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Holland Calcutt, 6, of Francestown, celebrates a trip to Spain in the “Let's Take a Trip”-theme during the Francestown Labor Day Parade on Monday. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)

Francestown marks Labor Day with almost century-old fete

FRANCESTOWN — The annual Labor Day Parade theme “Let’s Take a Trip” was interpreted in many different ways at the nearly 100-year-old celebration Monday.

Float themes included road, motorcycle, and hiking trips, vacations from the local to the tropical, trips to concerts and state fairs, into the past and fictional lands such as Peter Pan’s Neverland, as well as drug trips.

The parade was about 30 percent bigger this year from those in recent years, said organizer Diana Place.

The sun was out and hundreds of people lined Main Street to see the parade.

“I think the theme was one everyone got excited about,” said Place. “Everything from the ’60s to trips to places everyone has been to symbolic ones. I was really impressed.”

The 97th annual Francestown Labor Day Celebration was originally held as a Red Cross fundraiser during World War I.

Today, the four-day weekend celebration that starts the Friday before Labor Day is the biggest fundraiser for the Francestown Improvement and Historical Society every year, Place said.

“This annual event goes a long way in our fundraising. It’s our major annual fundraiser,” she said.

The weekend includes dances and sports tournaments, but always culminates on Labor Day with the traditional Labor Day parade and juried art show.

The art show has been a tradition of the Labor Day celebration for more than 25 years and included jewelry, pottery, hand blown glass, furniture, leather goods, cloth toys, original art, quilts, gourmet food and demonstrations.


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