Belknap Mill Society Vice Chairman Jared Guilmett readies decorations for the annual Christmas event happening tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Alan MacRae/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Belknap Mill to be transformed for a new Yuletide tradition
By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Santa Claus will be in the powerhouse of the Belknap Mill on Saturday as part of "Yuletide Traditions," a celebration of the season and an opportunity to enhance community engagement with the historic structure.
Mrs. Claus will be there, too.
Larry Frates, the mill’s artist in residence, will help with arts and crafts, including the making of Christmas ornaments. He will also be doing caricatures.
There will be cookies and milk, snacks, photo booths, a magic show, and storytelling, and every child will get a small gift.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and costs $10 per family, said Jared Guilmett, vice chairman of the Belknap Mill Society. Santa, who will be available for pictures and chats with young ones, leaves at noon.
“The Powerhouse has been completely transformed and the building will be full of great community spirit and holiday cheer,” Guilmett said.
“We’re excited to offer this to the community. It is really a unique setting; it’s not the typical mall or Christmas village. This is a very industrial, community-driven building that lends itself to a fun holiday environment.”
Everyone who comes will be entered in a drawing for a door prize of a family gift basket that will include treats and gift cards.
“The mill’s membership committee has been spearheading this event,” Guilmett said. “We want to raise awareness and bring membership to new levels.”
Belknap Mill Society membership documents and information about the mill will be available at the event.
“If you become a member of the Belknap Mill Society on that day, you will not only get free admission to the event, along with the new benefits of our membership, but you and your family will also be able to ring the historic Belknap Mill bell. We are hoping to hear the bell ring quite a few times on Saturday and spread the holiday cheer around the city.”
He said children also will have a chance to search for Socks, the Belknap Mill Christmas elf, and to learn his story.
“We want to engage the community in ways beyond weddings and business meetings,” Guilmett said. “This can be a place for family and community, along with education and civil engagement.”
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