Bedford Olde Towne Day set for Saturday

BEDFORD — Residents and employees prepared for the annual event months in advance. They knew when the leaves began changing from their fresh green color to bright shades of red and orange, that it was close.

Come tomorrow, residents and members of surrounding communities will gather for the annual Bedford Olde Towne Day celebration.

“(Bedford Olde Towne Day) makes the community connect,” said Jane O’Brien, the Bedford Parks and Recreation Department program coordinator. “We have new additions this year that we have never had before.”

The event, which will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday at the Riley Field Complex, features new activities, including a pie-baking contest and the opportunity for participants to showcase their talents on television. Returning events include the petting zoo from The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill and the “Taste of Bedford” food sampling event, among others.

Phil Bruno, Riddle Brook Chorus and Paul Bordeleau provide live entertainment, while Mark Lawrence Martial Academy students demonstrate martial arts.

According to O’Brien, last year’s hit activity was the bull frog bounce, which will take place at 3 p.m. this year. Participants purchase rubber frogs with their lucky number on them and place them into a bag. A fire fighter then climbs up a ladder and dumps them onto the field, which contains a bulls-eye target. The three participants with the frogs closest to the bulls eye win $100, $75 and $50.

“Other towns have the rubber duckie race but we have the frog,” she said.

This year, O’Brien predicts “Be a Star” will take home the popularity award with attendees. The new activity gives participants the chance to showcase their talents by filming a 30-second message to be played on BCTV.

Along with the new apple pie baking contest, open to community members with a knack for baking, the “Taste of Bedford” event brings some changes to this year’s Olde Towne celebration.

The food-sampling event opened its doors to eateries outside of the town and into the surrounding communities of Merrimack and Manchester. Fratello’s, Amigos Mexican Cantina and Red Arrow Diner are just a few of the new additions.

With dozens of activities to entertain everyone in the family, O’Brien expects a nice-size crowd for this year’s event.

“Its just a great (opportunity) to come see your neighbor and to come see what’s going on in town,” she said.