Post written by Frank Roche, President, Roche Realty Group, Inc.
Lake Winnipesaukee is humming this winter with 2 huge events. Last weekend the New England Pond Hockey Classic was held on Meredith Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee. This is the 4th year for this huge growing event, which is the brainchild of Scott Crowder-the hockey player turned entrepreneur. What a fabulous job Scott did this year in organizing over 1,400 hockey players and opening up 21 individual rinks on Meredith Bay in front of the Inn at Bay Point. What a huge attendance! People came up from everywhere to enjoy this true “Currier and Ives” setting, going back to the old days of outdoor pond hockey and the invigorating feel of a true winter event. This year’s classic started on Friday morning and continued through Sunday. The organizers of the event had their hands full this year with the large amount of rain we received prior to the event. The event went off perfectly and the ice hardened beautifully in time for 200 teams to compete on Lake Winnipesaukee’s 21 rinks.
Many age divisions were sold out within hours of registration, which is a testimony to the type of event this has been growing into. Many of the hockey players from New England were attracted to the beautiful outdoor setting with the mountains in the background and Meredith Village as a focal point with its fine restaurants, inns, and warm village atmosphere. A number of welcome parties were thrown by some of the sponsors including LaBatt Blue and Bauer. Frank Roche commented, “I’ve attended this fantastic event for the past 4 years and have seen it increase in size immensely. This is a wonderful, healthy, down-to-earth sporting event that brings a lot of people and interest into the Lakes Region during our slow winter months. I can see this event growing steadily like the Timberman Triathalon in Gilford, which has grown into a nationally acclaimed sporting competition. Everyone in the Lakes Region is very proud of what Scott Crowder and his organizational team has been able to accomplish in such a short time. All of us have benefited from this great event in the Lakes Region and it exposes so many people to the wonderful 4 seasons of recreation we have in the Lakes Region. Even after the event on Wednesday of this week I saw a group of young hockey players having a game out on one of the ice rinks. It creates a strong tradition for the Lakes Region and ties in with our 4 seasons of fun and recreation!”
Derby weekend is here…Thousands of ice fishermen will be flocking to Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith. The town of Meredith is host to one of the Lakes Region’s biggest winter events…the Great Rotary Fishing Derby presented by the Meredith Rotary Club. This event brings ice fishermen from around the country to Meredith and the surrounding towns for a weekend of fun, fishing, and taking in all of the special events during the weekend. Feb. 9th and 10th expect to see exciting crowds scattered around Lake Winnipesaukee. Couple this event with a projected blizzard snowstorm for Friday through Saturday afternoon and you have the ingredients for a historic event and storm! It should be an interesting weekend as the snow plows open up the roadways. You’ll see all sorts of vendors out on the lake selling their wares, coffee, food, and beverages. Snowmobilers will be cruising down to Meredith Bay from all parts of the lake to view this unique, one-of-a-kind event where the lake is literally filled with scattered bob houses of different colors— a really unique event to photograph. Tickets are $30 and are available at more than a dozen locations around Winnipesaukee including the Winnisquam Trading Post, the Alton Circle Grocery, Skellys Market, Paugus Bay Sporting Goods, and AJ’s Bait and Tackle. Ticket revenue goes to great prizes, donations to local organizations, and stocking of fish. This year’s prizes will all be in cash: first prize is $15,000, second prize is $5,000, and the third prize is $3,000. The volunteers who put on this great family event do a phenomenal job. A filming and a documentary was also completed on the Great Rotary Fishing Derby..The Movie! Even if you’re not fishing in this year’s derby, bring the family, children, and grandchildren to derby headquarters at Rotary Park in Meredith. The children love it, seeing the big board with all of the catches of the day mounted, competing for the biggest prize. Stop by and support the many vendors out on the lake, grab a hot dog and some coffee, and socialize with all the natives. This is truly a one-of-a-kind winter event with a great New England atmosphere in one of the most scenic resort villages in America.