Shame On The Belknap Mill For Shortchanging The Exemplary ‘Laconia Multicultural Day’ (a.k.a. of late ‘Festival’).

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Laconia Multicultural Day, 2013 … — July 12, 2013.
>> Laconia Multicultural Day, 2013: Program — July 30, 2013.
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belknap-mill.peter


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. 

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About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my https://nhlifefree.com/ blog.

One response to “Shame On The Belknap Mill For Shortchanging The Exemplary ‘Laconia Multicultural Day’ (a.k.a. of late ‘Festival’).”

  1. Db Stamps says :

    Shame is a pretty strong word especially when some of your facts are wrong.
    I am the individual who sits on both boards and have been involved with both groups for many years.
    1. Laconia Multicultural Festival is held on the FIRST Saturday after Labor Day not the second.

    2. It was a an honest employee mistake that resulted in the date being given to a wedding party. I would note that at the time, no one on the Multicultural steering committee had reserved that date. Once the wedding party had a written contract, our hands were tied. We certainly tried our best to change them to another date! We would not and could not unilaterally break a legally binding contract without great risk to our Reputation.

    3. Elitism played no part of the decision making process. The Belknap Mill (www.belknapmill.org) along with the City of Laconia have been ardent supporters of the Festival since its inception.

    4. Once we realized that the FIRST Saturday in September was out, the Festival committee met about what to do. Our options ranged from choosing another September date, a late August date or the one we settled on. Many of us had long wondered if there was an advantage to a summer date so we decided to go with the August 3rd date.

    5. We now know that the minuses out-weigh the pluses so we will be returning to the FIRST Saturday in September which in 2014 is Sept. 6th.

    6. My experience with participation is clearly not your experience. We have strong financial and volunteer support from both Lakes Region businesses and the residential community.

    7. The Festival is a 501.c.3 non-profit and relies on donations. Please consider making a donation. For more information: http://www.laconiamulticulturalfestival.org/

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