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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Delayed celebrations still filled with fun

Jae Mclellan dove face-first into the Milford Family Fun Day, winning the 15-and-older pie-eating contest.

Contestants have to down the minipies without using their hands. ...

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Jae Mclellan dove face-first into the Milford Family Fun Day, winning the 15-and-older pie-eating contest.

Contestants have to down the minipies without using their hands.

The Mclellan family was camped out at the Friendly Beaver in New Boston when they heard of the Saturday events for Milford’s Independence Day celebration, one of many held throughout the weekend in Greater Nashua.

“She refuses to let me do eating contests,” Mclellan said of his wife, Jillian.

He said his winnings included a voucher for the concession stand and another pie.

Jillian Mclellan said this was their first year participating in the town’s festivities.

“We were reading about it and thought we’d check it out,” she said. “It’s free, and more fun with the little kids. We’re definitely going to do it again next year.”

She said the family enjoyed the peaceful, low-key atmosphere at Keyes Field. Their children tried out the limbo and sack race events.

“They had a first and second place, but everyone got to pick a prize,” Jillian Mclellan said. “We like these kinds of things; they’re a lot more hands on.”

Other fun day events were spread throughout the afternoon, including a watermelon-seed-spitting contest, Frisbee toss, hula-hoop and bubble gum-blowing contests.

Mike Townsend, of Milford had two telescopes pointed at the sun for patrons to view for free.

“I do solar observation for Fun Day; it must be my sixth year now,” said Townsend, who said everyone is welcome to have a look, but the parents tend to be more interested.

Townsend said the best part is “letting people look through telescopes at the sun, which they usually don’t get to do. The number one question is always, ‘Is it safe?’

“You have to have a safe solar filter or you go blind. You only make that mistake twice – one for each eye.”

Walter Smith, a Milford resident and chairman of the town’s Recreation Commission, was working the concession stand and helping raise money for the host park. Construction planned for the entrance would cut off the only access point. Smith hopes to fund the purchase of a property at 127 Elm St. for another entrance.

As for Saturday’s turnout, Smith said it should be about the same as usual.

“It’s a good crowd already,” he said. “I think people who couldn’t come out Friday will come Saturday. And the weather’s been beautiful.”

Smith has been coming to the event for 10 years.

“Everyone can come out for free or almost free and enjoy the park and the show with their neighbors,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Nashua, Holman Stadium was setting up for the delayed Independence Day celebrations. Although other Nashua Fourth of July activities were canceled because of Friday’s weather, crowds began gathering at Holman and the surrounding area for the firework show by late afternoon Saturday.

Gary Kudalis and his family set up their souvenir booth at the corner of Amherst Street and Sargent Avenue at 5:30 a.m.

“We’ve been doing this close to 15 years now,” he said. “We started with a little card table, selling glow necklaces and freeze pops.”

Kudalis said the first year, they spent more money on ice than they made because of the heat.

By early evening, he said it looked like the same volume of people as a typical Fourth of July.

Kudalis’ wife, Diane, her sister Julie Quigley and his daughters Carly and Taylor all worked at the booth. His family works together every year to put it together.

This year, Taylor and her friends made red, white and blue tie-dye T-shirts to sell.

“We enjoy it,” he said, “And the customers keep coming back.”

Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-6402 or Also, follow Forbes on Twitter (@Telegraph_TinaF).