Well, we had a great night on the square. Big crowd, terrific lighted floats, warm hospitality all around. I'm old enough to remember vaguely old-fashioned Saturday nights on the square, when everybody came to town. This is as close as it gets to that atmosphere these days. And it wasn't that cold, although if you stood around long enough you were likely to freeze in place. Plenty of free hot chocolate and cider, though.
The big Hotel Charitone sign flashed back to life on cue after 50 years, immediately after the "three, two, one" countdown. And that was great to see. Night photography is a tricky thing, so the actual colors aren't evident here: "Hotel" is green; "Charitone," a bright orange-red. This looks right to me, although there's still a little discussion about what the original colors were.
I was happy with the number of people who turned out for the earlier walking tour, then stuck with it. My toes were frozen by the time we got to the end on the west side, so went home and put on warmer socks after that.
Preoccupied with other things, I failed to catch the Historical Society float standing still, which is about the only way to get a decent photo after dark. So Kay kindly loaned me one of hers. I'm not sure people who haven't worked on one of these things realize just how complicated it is and a tremendous amount of work went into this. So thanks! We did win a prize; I'm just not sure yet which one.
The activity on Piper's Corner was indicative of what was going on all around the square --- crowded sidewalk outside, crowded aisles inside (free popcorn and hot cider at the back) and a live presentation in the front window.
And for various reasons I didn't get much farther after the parade, but then I do get a piece of free candy for each photo of Piper's published here (in my dreams).