.by Anura Guruge
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From its inception 12 years ago, Laconia’s very gallant and ever so exemplary Multicultural Day has been on the 2nd Saturday of September. Those of us who have attended it, without fail, yearly, knew that date. The 3rd weekend of September would be the Highland Games.
So we were very surprised when we saw that this year ‘The Day’ was to be on August 3rd!
So today we went — and we would have gone even if it was raining (as we have done on a previous year).
As it turned out the weather was perfect. Goldilocks weather. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right. But there wasn’t that many people. For us regulars the drop in attendance was noticeable.
I had assumed that the organizers had brought the event forward, by over a month, to attract Summer tourist. If so, the ploy had failed.
So I asked three members involved in the organization, as well as my buddy who runs the sound system, individually, as to why the date had been changed.
I got the same answer from all four. The Belknap Mill had sold that sacrosanct 2nd Saturday of September for a wedding event!
I could not believe it.
So this change in date was not something that had been done by choice. It had been forced on them.
I could not believe it.
The Multicultural Day is now Laconia’s signature event. The one that puts it on the map.
For the Belknap Mill to have given that date to a wedding is despicable. Shame on them.
I gather that ‘they’ claimed that they forgot. I can believe that. Incompetence probably does rule the roost at the Mill. That does not surprise me.
I see that there is at least one person on the Belknap Mill committee that is involved in ‘The Day’. I am surprised that he didn’t speak up and get this sad issue resolved.
But, in a way I am not that surprised. I said this last year, and I will say it again, much louder now. Over the years I have noticed that a segment of the Laconia ‘elite’ snub this event out of sheer snobbishness. I know a fair number of people in Laconia and Gilford. What amazes me, each year, is how few of these people attend this FREE event. Lets not beat around the bush. Many of these folks, the supposed ‘elite’, do not want to attend because they don’t want to be seen with what they must consider the ‘newcomers‘ — and I use that as an euphemism. NOW the Belknap Mill has done the same thing. Screw the multiculturals. We get money if we host a wedding. Shame on them.
C’est la vie. At least two of the organizers I spoke with were not happy with the Mill. That was good. I am, obviously, not happy with them either.
I am not sure who runs the Mill these days. Long Time ago we were quite friendly with Mary Boswell the then director. But she has been gone for at least 8 years.
Never mind. We will still prevail. But, now the Mill has shown its true mercenary colors.