August 20. 2018 7:21PM

After three-year hiatus, Moose Festival returns to North Country

By JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent


COLEBROOK — Because of popular demand and after a three-year hiatus, the Moose Festival returns to the heart of the downtown on Friday.

Organized by the North Country Chamber of Commerce, the festival, now in its 27th year, starts at 3 p.m. Friday in Colebrook and crosses the Connecticut River into Canaan, Vt., on Saturday. Events will also be held in Pittsburg and West Stewartstown.

A celebration of New England’s largest land mammal, the moose festival is also the chamber’s largest annual fundraiser, chamber president Wayne Frizzell said.

The chamber advocates for its members and promotes regional attractions while helping foster economic initiatives in communities throughout the upper North Country as well as in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

The moose festival’s events and vendors have been in various locations along Main Street since 2015, when the Town of Colebrook embarked on an extensive infrastructure-improvement project encompassing much of the downtown.

This year’s array of vendors, artisans, craftsmen and exhibitors are so numerous, Frizzell said, that some will set up on side streets.

Jodi Gilbert, the festival co-director and the chamber’s office manager, said 2018 Moose Festival will offer something for everyone: rides in a tethered hot-air balloon, helicopter and horse-drawn wagon; a dog show; classic car show; live music; family-friendly games; cow-plop bingo; and fireworks.

The Connecticut River Artists Group will hold an adults-only art class, called Merlot & Monet, during which participants can sip wine while painting moose-themed masterpieces. Later Friday, the popular “Moose Cruise,” featuring a variety of vehicles, takes over Main Street.

Like the helicopter rides and a few other activities, there is a charge for Merlot & Monet.

All events will be held rain or shine, said Frizzell, except for the fireworks, which in the case of rain on Friday will be shot off on Saturday night.

A complete schedule of events for the 2018 Moose Festival is available online at www.chamberofthenorthcountry.com.