The Hippo


May 25, 2020








 Opening Day 

When: Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road, Canterbury
Cost: Free admission and self-guided tours; guided tours of the buildings are available for $10 per person at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m.

Steer the way
Shaker Village kicks off season with opening day festivities

By Matt Ingersoll

 The beginning of May means the reopening of the Canterbury Shaker Village and the return of several special events and workshops to celebrate its history.

The historic community site will hold its annual Heifer Parade on Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m., with other Opening Day festivities to be held on the grounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the village will be free for the day, and guided tours of the exhibits will be available for $10 at hourly intervals.
Nicole Laurin, special events and adult programs manager for the Village, said the first parade was in 2013 following a partnership development with the nearby Brookford Farm.
“It’s a great way of welcoming spring to the village,” she said. “[The farm] takes the cows out to their first spring grass usually around the end of April.”
Festivities will include fiddlers, crafts, lawn games and more. The village is also participating in this year’s NH Open Doors, happening the same weekend.
“People will be able to make flower wreaths, cards and other things like that,” she said, “and we’ll also have Maypole dancing and old-fashioned butter-churning demonstrations. … Hopefully it will be a great day to be outside, because there will be a lot going on and all the buildings will be open to the public as well, so you’ll be able to walk around both inside and out for free.”
The parade is the first of several new and returning events and workshops happening at the village now through mid-December, when the buildings will close for the season. The 10th annual cross-country 5K will be held on the grounds on May 13, at 8:30 a.m. Registration is $25 and free for kids 10 and under, and all proceeds will benefit educational programs at the Village.
The annual plant sale will be held the following weekend, on May 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also planned is the annual dinner and auction on June 21, at 5 p.m.
A new event will be held on Aug. 5 that Laurin said is a reworking of a previous Shaker-themed dance performance held last year.
“It’s going to be a much larger day of performances rather than just having the exhibition component,” she said. “There will be some dance performances and some music lectures about Shaker music as well.”
Other returning events to the village include the Canterbury Artisan Festival on Sept. 16, the vintage car show on Oct. 14, the “Ghost Encounters” Halloween-themed event for families on Oct. 28, and the annual “Christmas at Canterbury” event for two days on Dec. 9 and Dec. 16.
For workshops, Laurin said, the village is bringing back Shaker chair-making demonstrations for the first year since 2011, with dates scattered throughout the next several months. The first workshops will be June 3 and June 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be led by woodworker and museum interpreter Dick Bennett.
In January, the Village announced Susan Bennett as its interim executive director.
“Susan is actually not from New Hampshire, but she’s been getting out and meeting new people and learning about their relationships with the village,” Laurin said. “We’re always trying to connect more with our community and [see] what ideas can come from Canterbury itself and also the Concord area, so we’re looking forward to this year.” 

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