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Gov. Maggie Hassan, front right, and her husband, Tom, far left, pose with residents of North Stratford and Lancaster at the North Country gubernatorial ball Saturday night. (SARA YOUNG-KNOX)

Gov. Hassan has a ball in North Country

BRETTON WOODS - Northern New Hampshire residents got their own festive event Saturday night, with more than 400 celebrating Gov. Maggie Hassan's election at the Governor's North Country Inaugural Ball at the Onmi Mount Washington Resort.

From college presidents to a former agricultural commissioner - now dirt farmer - it was a who's who of the northern three counties, along with a sprinkling of visitors from more southern regions. State Sen. Lou D'Allesandro came up from Manchester, and Libby Moore, cousin of the new governor, and her husband, Raul, drove up from Little Compton, R.I.

"I'm delighted to be here in the North Country," Gov. Hassan said after dozens of guests went through the receiving line during the social hour. She praised the energy and enthusiasm of the region, saying how critical venues such as the Mount Washington Hotel are to the economy.

Among those attending was Sharon Gauthier, executive director of the Androscoggin Valley Regional Refuse Disposal District, which oversees the Mt. Carberry Landfill. The landfill is piping methane down to the Gorham paper mill, a successful effort that was supported by now-former Gov. John Lynch. Asked whether she thought Hassan would be as supportive of North Country efforts, Gauthier replied, "I believe she will. She's off to a good start with her North Country outreach group."

It was a North Country-themed event, in one of the North Country's grand hotels. Weekend visitors, back from a day at the slopes, mingled in the lobby with those in more formal wear.

During the social hour, two chefs carved thick slices of meat off what looked like a whole thigh of a steer raised in nearby Jefferson.

The menu - perhaps with the exception of the lobster and scallop in the first course of ravioli - was as locally grown as possible. There was roasted corn from Alan Brasseur of Northern Woods Garden in Groveton and potatoes from Haynes Homestead in Colebrook.

The music for the ball was from the region, too. The Wicked Smart Horn Band, which has entertained at North Country gubernatorial inaugural balls before, was there to help the new governor, her family, friends, and well-wishers, dance the night away.


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