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Re-enactment of first town meeting brings Candia's year of celebration to a close

HOOKSETT - More than 100 residents gathered in the Congregational Church Friday night to attend a play that featured select board members and Police Chief Mike McGillen commemorating the day 250 years ago that Candia became a town.

The play marked the last event in a yearlong celebration put together by the town's 250th anniversary committee.

Friday's play was "a reenactment of the first town meeting. The play served two purposes. It puts an end to the yearlong celebration, and also reminded the town's folk of where the town first began," said 250th committee chairman Linda Thomas.

All the events put on during the past year used privately raised money, Thomas said, adding the church donated its space for the play.

For the residents in attendance, the effort was well-appreciated.

"I came out because Candia is a great town to live in. It's important to celebrate things like this because if we don't, then the town's history might just fade into nothingness," resident Juliana Reed said.

Family history

For others, the play was a way to connect with their family history.

"My daughter, who lives in Candia, just found that we had relatives way back in history that lived in Candia before it even was Candia, so she said we have to go to this," said Kathleen Carpenter of Raymond.

For many of the town officials who took part in the play, it was a chance to give back to the town they love so much.

"I am the first constable for the town of Candia. I wanted to be part of the community and thought it would be a good thing to do.

"This is a great time and something we should cherish and this is my small part in it," McGillen said.

Keith Sangillo served as the bell ringer in front of the church prior to the start of the play. He also had a small role in the production.

"I think it's a nice town to live in and worth having the celebration," Keith's mother Catherine said.

Along with a play, the night also featured the firing of two volleys, one in honor of the town, and the other in honor of the anniversary of the National Guard. Along with traditional muskets, a cannon was fired for added effect.

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