Having won an international championship in July, Wah Lum participants will represent Team USA in Argentina in September 2015.
11-11:30 a.m. Alte Kamaraden German Trio recreates the indescribable experience called die Gemutlichkeit found in Germany with folk (also known as 'Oom-pah') music.
11:30 a.m.- 12 noon The Black Thunder Singers and Dancers from Portsmouth, N.H. have been singing and dancing at Native American Pow Wows across the United States for over twenty years. All of the singers are of multicultural heritage and take seriously the responsibility to carry on the traditions of their culture in all aspects of daily life.
12 noon-12:30 p.m. Alte Kamaraden (reprise)
12:30-1 p.m. Black Thunder (reprise)
1-1:30 p.m. Classical India Dance combines beautiful costumes, graceful movements, and facial expressions to convey a story through dance. Students who perform are led by Neha Parikh, who holds a Master's Degree in classical Indian dance from Mumbai University
1;30-2 p.m. Sayon Camara African Drumming. Camara plays the djembe and dunun, traditional drums of West Africa with a deep and abiding respect for life and the music he stewards. His performances convey an intimate knowledge of the traditional music for the different types of drums, songs, and stories of his people in Guinea, West Africa.
2-2:30 p.m.,Classical India Dancers (reprise)
2:30 - 3 p.m., Sayon Camara (reprise)
3-4 p.m. The O'Brien Clan are a family Irish band hailing from the Lakes Region. They play fun & upbeat instrumental Irish jigs & reels as well as popular Folk songs from the Celtic tradition with rich vocals & harmonies.

11 a.m.-Noon Jonathan Lorentz is a well-known local performing artist. In addition to being an active vocalist, he plays both the saxophone & piano. This incredibly talented man holds a PhD in Jazz Studies from N.Y.U
Noon-2 p.m. Tyler Road has been bringing its own special blend of folk, blues, bluegrass and traditional tunes to New Hampshire's Merrimack Valley for over 12 years. This folkgrass style weaves together the sounds of the banjo, guitar, dobro, viola, violin, washboard, keyboard, cajon, mandolin, and bass
2:30-3 p.m. Larry Frates Magic Show. Frates has been entertaining audiences as Nascimento, the Magician for over 40 years, and is renown for his never ending energy. Larry is also a talented artist and owns and operates Frates Creative Art Center on Canal Street in Laconia.
3-4 p.m. New Horizons Band. New Horizons Musical Organization of the Lakes Region is a concert band which provides musical entertainment for a variety of community events. The group provides instruction in band instruments and is geared for musicians who are over age 45


10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Lindsay's Puppets

11 a.m. Lary Frates Storytelling

12:45 p.m. African Drumming workshop.

1:15 and 2:15 p.m. Concord Community Music School

1:45 and 2:45 p.m Circus demos by Artfest

10-4 Wildlife Encunters

10-4 Strolling Native American Kunnaway

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 537

Multicultural Festival offers global music and cuisine (766)

LACONIA — The 14th edition of the Laconia Multicultural Festival will get underway this morning at 10 a.m. by celebrating the worldwide inclusiveness of the day with the Parade of International Flags. Organized by Larry Frates, the parade starts in the Bank of New Hampshire parking area at 10 a.m. and marches around downtown to Rotary Park, where Laconia Mayor Ed Engler will speak at opening ceremonies at 10:15 a.m.
Sponsored by the Laconia Human Relations Committee and the Belknap Mill, in addition to many other contributors and numerous dedicated volunteers, this signature event celebrates the cultural diversity and rich ethnic heritage of the Lakes Region.
Multicultural Committee Festival Executive Director Becky Guyer explains, "We all enjoy travel and exploring exotic lands, as much as learning about our own family backgrounds or those of our friends. Attending the Festival, you can experience the sights, sounds and flavors of six continents. And all that without jet lag, flight delays, turbulence or missed connections."
"This latest edition of the Festival will be the biggest yet, and that includes entertainment. Not only are there more performers, but our innovative staggered schedule will provide more opportunities to enjoy them. And there will be more stages giving space for more acts," says Guyer. "The performers are not just background. They are integral to the festival goal of providing our visitors an immersive experience of the many diverse cultures displayed. We all have felt the associations between certain styles of music and specific places. Music can in a sense transport us to another land. It is as important as the food and crafts which will be available."
"The acts include returning favorites and new arrivals," continued Muff Kruse-Walker, entertainment chair. "As an example, the Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy of Malden, Massachusetts will march in the Parade of Nations and perform first at the Main Stage in Rotary Park. Wah Lum promotes the study of Chinese martial arts. Their professional lion dance, dragon dance, drumming and kung fu/tai chi performances enthrall audiences throughout the Greater Boston area.''
Guyer says "audiences will take a sharp turn from Asia to middle Europe with the first festival appearance of Alte Kamaraden. It's fitting that their band's name translates as 'Old Comrades' since the group consists of three friends who perform German folk music, sometimes called 'Oom-pah.' Al Brogdon on the tuba (the 'Oom'), Donna Maria Regis on accordion and Doug Rickard on guitar/banjo and vocals strive to recreate a comfortable good-humored mood of warm boisterous conviviality as found in Bierhallen (beer halls) throughout Germany."
Later the awesome Black Thunder singers and dancers will present their native rhythms. Then the audience will leap across an ocean as a talented troupe of classic Asian Indian dancers take to the stage.
"Meantime, another Festival newcomer, Tyler Road will appear at the new City Hall stage. Tyler Road is a much loved party band which has appeared publicly in New Hampshire's Merrimack Valley for over 12 years. They specialize in 'folkgrass' an exciting blend of folk, blues, bluegrass and traditional music" says Kruse-Walker.
"Everyone will want to try the cuisine offered by all the participating vendors," adds Kruse-Waker. "There's Argentinean food provided by the Gonzalez family, Egyptian dishes from Gamil's, traditional Thai fare by Lanna Thai, blintzes courtesy of Temple B'Nai Israel, and pastries from the Greek Orthodox Church. Don't forget to include homemade ice cream from Rock Salt Creamery and the Syrian desserts at Aissa Sweets,"
Good food creates a great memory, but there will also be many opportunities provided for visitors to acquire a more tangible reminder of their multicultural trip. "Start your journey at Native Creations for Ecuadorian crafts," suggested committee member Matt Soza, "or Just A Dream Farm for Peruvian products. Enjoy a side trip to Wink of Africa for Congo crafts, and don't overlook the native Rwandan items at Immaculee's. And then have a look at the Native American goods provided by Cindy Shelley or Dianna Wells."
Meanwhile younger voyagers visiting the Kids' Korner will enjoy wildlife, puppets, storytelling, a drumming workshop, and an interactive adventure into the world of musical instruments, courtesy of the Concord Community Music School. And strolling musicians will enliven the added City Hall stage as well as the vending areas.
"Every year the Multicultural Festival seems to grow and improve, and this year's version looks to be the best yet," concluded Mayor Ed Engler, who will officially proclaim the event's opening. "No offense to Jules Verne, but it really will be like going around the world in a day in Rotary Park and downtown Laconia."

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 636