Town­ship­per’s Day Draws Thou­sands More Than Ex­pected

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Made­line Mul­hol­land Stanstead

Stanstead has be­come the hub of much so­cial ac­tiv­ity this month, most es­pe­cially for the Town­ship­per’s day cel­e­bra­tions hosted here last Satur­day. The Town­ship­per’s Day events typ­i­cally draw thou­sands of vis­i­tors to its’ host town each year. Ac­cord­ing to mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil sources, the event at­tracted roughly three thou­sand vis­i­tors to the 2010 host town of Danville, Que­bec, but Stanstead ap­pears to have been even more suc­cess­ful. Ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mates it ap­pears there were be­tween 5,000 and 7,000 vis­i­tors that passed through Stanstead on Satur­day. The pre­cise num­ber is hard to ver­ify, but with­out doubt this is one of the great­est turnouts in the his­tory of Town­ship­per’s Day. As the weather can play a role in the day’s at­ten­dance, it was with high spir­its many Stanstead res­i­dents awoke on Satur­day to find our town blessed with a beau­ti­ful au­tumn day, re­splen­dent with plenty of sun­shine.

The event’s nu­mer­ous venues were lo­cated in both Stanstead and Rock Is­land, but all were cho­sen as a means of show­cas­ing Stanstead’s ar­chi­tec­tural and cul­tural strengths. An­dré Fratelli, owner of the new Manoir Stanstead, was on the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee for Town­ship­per’s Day and of­fered the use of the Manoir Res­i­dence for many of the day’s events. The Pat Burns Arena, among other lo­cal at­trac­tions, was also host to events for the day. It was a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for the town to show off its’ new­est fa­cil­i­ties to out­side vis­i­tors. Other, more his­toric sites that hosted events were the Colby Cur­tis Mu­seum, the Vieux Forg­eron Art Gallery, Gran­itCen­tral, the Haskell Opera House and the Stone Cir­cle.

Town­ship­per’s Day may cre­ate busi­ness for the host town, but there are also costs and a great deal of or­ga­niz­ing as­so­ci­ated with co­or­di­nat­ing such a large event. The or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee was quite re­source­ful in cre­at­ing means of gen­er­at­ing in­come from the vis­i­tors. The Stanstead Pass­ports, for a cost of $2.00 per per-

son, of­fered vis­i­tors a free bus ser­vice to the nu­mer­ous sites where the day’s events were tak­ing place. Do­nated items were auc­tioned in the Manoir Stanstead ball­room and there was the Great Rock Raf­fle. The raf­fle tick­ets were $2 each and prizes were val­ued at over $2000. The three main prizes were all made of gran­ite and con­sisted of a wall etch­ing, cof­fee ta­ble and a gran­ite bench. Ticket hold­ers were all en­tered into a draw for a one night stay at our beau­ti­ful lo­cal B&B, the Do­maine les Boisés Lee Farm.

Although the day was much larger than Borderfest, it had a sim­i­lar feel of easy- go­ing charm that can only be found in the coun­try. Satur­day’s events swept through more cor­ners of the town than Borderfest and many par­tic­i­pants were from out of town. The day seemed to have passed with­out in­ci­dent, every­thing moved along as it should. This is an in­di­ca­tion that or­ga­niz­ers did a fab­u­lous job mak­ing such a com­pli­cated event ap­pear easy. The ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren, ar­ti­san booths and mu­sic tent were all rem­i­nis­cent of this sum­mer’s Borderfest, and the day of­fered as much fun for vis­i­tors as we have come to en­joy at our own lo­cal com­mu­nity events.

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