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12th Multicultural Festival was awesome! We'll do it again next year

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

The 12th Annual Multicultural Festival held August 3 was awesome! What a thrill it was to see 45 people carrying flags from around the world, led by the Laconia Police carrying the American flag, enter Rotary Park on such a beautiful day, to smell the aromas of so many international foods from our vendors and to see the smiles on the faces of thousands of people attending this signature downtown event.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our many, wonderful volunteers, most of whom began work on the Festival back in January. A huge thank you goes out to Kathy James, Mary Jane Hoey, Martha Walker-Kruse, Deb Frawley Drake, Umija Gusinac, Alan Robichaud, Arlene and Jim Fortier, Bob Chapman, Bob Harrington, David Stamps, Bobbie Thomas, Janet Simmons, Jane MacDonald, Len Campbell, Molly Homan, Vickie Trudell, Carey Pierce and Wendy Barrett. We so appreciate Bob Luther and Wayne Sanborn for all their work with electrical and sound production. These people all worked tirelessly behind the scenes making sure everything ran smoothly. To the Belknap County House of Corrections that provided the "muscle" for setting up tables, barricades and tents & then assisting with the cleanup — a HUGE thank you, we couldn't have done it without this help!

The Laconia Human Relations Committee, Laconia Main Street and the Belknap Mill join together to sponsor this community celebration. It is the hard work & support of many people, organizations, businesses and agencies in Laconia and the Lakes Region that lay the foundation for this great celebration of culture. We are proud to honor and thank them. Our enormous gratitude goes out to our major sponsors: Meredith Village Savings Bank, The Penny Pitou-Milo Pike Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation, Genesis Behavioral Health, Northway Bank and Lutheran Social Services. We so appreciate you!

Special thanks are given to the Greek Orthodox Church and the Belknap Mill for use of their tables, Healthlink for allowing us use of their electricity and parking lot, and the City of Laconia: Police Department, the Finance Department and Public Works. Byron's Septic Services and Waste Management provided those "necessary items" needed for our outdoor festival! Thanks go out to David Stamps at dbstamps.com for creating our wonderful program and to Heather Dominick of Dominick Designs of Alton for creating our beautiful posters. We are so appreciative of Lakes Region General Hospital for sponsoring our free shuttle bus that transported passengers to & from the downtown parking areas and to 1st Student Bus Line that provided that bus. Russ Davis generously provided our new banners. And we so appreciate the press coverage provided by The Laconia Daily Sun, Laconia Citizen and the many other news media throughout the state, including LRPA.

Congratulations to all our raffle prize winners and our sincere thanks to our prize contributors: Bayside Service, Cactus Jacks/T-bones, Dairy Queen, Fratello's Restaurant, Hair Affair, Our Place Family Restaurant, Shalimar Resort, Sawyers Dairy Bar and especially Meadowbrook for the grand prize of 2 tickets.

New Horizon Band, our own Lakes Region concert band, provided musical entertainment. Peg Batstone of Wild Women's Studio delivered a fascinating presentation of Crystal Singing Bowls and Eastern Dragon Karate & Self Defense Center awed us with an energy filled demonstration. Concord Community Music School thrilled children with musical entertainment inside the Belknap Mill. Other entertainers were Balla Kouyate from Africa, the Puerto Rican musicians of Edwin Pabon, and the Odaiko Japanese Drummers. Laconia Library celebrated the day with a reading of "The Story of A Pumpkin". Rosemary Murphy, Lakes Region Child Care Services & Squam Lakes Science Center created a delightful children's area with face painting and fun activities. We thank you all so much for contributing to the excitement of the day.

To produce an event like this requires substantial funding. The Multicultural Festival recognizes with gratitude our program advertisers: Christopher Williams Architects, McLaughlin Law Office, Pike Industries, Travel Health, Wild Women's Studio, China Bistro, Water Street Café, Melcher & Prescott, NAPA Auto Care, Patrick's Pub, Bob Merwin State Farm Insurance, Computer Magic, PEN, Martin, Lord & Osman Attorneys, Laurent Overhead Door, Lahey Law Offices, Decorative Interiors, Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, Zonta Club, Unitarian Universalists, Temple B'nai Israel, Misiaszek Architecture Planning, Debbie Cotton of Caldwell Bankers, Irwin Motors, Franklin Savings Bank, Bank of New Hampshire, and LRGHealthcare. And to our many patrons and supporters of this wonderful event — our heartfelt thanks for your donations.

There wouldn't be a festival without our great vendors and social service agencies. Thank you all for participating. And lastly and just as important — to all of you that attended, we hope you enjoyed the day and we so appreciate your continued support and encouragement of the Laconia Multicultural Festival. Mark your calendars for next year's date of September 6th! Again, thank you Lakes Region!
Becky Guyer & Carol Pierce

Laconia Multicultural Festival Committee