Roger Amsden | Laconia Daily Sun
FRANKLIN — First Day Franklin will go on as usual on New Year's Day, but ice which has formed in the lower part of the Winnipesaukee River near the downtown area will likely bring far fewer kayaks than usual to that part of the river.
Dan Darling of Choose Franklin says that thanks to the efforts of Marty Parichand, owner of the Outdoor New England store in Franklin, and Ken Norton of the Merrimack Valley Paddlers and the state of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, there will be a water release to increase river water flow Sunday.
"Because of their efforts, kayaking will be possible, especially on the upper portion of the river. But the ice in the lower part of the river has constricted some of the passageways through the rapids and only experienced kayakers will be making runs on the lower section and under the rail trestle," says Darling.
The traditional New Year's Day kayaking event on the Winnipesaukee River has been hosted for 36 years by the Merrimack Valley Paddlers. Kayakers put into the river at two different points, the upper course, which runs from Rte. 140 in Tilton to the Merrimack Valley Railroad station in Northfield, and the lower course, which runs from Cross Mill Road in Northfield and into Trestle View Park in downtown Franklin.
He said kayakers are expected to take to the water between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and that festivities planned at Trestle View Park will go on as planned. Darling said that Franklin businesses are ready to welcome one and all for the day, and to celebrate the grand opening of Outdoor New England. He said that Choose Franklin has expanded its offering of events to ring in the New Year. Children's events will be happening at Marceau Park and in The Franklin Studio, sponsored by the Franklin Junior Youth Group. A family scavenger hunt will be distributed at Trestle View Park; prizes include $50 to The Franklin Studio and $25 to Franklin Clothing Company, sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank and Scott Stanley Electric.