Meredith Hosts First Annual Pond Hockey Classic Tournament

Get ready for another busy weekend in the village—The New England Pond Hockey Classic will be held February 5th through the 7th and will bring together 77 teams from across the northeast to compete on seven rinks that are ready on the ice of Meredith Bay.

Pond hockey is a form of ice hockey that is a traditional winter game played by pick-up teams on a natural frozen body of water in northern towns. “It’s going to be a throwback experience, like going back in time to hockey’s roots, to the real basics. People have a lot of good memories of pond hockey and that’s really how the game was born,” said Scott Crowder, tournament director.

The 3-day tournament will accommodate adult teams in five different age divisions.  Games will be played in a four-on-four, no goalie, round-robin format, with small, six-inch high goals. “That discourages slap shots and makes accuracy and passing a big part of the game,” Crowder said.  There will be no referees, but instead a rink monitor who will ensure that the competitive spirit of the players stays in place.

The New England Pond Hockey Classic (NEPHC) has partnered with four non-profits:  The Greater Meredith Program, Restore Hockey, Lakes Region Youth Hockey and the Special Olympics of NH.  All will be present throughout the course of the weekend hoping to raise some money to benefit their missions.  NEPHC will hold a silent auction and raffle in the Chase House Flagship Ballroom on Friday and Saturday from 9:00 – 5:00, with all proceeds going to benefit the non-profit partners.

NEPHC is also planning two socials to take place in the Flagship Ballroom.  On Friday evening, tournament participants and guests can be merry while watching the Hockey East game live on NESN, and at the Saturday night social, winners of the Silent Auction and Raffle will be announced.  Both events will have a cash bar and light fare provided by the Common Man Restaurant.

“We have received a wonderful response from participants, sponsors, and volunteers alike,” says Crowder.  “We currently have over 35 teams on a wait list for the tournament.  We have over 60 volunteers and a number of wonderful sponsors on board to help make this event a great success in its first year.”

Crowder, the founder of Ekal Excursions LLC, which was formed to promote the Lakes Region lifestyle year-round, says, “I couldn’t be happier to call Lake Winnipesaukee and Meredith my home.  Visitors during tournament weekend will truly feel like they have traveled back in time as they pull into the village with its charming character and old New England architecture and see a frozen lake filled with pond hockey rinks.”

Crowder says the New England Pond Hockey Classic is looking to run an event that will grow over the years and ultimately involve multiple locations around the lake for much larger tournaments.  “It’s nice to provide this opportunity for pond hockey players from New England.  We hope the Pond Hockey Classic will become an annual event for the players of this region for years to come.”

Can’t make it to the event? 
Thanks to InterLakes.TV, you can watch the 2010 New England Pond Hockey Classic from the comfort of your own home!  Some videos will be pre-recorded and others will be streamed live from Lake Winnipesaukee.
 Please visit to watch the action!

Pond Hockey Tournament in Maine:


Meredith Inns Host Saturday Wagon Rides and Campfires

For some good old-fashioned fun this winter, catch a ride on a horse-drawn wagon!  The Inns and Spa at Mill Falls are hosting Saturday night wagon rides in Meredith Village, complete with a campfire, to warm up the chilly winter evenings.Holiday Horses

On selected Saturdays through February, as well as Valentine’s Day, the horse-drawn wagon circles the village at makes several stops at all four of the Mill Falls Inns between the hours of 5:30 and 8:00pm.  Guests who are staying at the Inns can jump on for a charming ride to and from dinner, or just for fun!  Make one of your stops at Bay Point, where you’ll find a cozy campfire on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.  Folks from the Inns will be there with marshmallows for toasting, as long as Mother Nature cooperates!

So take someone you love to Meredith this weekend and snuggle up against the cold with the rhythmic sounds of horses’ hooves clapping on the streets, and bask in the special magic of a crackling campfire!

Coming Soon: The 2010 Great Meredith Rotary Fishing Derby!

Great Rotary Fishing Derby

On the weekend of January 30th, the frozen surface of Lake Winnipesaukee will be transformed into a bustling metropolis of ice-fishing bob houses and folks gathered to participate in one of the Lakes Regions biggest winter events—The 31st Great Rotary Fishing Derby!

The two-day Ice Fishing Derby is one of the top fund-raising events in the state, enabling The Meredith Rotary Club to donate more than $1.6 million back into the community for charitable projects, area improvements, and scholarships.  The Rotary Club, in consultation with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, also stocks tagged fish in several New Hampshire Lakes as part of an ongoing fisheries management plan.

The Derby brings visitors to New Hampshire from all over the country.  Fishermen, their families, and friends come to Meredith in hopes of catching the heaviest Rotary-tagged Rainbow Trout and claiming the grand prize.  This year’s First Prize is an 18-foot Pioneer sport fiberglass fishing boat and Tidewater trailer valued at over $25,500.  Second Prize is a Honda ATV and trailer valued at $6,500, and Third Prize is an Old Town sporting kayak with trolling motor package valued at $1,100.

On Friday, January 29th, The Rotary Club will host a free ice fishing panel discussion from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Meredith Community Center to kickoff the weekend.  According to Rob Wichland, chairman of the 2010 Great Meredith Rotary Fishing Derby, “The panel discussion events we’ve hosted since 2006 were such a great success, we’re doing it again in 2010.”  Don Miller of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, as well as Travis Williams and Adrien Lavoie, licensed New Hampshire fishing guides, will discuss ice fishing tips, techniques, and equipment.  Light refreshments will be served.

Tickets for the Derby are $30 and are available at more than a dozen locations around Lake Winnipesaukee, including A.J.’s Bait and Tackle, the Winnisquam Trading Post, Skelly’s Market, Alton Circle Grocery and at Paugus Bay Sporting Goods.  You can also purchase tickets online (click on “items”), or by calling The Meredith Rotary Club at 603-279-7600.  Online ticket sales prior to January 18th will be mailed to the address provided.  After that, requested tickets may be picked up at Derby Headquarters at Hesky Park in Meredith.  Headquarters will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29th, 2010 and will open again at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 30th.  If the Derby is postponed, your tickets cannot be refunded, but will be honored when the event is rescheduled.

Postponement is unlikely.  As of January 12th, virtually all of Lake Winnipesaukee is now frozen.  The current lake temp is 32.9ºF and dropping slowly.  Low temps for this upcoming week are expected to range between five and ten degrees, allowing the ice to thicken up quickly.   Looks like the conditions will be right for a great Derby!


“Freezin’ for a Reason” in Meredith

eventimg_49a5846cdf1b3Come on out for a good cause tomorrow—the second annual Winnipesaukee Dip to benefit the Special Olympics of New Hampshire (SONH) will be taking place at noon near the Meredith town docks on Sunday, January 10th.  The Winni Dip is one of the fundraising efforts of the Law Enforcement Torch Run sponsored by the NH Association of Chiefs of Police.  Approximately one hundred dippers representing police, fire, emergency response crews, and other public safety agencies are expected to plunge into the ice-cold waters of Lake Winnipesaukee to benefit the 3,500 participants of SONH.

Participation is open to everyone, and it’s not too late to sign up.  Registration is taking place online at the SONH website, or on the day of the event at the Winnipesaukee Ballroom at Church Landing.  A twenty-five dollar, non-refundable commitment fee is due at registration for each individual and a total of $250 in contributions is the minimum to participate.

The costume theme for this year’s event is “Superheroes.”  Prizes will be awarded for individuals and teams with the best costumes, as well as to individuals and teams who raise the most money for SONH.

Carol Cray, Special Olympics Development Director, said that the Winni Dip Management Team expects the number of participants in 2010 to be double that of 2009.

Participants may also designate 15% of the funds they raise to the not-for-profit organization or government agency of their choice.  Mike Sielicki, Chief of Police in Rindge and Director of the Torch Run said, “This is a great way for all public safety agencies to support the Special Olympics and earn some money for local projects.”

So even if you’re not dipping in the Lake, come down to Meredith tomorrow to cheer on those brave “Superheroes!”