Arts & Entertainment

Kirstan Knowlton: Why I love it here

I really do love it here. I love my friends, my family, the community events, the availability of quality entertainments, and of course delicious food. I love that I can walk down the street and see a friendly face, and I love that when I need help I have people I can call.

There is a lot to be said for small communities like Berlin, Gorham, Milan, Shelburne and Randolph. I love how unique each of us are, and if you’ve lived here long enough you can probably tell where someone lives within just a few minutes of talking to them.

I also love how innovative everyone is. Most people I know are makers or doers of some kind, working hard to create their own mark on the area. I’ve watched many friends start their journey with just a dream, and to see how far they’ve come is really inspirational.

The number of people who also volunteer their time on top of everything else they do is incredible. We wouldn’t be half the community we are without them.

From flower gardens, to the community mural and annual events like Drive in the 50s and RiverFire, we should be known as the “City that Volunteers Built!”

With that said, new blood is always needed, so if you aren’t already on a dozen boards or committees, get out there and find a cause that you can get involved with.

Speaking of volunteers and people who work hard, I hope that everyone had a blast last weekend for the ATV Festival. Despite the rain, I heard that there was a great turn out and people had a lot of fun.

This weekend we also have Milan Old Home Days, and with the weather looking like it will clear, it’s going to be a great time.

Last year we took our son to the parade and he just loved it. There were so many cool vehicles, and lots of tractors. Visiting the animals was fun too. For a full list of this weekend’s event make sure you check out the feature article in today’s paper.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Along with going to Milan Old Home Days, we might head out with the grandparents to go blueberry picking too. 

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin 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..


Covered Bridges of New Hampshire presented by Glenn Knoblock

LANCASTER — Glenn Knoblock will discuss covered bridge design and technology, and their designers, builders and associated folklore Thursday, Aug. 17, at Weeks State Park.

Covered bridges have been a vital part of the New Hampshire transportation network since the early 1800s. Given New Hampshire's myriad of streams, brooks, and rivers, it's not surprising that 400 covered bridges have been documented. Often viewed as quaint relics of a simpler past, they were technological marvels of their day. It may be native ingenuity and New Hampshire's woodworking tradition that account for the fact that a number of nationally-noted covered bridge truss designers were New Hampshire natives.

This program will be in the great room of the Summit Lodge of Weeks State Park and will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17. All are welcome to come early and bring a picnic supper or climb the fire tower for views north of the notches.

Weeks State Park is located on the east side of Route 3, approximately two miles south of Lancaster. This free, public program is sponsored by the Weeks State Park Association, N.H. Division of Parks, and UNH Cooperative Extension. 

Kirstan Knowlton: Chaos and Kindness

I am all about showing others a little love, so when I heard that Recycled Percussion was coming to town to film a live episode of Chaos and Kindness I was thrilled.

I remember seeing the group play when I was still in high school. They performed in our auditorium, and put on a great show. It was really interesting to see how they used everyday items to make music, and they had great energy on the stage.

That was the only time I’d ever seen them perform, but from that point on, whenever I saw someone playing recycled instruments in the street I always thought of them.

Having them come up to Berlin a few weeks ago was great, because it got the community excited. I didn’t care what they gave away based on the momentary value, but loved that it got everyone out of their homes and spending time with others.

When we take a moment to look at what we have in common with one another, you tend to forget about the differences that divide us. Even if it was just for that one night, their visit brought us that much closer together.

A few days following their appearance, I saw several posts online where people talked about paying it forward to others. There were cups of coffee, bills paid and other small gifts to brighten someone’s day.

Paying it forward can also mean doing a task for someone too. Mowing their lawn, offering to watch their children while they run errands or just checking in with someone to see how they are doing.

We are all capable of doing something thoughtful for someone else, and don’t forget, what might seem like a small act of kindness to you could mean the world of difference to the person receiving it.

Now that I have you in a good warm and fuzzy mood, it’s time to make plans for the Gorham Congregational Church’s Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon.

They will be serving hotcakes, sausage and coffee. They will also have scones, made-to-order crepes, and homemade cookies. Parking is free at the lot on Church Street. The Gorham Congregational Church is located at 143 Main St., in Gorham.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Of course it is also the big ATV festival this weekend, and there will be a lot of activities going on. I plan on making it down to Heritage Park on Saturday to see Last Kid Picked perform. If you see me out and about, make sure to say hello!

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin 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..


Recycled Percussion brings its show to Gorham

GORHAM — Recycled Percussion is bringing its Las Vegas show to Gorham.

Formed by Justin Spencer in 1995, the group, became a national phenomenon week after week during their smash hit performances on America’s Got Talent. Playing over 5,000 shows across the United States and in over 15 countries, the band continues to boast about their home state during their guest appearances on Carson Daly, The Today Show, China’s Got Talent, the Latin Grammy Awards and more.

After being featured on the cover of USA Today and being voted National Act of the Year a record-breaking six times, the band gained world-wide recognition and continues to rock.

Now Recycled Percussion invites you to rock with them.

The band will be performing three shows this fall at the Medallion Opera House in Gorham. On Saturday, Nov. 25, there is a show scheduled for 4 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, Nov. 26, the show will start at 4 p.m.

The family friendly show is estimated to last 75 minutes and there is no age restrictions. Doors will open one hour prior to the performance. 

Tickets are non-refundable once purchased, and are only available electronically. For questions email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Hampshire’s ‘Moose Plate’ reaches $20 million lifetime sales mark

New Hampshire’s popular Conservation and Heritage License Plate — nicknamed the “Moose Plate” — reached a sales milestone in the recently ended fiscal year. Over the program’s lifetime, more than $20 million has been raised through sales of new plates and renewals.

Funds from Moose Plate sales support a wide variety of conservation and preservation programs, including planting wild flowers along New Hampshire highways, studying threatened plant and animal species, securing conservation easements and preserving publicly owned historic properties.

Every dollar raised through the sales of Moose Plates goes directly to supporting designated programs in New Hampshire.

Fourth grade students from Holderness Central School started the idea for the Moose Plate program in 1993. Legislation establishing the program passed in 1998 and the first plates were sold in December 2000.

The standard issue Moose Plate includes a “C” for “Conservation” and an “H” for “Heritage,” New Hampshire’s motto “Live Free or Die” and an illustrated moose designed by Granite State artist Jim Collins.

Moose Plates may be purchased at city and town clerks’ offices when registering a car or truck. The annual cost for a Moose Plate is $30; the first year requires a standard $8 plate purchase fee. Vanity Moose Plates and combination Moose/NH State Parks plates are also available for additional charges.

More information about the Moose Plate program is available at, Facebook and Twitter.