Organizers have big plans for Hooksett Old Home DayBy BENJAMIN C. KLEIN
Union Leader Correspondent September 19. 2013 9:10PM
HOOKSETT — Hooksett Old Home Day planners are hoping that this year’s event on Saturday will be the biggest ever.
With over 150 vendors, a parade, fireworks, a variety of food and a family-friendly atmosphere, Hooksett Old Home Day Committee Chair Carrie Hyde said she is hoping the free town event will draw roughly 2,000 people this year.
“It’s much bigger this year than is has been in the past, we have to have two stages we have so many activities going on, the main stage got too crowded,” Vendor Coordinator Joan Lydon said.
Funded through a combination of town money and sponsorships, Hyde said the town will contribute between $10,000-$15,000 through donations and money for things like Parks and Recreation employees being on site and portable toilets.
“I think it is terrific (that the town supports the event), I think it’s good that the town puts something into it, because it’s really a town event,” Hyde said.
Town Administrator Dean Shankle agreed.
“It’s clearly the biggest event of the year, and we don’t do anything on July Fourth, and it’s a chance for people to see not only what the non-profits and local government is doing in town but also the local vendors,” Shankle said. “There is always great local food, and there is a good chance to see all the different things that local people and organizations in Hooksett are involved in. It’s a good showcase for the town.”
The event will kick off with a parade beginning at 10 a.m., starting at Merrimack Street and ending at the Donati playground. Vendors will also be open in the field behind Town Hall at 10 a.m.
“The thing I look forward to is the parade, I think everyone really enjoys the parade, it will have go-karts, clowns and a lot more in it,” Hyde said.
Shankle, Lydon and Hyde all agreed that one of the biggest selling points of Old Home Day is that it is a family-friendly event.
“That and the fact that everything is free, the bounce houses, petting zoo. The most enjoyment I get is seeing all the kids having fun. I am a stay at home mom with kids, so it is nice to see families able to come and not have to pay out of pocket and be exposed to all the vendors they can shop from,” Hyde said.
Lydon said that not only are there more vendors than ever this year, but that the food selection will be very diversified.
“It’ll be quite varied, I’ve probably got one hundred-plus crafters of jewelry, glass work, craft foods, jams, jellies, baked treats, hand sewn children’s clothing, it’s really quite wide,” Lydon said. “And the food vendors are really fun this year, the Lions Club has added pulled pork to the (barbecue) menu and there are two new food trucks, one is a lady out of Bradford that serves gourmet chili and grilled cheese sandwiches, and the other will have all different kinds of fritters.”
Along with all the fun, Hyde said that Old Home Day also represents a chance for local committees and boards to inform the local public on a large scale on what issues the town is facing.
“It’s a good time to try to get information out to the community as well, about what’s going on in the town like regarding the high school situation,” Hyde said.
After the vendors close down at 5 p.m., Hyde said the day will end with fireworks at dusk.
“Fireworks are always fun,” she said.