The 25th Annual NH Pumpkin Festival Comes to Laconia This Year!

Pumpkin Fest 2015The Keene Pumpkin Festival has a new home starting this year. In the heart of New Hampshire, Laconia has opened its doors and is proud to be hosting the famous annual event, now called Pumpkin Festival 2015, and this year is its 25th Anniversary! Come to the Lakes Region to see thousands of lit jack-o-lanterns on the spectacular signature pumpkin tower as well as on the streets around town! Continue reading

Get Ready for the 5th Annual WOW Fest!

wow_bk_white-150pxwideWalk, bike, or run – whatever your preference, there is an event for you next weekend in Laconia, NH, where the 5th annual WOW Fest is taking place. There will be road races, bicycle challenges, and a fun walk followed by a BBQ luncheon, live music, and many family-friendly activities. This annual event is one of the most important fundraisers for the WOW Trail, a four-season, paved trail that is in development for non-motorized activities. Event organizers are encouraging the community to come out next Saturday, have some fun, get some exercise, and support the WOW Trail! Continue reading

Don’t Miss The WOW Sweepstakes Ball!

Put on your dancing shoes and come to the Lakes Region for a great night of dinner, wine, and live music, as well as a chance to win a fabulous cash prize, as the WOW Trail hosts its annual ball in Laconia.

Presented by Meredith Village Savings Bank, the 8th Annual WOW Sweepstakes Ball will be held on Saturday, May 21st, in the beautiful Conference Center at Lake Opechee Inn and Spa.  The ball is the organization’s key fundraising event of the year, with over $200,000 raised so far in the first seven years.  Allan Beetle, Vice President of the WOW Trail Committee, says, “It’s the best party in the Lakes Region—it’s really a fun night.”

Each $100 ticket to the ball includes dinner and dancing for two and automatically enters one lucky number into the sweepstakes drawing.  Ten cash prizes will be awarded, starting at $200 and increasing to the grand prize of $10,000, with a total of $13,000 given away that night.  Only 300 tickets will be sold, making the odds really good for those who chip in.  It’s a reverse drawing that keeps the suspense going all evening:  Each ticket holder has a number that he or she chose when buying the ticket, and all 300 numbers are on the wall at the beginning of the night.  As the guests dance and the night progresses, the numbers that are drawn are taken off the wall and out of the running, until there are only ten numbers left on the wall—the ten cash winners.  Then the drawing goes from there with the last lucky number on the wall winning the grand prize!

The WOW Ball will feature a wine bar with a variety of wines and tastings so guests can choose the perfect bottle to accompany the Italian-themed dinner this year, which is catered by Patrick’s Pub & EateryPaul Warnick and his band, Phil ‘N The Blanks, will keep the house jumping with great music, and there will also be a short live auction and silent auction with items donated by local businesses.

“The WOW Trail is very, very popular,” says Allan. “There’s lots of community support.  The first phase, which is now in, gets steady traffic.  We are working on phase 2, and we have a lot more money to raise.”  So far, the group has raised about a quarter of what it needs to build the next section of the trail.  Allan continues, “When we get the Laconia section done, which is about 10 miles, they will be some of the most beautiful trails in the country because our railroad corridor runs along Lake Winnipesaukee, and there are beautiful vistas… when the trail goes in it just opens it up and people are going to be blown away when they can ride their bike from Weirs Beach to downtown Laconia and on up to Meredith.”

The WOW Trail provides a safe and fun place for cycling and walking, and is expected to be a draw for travelers who like to include some outdoor activity in their vacations.  Allan expects the trail to extend the tourist season in the NH Lakes Region, which is now primarily July and August, to early spring through late fall.  “We encourage anyone who is a supporter of the trail, whether they can come out to the event or not, to buy a ticket,” says Allan.  Ticketholders need not be present to win the sweepstakes drawing.  Tickets can be purchased and lucky numbers chosen online at (look for the WOW Trail link in the right hand column), or in person at Patrick’s Pub & Eatery, Laconia Athletic & Swim Club, or the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.  Support a great project and have a ball, too—WOW!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Images courtesy of the WOW Trail