Arts & Entertainment

SnoDeo returns with new location and events

STEWARTSTOWN — The organizers of The Swift Diamond Riders Snowmobile Club’s N.H. SnoDeo thought they’d seen it all, and then the winter of 2015-16 came along. After having to cancel last year’s SnoDeo for the first time in its history due to a lack of snow, SnoDeo is back, celebrating its 25th anniversary.

This year’s SnoDeo would’ve been a milestone already celebrating its 25th year, but the Swift Diamond Riders Club made another announcement last fall as planning went into full swing; a new location.

SnoDeo has been moved down the hill from the event’s longtime home in Coleman State Park to a four acre site behind the Swift Diamond Riders’ warming hut on Diamond Pond Rd. in Stewartstown. Club president, Tim Anderson explained the move, “We had maxed out the area we were using in Coleman. We also were looking to control our costs better by moving to the club’s own land. We’re fortunate that it’s a location that snowmobilers already know.” Anderson noted that the club feels they’ve ensures a solid future for SnoDeo.

The SnoDeo is known as the first place in the Northeast where snowmobilers can test ride the next model year snowmobiles. All four of the major snowmobile manufacturers: Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski Doo and Yamaha are returning with new models. A new company will be offering test rides this year. Moto-trax of Moscow, Idaho, is coming to Stewartstown with their snow bikes.

After a two-year absence, the vintage snowmobile tent is returning. Rave X Performance’s annual freestyle show and autograph session will be on Saturday morning of SnoDeo.

Log Haven in Millsfield, and White Mountain distributors will host a new event to help raise additional funds for the Swift Diamond Riders Club and SnoDeo. “Braaps & Brews” is a beer tasting event scheduled for Friday night, March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m., with 603 Brewing Co. and Henniker Brewery will feature local craft beers for tastings. According to a release submitted by the Swift Diamond Riders, organizer South End Media and the event’s hosts are promising a fun and responsible event they hope will become a SnoDeo tradition.

The Swift Diamond Riders Club is a snowmobile club based in West Stewartstown. Named one of Snow-goer Magazine’s “Top 10 must experience snowmobile events” in the U.S., the SnoDeo is March 3 and 4. It benefits the club for trail maintenance, as well as other club activities that promote snowmobiling in New Hampshire’s North Country. To learn more about the event and the club, visit nhsnodeo.com, facebook.com/nhsnodeo, twitter.com/nhsnodeo or on Instagram @NHSnoDeo.

Snowmobiles parked on the lake 2015After having to cancel last year’s SnoDeo for the first time in its history due to a lack of snow, SnoDeo is back, celebrating its 25th anniversary. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Kirstan Knowlton: Spring Fever

I know not all of you will agree, but this warm weather has been wonderful. Ideally it would be great if we could have the best of both worlds, warmer weather and keeping the snow, but unless scientists come up with a super resilient version of the white stuff, one of us will end up compromising.

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on Facebook that have countdowns for upcoming dates, and with the end of February upon us, it’s really hard for me to believe that the first day of spring is just a month away.

I know we will still likely have plenty of winter weather left, after all it is still early, but these warm stretches have been giving me some serious spring fever.

Spring to me always feels like a mini New Year. With the warmer weather I always get motivated to get out and exercise, clean more and update my wardrobe.

With my new found burst of energy, I always look forward to getting out and taking some new photos. In previous years I have waited for the flowers to bloom before showing up, but this year I think I am going to try to catch them in a different stage of development.

Mud Season, as we lovingly call it, isn’t always the prettiest, but I’m challenging myself to make the best of it with this new approach.

I also have a gallery show coming up in a few months at the Androscoggin Valley Hospital, so I am hoping to have some new and creative images to share by then.

If you are a long time reader this is old news, but two of my favorite places to go an take photos is the park on the east side along the long stretch of walking path, and the park behind Main Street, known as the “Dog Park.”

Both of these gardens are planned and maintained meticulously throughout the season and offer beautiful blooms throughout spring, summer and fall.

But for now we will just have to wait, and look at pretty pictures instead. Who knows maybe we will get another fresh coating of snow to brighten things up a bit.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Looks like we might be getting some rain. Please remember to be mindful while driving, so you don’t end up splashing someone who is walking by.

For local students it’s back to school after a week off. Gold House will be closed for the next two weeks, and while all of you might be missing your favorite pizza place, I will be enjoying some much needed time with Jamie and the family.

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Her inspiration comes from events and people in the community who continue to work hard to make the North Country one of the best places to live. You can contact Kirstan by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kirstan Knowlton: Winter Warriors

It’s been a snowy week, and while I’m not overly thrilled about all that shoveling, I know that there are many people out there that are just loving all the white stuff.

Among those happy faces are surely some snowmobilers. Last year was probably the worst year I had seen in quite a while for winter activities. Trails were bare most of the year, making it difficult to get any ride time.

Although it has been several years since I have been out for a ride, every time I smell the exhaust from those two-stroke engines it takes me back to my adventures out riding in the woods with friends.

I loved everything about being in the woods — except for the part about it being so cold. Seriously though, if you could have seen me you would have laughed. I looked like a pink version of the Michelin Man.

I must have worn about five or six layers, and trying to “utilize the outdoor facilities” was more work than I thought was humanly possible.

All I can say is thank goodness for heated grips. They were a lifesaver.

Riding through miles of trails it’s hard to tell just how much work goes into keeping them maintained, but if you’ve ever been behind the scenes, then you know it’s no joke, these people work hard.

Throughout Coos County there are several groups that create, maintain and groom the trails for snowmobilers to enjoy. And, making it more impressive, these people are all volunteers.

I’ve said it before, but of course it’s always worth repeating, volunteers, in my opinion, make the world go round. If it weren’t for the dedication of people who love what they do, we wouldn’t have nearly half of what we have today.

Committed to keeping the trails maintained for our locals and visitors are three very dedicated clubs: the White Mountain Ridge Runners of Berlin, the Presidential Range Riders of Gorham and the Milan All Weather Riders of Milan.

Memberships and donations along with volunteering your time go a long way to keep these clubs going, and with slightly warmer temps this weekend it will be the perfect opportunity to head on over today to the White Mountain Ridge Runners annual steak and hamburger feed to benefit the club and trail grooming.

The benefit will be held on Trail 19 at their Clubhouse at 241 Jericho Road, in Berlin, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Best of all, you don’t need to be a member because the fundraiser is open to the public.

For more information about the White Mountain Ridge Runners visit the group's website at www.whitemtridgerunners.com. For more information about the Presidential Range Riders visit www.presidentialrangeriders.org. For more information about the Milan All Weather Riders visit www.milanallweatherriders.webs.com.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Looks like there will be a break in the snow with some warmer temps. Don’t forget to clear off your roof, and be safe while doing it.

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Her inspiration comes from events and people in the community who continue to work hard to make the North Country one of the best places to live. You can contact Kirstan by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Student art now on display at the Androscoggin Valley Hospital

BERLIN — The newest exhibit in the AVH Auxiliary’s Rotating Art Program features works of art by Berlin Public School students. It will be on display at the Androscoggin Valley Hospital Cafeteria now through Monday morning, March 13. The exhibit depicts the natural progression of art skills from kindergarten to high school seniors. The overall theme of the artwork is “Nature Through the Eyes of Young Artists.” There are over two dozen pieces in the exhibit that range from simple line drawings to incredible detailed paintings, all with a focus on some aspect of nature. Also included in the exhibit is a sign created by the BHS Graphic Arts students. This display is a collaborative effort of the three Berlin District art teachers, Roland Simard, Erin Crosby, and Lynne Bacon.

According to a press release by the Androscoggin Valley Hospital, they are delighted to have these amazing works of art on display in the AVH Cafeteria for patients, visitors, and staff to enjoy. Student art can be viewed between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m, Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends.

Artists interested in displaying their works of art in the AVH Auxiliary Rotating Art Program may contact Linda Morris, AVH Auxiliary Liaison and AVH volunteer coordinator, at (603) 326-5676. AVH: Leading the Way to a Healthier Future. Visit AVH at www.avhnh.org or on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

rotatingartstudentsphoto0217Pictured from the left, Lynne Baco, elementary school art teacher, and Roland Simard, art teacher at the high school. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Bowling Tournament to benefit White Mountain Rotary

BERLIN — The White Mountain Rotary of Berlin-Gorham is seeking participants for their Multiple-Game Baker Bowling Tournament scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., on Saturday, March 4. Individuals may enter at a registration cost of $12 for each person. Teams of five players may also register at a total cost of $60. There will be snacks and prizes.

Non-league bowlers are welcome.

Rotary stresses service above self. Proceeds from the event will help fund the many community-centered programs that the Club supports.

For more information or to register, call the Berlin Bowling Center at (603) 752-5250.

rotarybowlingtournamentphoto102415 1Multiple-Game Baker Bowling Tournament scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., on Saturday, March 4.