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The Dartmouth
April 15, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Local residents join in for weekend festivities

Hanover resident Toby Fried knows Homecoming is not just for students. Fried has been taking his son Danny to the Homecoming football game and bonfire for the past thirteen years. Many local residents participate in Homecoming events and the weekend also provides a boost for local businesses.

Fried, owner of Lou's Restaurant, feels Homecoming is a good social event.

"It's just bringing people together around a bonfire," Fried said. "It's great to see people together and you always see people you know. It's like the lighting of the Christmas tree -- kids love it and adults love it."

While White River Junction resident Sheila Maccherone does not attend the Homecoming football game, she agreed that the bonfire draws many local residents.

"I think it's great for the town because it brings in a lot of people and standing in front of the bonfire gives you a great primitive feeling," she said.

As the owner of a restaurant, Fried sees an increase in business over the weekend.

"The whole weekend is busier," he said. "It also depends on the weather and on the football team."

Tom Byrne '55 is the chairman of the Board of the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, which sends out approximately 350 newsletters to local businesses listing upcoming events at the College, including the Homecoming weekend festivities.

"The bonfire to me is a great community event. It brings people out," Byrne said. "It still is a magnet for people in the town."

Fried still goes to the bonfire and football game with his family. His only real concern is that the College might try to change parts of Homecoming, such as the bonfire, he said.

"It's good -- more of these types of things are better," Fried said. "They should keep on doing [the bonfire]. You always hear talk about making the bonfire smaller for safety reasons and that sort of thing, but they shouldn't make it smaller, because the reason it's so great is that it's big."