RAYMOND — The quiet streets around the town common will come alive with midway rides, food booths, children’s activities, music and more this weekend as residents and visitors celebrate the annual Town Fair.
The Raymond Town Fair officially kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday and will continue through the weekend. The festival wraps up at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The festivities unofficially begin on Thursday night with the crowning of “Miss Raymond” during the 26th annual “Miss Raymond Pageant” at Raymond High School. The pageant begins at 7 p.m. The “Jr. Miss Raymond Pageant” will be held on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. at the high school.
The Firemen’s Parade down Epping Street really gets things going on Friday evening at 7 and children can participate in their own wheeled parade on Saturday beginning at noon.
Raymond’s second annual townwide yard sale is Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during which individual yard sales will be taking place throughout town that day. Maps are available at various downtown locations.
The 36th annual Hugh Holt Memorial Road Race will be held Sunday at 9 a.m. The five-mile road race is sponsored by McDonald’s of Raymond, which is locally owned by Dwight Barnes.
Race registration begins at 8 a.m. at Iber Holmes Gove Middle School. The race day fee is $15 and profits will be used for the summer playground.
The one-mile fun run/walk sponsored by lawyer Andrew Harmon will take place at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday. The event will begin at Lamprey River Elementary School and finish at the town common.
The annual “duck race” will follow at noon on the Lamprey River. Numbered rubber ducks are available for purchase at Raymond Recreation for $5 each.
For the first time this year, the Raymond Fire Department has invited four other departments to participate in a “firemen’s muster,” which will feature friendly competition and a demonstration of firefighting skills during events like bucket brigade, hose races and “water polo.”
While families enjoy themselves, they also help support many area nonprofit organizations that rely on proceeds from their booths to assist with operating funds each year.
The Cub Scouts host a pancake breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. each morning, and a local Boy Scout troop will host a spaghetti and meatball supper on Saturday.
The fireworks display on Saturday night at 10 p.m. is made possible through the support of local merchants.
The Ray-Fre Senior Fair and Aunt Abigail’s Attic to benefit the Raymond Historical Society will also return both days, as will the Dudley-Tucker Library’s annual book sale.
The town has been holding an annual town fair consistently since at least the mid-1970s, Raymond Town Fair Committee Chairman Steve Welch said.
“I think it’s important to showcase the town, bring people into our community and let them know it’s a great place to spend some time and I think this showcases that a little bit,” Welch said. “It brings everyone together and showcases the town in a positive light.”
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Gretyl Macalaster may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.