COLEBROOK, NH —It’s time to be thinking about Moose on the Cohos Trail, moose chili, moose calling, moose tours, and so much more with the annual North Country Chamber of Commerce Moose Festival which takes place Aug. 28-30 in Colebrook and Pittsburg, and Canaan, Vt.
There will be some new additions to the lineup of activities and entertainment and the return of familiar events as well. Plus, with the town of Colebrook looking to break ground at any time on a downtown rehabilitation project, the Colebrook festival will move from the center of town to one block south. For over a year now, Colebrook town officials have been working to secure grants and, this past March, the final funds needed were raised at Town Meeting to help fund the reconstruction of Main Street. This project involves replacing underground sewer and water pipes through Main Street plus down side streets.
With this in mind, Moose Festival organizers and the Chamber of Commerce determined it was best to begin planning in 2014 for a new location for the 2015 festival. This year, the festival takes place starting at the Rite Aid store in downtown and traveling south, rather than starting at Rite Aide and traveling north. Organizers say that this location will allow the festival to be flexible over the next few years when there will be virtually no road or sidewalks in town.
“In addition to needing to find a new location, we also wanted to create a safer environment for the thousands of visitors to the festival,” said co-director Donna Jordan. The display of classic cars which had been located on Bridge St. will be moved to Main Street , in the same area as the vendors and demonstrations. Bridge Street had been a part of the detour for traffic when downtown was closed off in the past and this conflicted with the number of walkers who had gone down that road to view the cars.
“The festival has been in a tight environment within that one downtown block and has grown so much over the years that many vendors or other entertainment had to be turned away. This year, we have more vendors and entertainment in Colebrook because this new location provides much more space,” Jordan said.
Parking will be available not only in the Colebrook municipal lot, but also the Colebrook Elementary School has given permission to use its large school lot on Colby Street, which will provide visitors with quick access to the sidewalks on Colby Street, taking them up to the festival. In addition, visitors can use the old Rite Aid parking lot at the south end of the festival. Handicapped parking will be in the front lot of the new Rite Aid store in the center of town.
Several new events are planned for this year: Kim Robert Nilsen, the creator of the Cohos Trail, will talk about meeting up with moose along the trail; a Kid’s Club in Colebrook, hosted by the Community Baptist Church; a Kid’s Carnival in Canaan hosted by the Canaan Key Club. A “Break for Moose” break dancing demonstration with the Worcester (Mass.) WAIT team will take place in both Colebrook and Canaan and Dana the Ventriloquist returns for both days. The Re/Max hot air balloon will be found in both Colebrook and Canaan offering tethered hot air balloon rides at $5 per person. The Brady Farm free horse and buggy rides will return in Canaan, in memory of Dick Brady who passed away this year.
In Colebrook, live music with the Parker Hill Road Bluegrass band and dance demonstrations will take place at Northern Outlet, where classic cars and race cars (from Speedway 51 in Groveton) will be lined up on display. Be sure to visit special festival sponsors Brooks Chevrolet and Lemieux Garage at the Northern Outlet site as well as the Colebrook Kiwanis famous chicken barbecue which will be there too.
Following the live music will be the Moose Cruise, a parade of the classic cars and race cars. Several Miss Teen New Hampshire winners will be in town to meet and greet, and will serve as parade Marshals. Boarding for the infamous moose tours will take place in front of Citizens Bank in downtown Colebrook starting at 7 p.m. (a fee is charged for this event). Many ATV and snowmachine clubs will be on display in Colebrook as well as the Watershed on Wheels, a Sylvio O. Conte traveling science exhibit.
Meanwhile, at the Tillotson Center, the Wildlife Encounters, featuring exotic animals, will be a feature display, along with tours of the facility. The Trinity United Methodist Church on Bridge Street will again host its annual Moose Festival quilt show, which is always a big draw.
The next day, events in Canaan include live music with the Fireside Fiddlers, maple syrup tasting and competition, moose chili, moose burgers, and a dog show hosted by Two Rivers Habitat for Humanity, along with many vendors and the classic car auto show. The moose calling contest will begin at 12:45.
Admission to the Canaan event is $4 per person. Also on Saturday, the Roy Amey farm on Tabor Road in Pittsburg will be hosting a “Day at the Farm” with barn tours, live music, an antique tractor and engine show, and tours of the historic Indian Stream School House. Later that evening, enjoy “Bluegrass Under the Stars” with several bands performing in the farm field on Rte. 3 in Pittsburg.
If you see Mr. Moose on the streets of Colebrook or in the field at Canaan, be sure to stop him for your “selfie” and send it in to the North Country Chamber of Commerce. Click here for more information about the Moose Festival or call 237-8939.
Events wrap up on Sunday when the Two Rivers Habitat for Humanity hosts a summer picnic at the Tillotson Center along with the Great North Woods Committee for the Arts concert with the Bob Amos band.
Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the festival, and plans are already underway to make it one of the best ever. Sponsors include Brooks Chevrolet, Lemieux Garage, Capital Well, ENH Power, South End Media, Kheops International. LaPerle’s IGA, Sweet Tree LLC, Tall Timber Lodge, Thibeault Real Estate, Ramblewood Cabins and Campground, Spruce Cone Cabins, Hill’s Dept. Store, Daniel Hebert, Inc., and Indian Stream Health Center.
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