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Jack Fanelli, owner of Fanelli Amusements, sets up some rides at the Raymond Town Common Thursday. (RYAN O'CONNOR/Union Leader Correspondent)

Raymond aims to bring community together at annual town fair

RAYMOND — Raymond residents will gather near town center this weekend for the annual Raymond Town Fair.

Though the idea of combining the town fair with Raymond’s Fourth of July festivities a week before has been batted around a couple times, chief planner Steve Welch said most residents prefer enjoying separate events in the summer.

“Nowadays, we tend to get away from community oriented events, so this is something that we’ve really focused on and kept going over the years,” he said.

The festivities began Thursday night with the 25th Miss Raymond Scholarship Pageant at Raymond High School, and continue tonight with a senior food and book sale, bingo, a silent auction, and more. There is a firemen’s parade at 7 p.m., and Dr. Harp’s Blues Revue Band plays from 6-10 p.m. at the bandstand in the Town Common.

Saturday begins with a pancake breakfast from 7-11 a.m., with the midway opening at 9 a.m.

Registration for the children’s parade on wheels (bikes, wagons, etc.) is 9:30 in the middle school parking lot, and the parade begins at 10. There will be alpacas from Folsom Farm at the Town Common, as well and magic, games and children’s entertainment, martial arts demonstrations, a dessert cool-off and meat ball supper, the Junior Miss Raymond Pageant and rides from C-R Helicopters.

Southern Breeze, a Lynyrd Skynyrd/Hatchett tribute band, takes the stage at the bandstand at 7 p.m., and the fireworks begin at 10.

Sunday features another pancake breakfast, the 38th annual High Holt Memorial 5-mile road race at 9 a.m. at the middle school, a firemen’s muster from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., more midway fun, crafts, a motorcycle show, the eat-the-town-fair competition and other entertainment.

Each year, organizers attempt to add something new and exciting to weekend-long fair. In recent years, the Little Miss Raymond pageant has been a big hit. This weekend, Welch said there are some new rides, as well as a children’s whipped cream pie eating contest.

“It’s really about showcasing our community and the good people who live here and getting together for some camaraderie with our fellow neighbors,” said Welch. “There’s a lot of negativity out there these days, but this is an opportunity for some positive community fun.”

Welch said the event has been held annually since the 1970s, when it was started as a benefit for local nonprofit organizations.

roconnor@newstote.com



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