The Hippo


Nov 21, 2019








The pirates and princesses of Dimensions in Dance will take the stage at Intown Manchester’s Family Fun Festival. Courtesy photo.

Intown Manchester Family Fun Festival

Where: Veterans Park, Manchester
When: Saturday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Call: 645-6285

Pirates and princesses at the park
Veterans Park under siege during Family Fun Festival


If you see pirates invading Veterans Park on Saturday, Aug. 23, don’t be alarmed; they’ll probably be having way too much fun to steal your treasure or make you walk the plank.
Those pirates, along with plenty of little princesses, will be busy playing games, making crafts and watching live performances at the Intown Manchester Family Fun Festival.
Sara Beaudry, the executive director of Intown Manchester, said this year’s free event is being spun in a different direction than last year’s.
“Last year, I was on the Gill Stadium Centennial committee and we hosted a weekend-long celebration for the 100-year anniversary,” Beaudry said. “There were about 600 to 800 [people who] attended, which got me thinking, what if we could do something like this at Veterans Park?”
Beaudry said she was inspired to create the pirate and princess theme for this festival after recruiting the New England Brethren of Pirates to perform as part of the annual Christmas parade in downtown Manchester.
“The lead pirate, Brandon, dresses up like Jack Sparrow; he is so amazing,” she said. “I just thought, we’ve got to work together for more than this parade. [The pirates] actually came to the centennial and had a blast; the kids loved them.”
The festival will include a variety of themed games and activities. CC’s Consignment Boutique will host a booth where kids can create pirate and princess paper dolls; Party Palace is bringing princesses down for a meet-and-greet and a photo shoot with the kids; Manchester City Library will provide materials for kids to decorate eye patches; and Ben Rudnick and Friends will hit the stage clad in tye-dye and ready to jam.
Bringing their interpretation of the theme to the stage will be a group of ballet dancers from the Dimensions in Dance Studio in Manchester. Owner and artistic director Amy Fortier said she approached Intown Manchester for an opportunity to have her ballet groups perform outside.
“Once we learned they were doing this event, I turned around and made a short little ballet about pirates and princesses,” Fortier said.
Fortier, who started her professional career as a reporter and an English teacher, wrote a short story for which she choreographed a dance. The story starts off with a princess named Isabella who, despite her love for her kingdom and her people, grows restless and sneaks aboard a pirate ship. While she is instructed to perform laborious chores, Isabella tries to teach the pirates to understand and practice ballet moves.
Because Fortier’s class is female-driven, she was concerned at first about the reaction some of her dancers were going to have over dressing as rugged pirates for the ballet instead of delicate princesses.
“The pirates are pretty silly; their dances are a lot more gestural. The princesses are a lot more graceful, and have very pretty ribbon wands,” she said. “But the kids are having lots of fun with it. It’s like here are all my really girly ballet performers, and they are so excited coming up to me and asking if they can wear an eye patch on stage. Let’s just hope after the sword fighting scene, somebody doesn’t need a real eyepatch.”
Anyone attending the festival is encouraged to dress up like a pirate or a princess.  

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