Fields of Lupine Festival continues with bountiful blooming flowers
“I don't think any picture is going to do it justice,” Judy Bauer of North Haverhill said as she walked through a field of lupines in Sugar Hill on Saturday. Declaring the blooming “the best ever,” she tried her best to capture the flowers' magnificence on her camera.
She wasn't alone, as the second weekend of the three-week long festival brought out a good many viewers, obviously delighted to be in the middle of such glory after a week or so of cool, rainy weather.
“It's been extremely busy, it's been wonderful,” Tinker Stevenson of the Franconia Notch Chamber of Commerce said. The chamber sponsors the event. Stevenson, who was on duty at the information booth in Franconia Village, said that the cooler temperatures had helped this year's lupine bloom, stretching it out. The lupines, she said, haven't gone to seed yet.
At Polly's Pancake Parlor on Route 117 early Saturday afternoon there was a half-hour wait, but no one seemed to mind, as they wandered around the lawn, listening to music by Dennis Cote & Friends. Across the street was one of the most-photographed lupine scenes, with a large weathered barn providing a back drop for the spikes of vivid colors.
A single horse grazed in the field below the barn, oblivious to the amateur photographers who were trying their best to capture the horse through the lupines.
Off of Sunset Hill Road, against the backdrop of an endless blue sky, with the Franconia, Presidential and Kinsman Mountain ranges on the horizon, people wandered among the flowers on the Inspiration Walk. Along the mowed lane there were unobtrusive signs with bits of prose and poetry.
Back on Route 117, at Harman's Cheese & Country Store, business was brisk, as visitors bought their $5 Lupine Festival Tour Books, and bought some early Christmas presents. Pots of nursery grown young lupine plants sat on the front porch of Harman's, ready to become the beginning of someone's own lupine field.
Just past the road from the store, at the Sugar Hill Meeting House, the Open Air Market was busy. Besides vendors, the market featured workshops in digital photography and basketry. Throughout the region, inns, museums, and businesses offered discounts for those who had bought the tour book, with tours, wine tasting, afternoon teas, horse-drawn wagon rides, music and more.
The festival continues next weekend, with the Open Air Market slated for Dow Field in Franconia, with over 30 vendors. The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. event will be held rain or shine on June 16 and 17. There are several events taking place mid-week, and the flowers should bloom throughout the week. For other festival events go to www.HarmansCheese.com or www.franconcianotch.org.
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Sara Young-Knox may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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