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October 25. 2013 9:37PM

Raymond anniversary

Scarecrows devote personalities to building community spirit


Raymond resident Peg Louis poses with a pair of married scarecrows on her front lawn on Friday afternoon. More than 30 scarecrows have popped up at town businesses and residents thanks to Louis, who suggested the initiative as a way to build community support and pride as the town prepares to celebrate its 250th anniversary next year. (GRETYL MACALASTER/Union Leader Correspondent)

RAYMOND — Scarecrows of all shapes, sizes and interests have been popping up all over town since the beginning of the month.

The effort was started by longtime Raymond resident Peg Louis, a member of the town's 250th anniversary committee, as a community-building event as the committee raises awareness for next year's big anniversary celebration.

So far, more than 30 residents and businesses have "registered" their scarecrows with Louis, and a small map is being created to help guide residents to the smiling pumpkin faces around town.

Each scarecrow is a unique representation of the people and places in town. A scarecrow in front of the Phillips 66 gas station and Moe's Sub Shop is holding a replica Moe's sub and is wearing Patriots pajama pants. The Arsenault family, known for their epic Christmas displays, created a scarecrow replica of Ray Arsenault hanging Christmas lights on a tree. At the Hennessy family home, the scarecrow is dressed as a beekeeper, complete with a nearby hive and carrying tools of the trade. The Hennessys keep bees themselves.

Louis said they want to keep the 250th anniversary at the front of people's minds ahead of the big event next September with simple, fun ideas for families.

She and several other women in town spent the last several months collecting recipes for a community cookbook that will soon be available for purchase, titled "Raymond Past and Present." It features more than 450 recipes along with historical anecdotes and photographs of the town's long history and should be available by Thanksgiving.

Some recipes are historical as well, including squirrel pie and roasted raccoon.

The 250th theme is "My Town, Your Town, Our Town" and Louis is planning other events to bring various community members together as well, including a gingerbread house event around the winter holidays, and a Peeps diorama event for April.

"We just wanted to keep community spirit and pride in our town and have something families can do together that is inexpensive to do and just a fun thing," Louis said. "It is all about bringing the community together and being proud of your community. We are all in this together."

gmacalaster@newstote.com


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