Learn to ski or ride in the New Year


Beginners can learn to ski or snowboard without hurting their wallets by taking advantage of some great deals at New Hampshire ski areas this year.

January is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month for many participating New Hampshire ski areas, which are offering packages that make it easy and affordable to learn a fun winter sport.

Following the recent snowfall, there is lots of beginner terrain to explore. There is also plenty of winter ahead, making January a perfect time to learn how to ski and ride. For first-time skiers and riders, professional instruction can have a long-lasting impact on their enjoyment on the slopes.

"Taking a lesson is unquestionably the best way to start skiing or snowboarding," said Jessyca Keeler of Ski NH. "You will gain some essential skills to being safe as soon as you start learning, like how to make a turn and how to stop. The one- to two-hour investment in time is just that - an investment. It's an investment in learning a new activity that you can enjoy for the rest of your life, and one you can easily participate in with friends and family."

Across New Hampshire, many ski areas are offering a $39 lift, lesson and rentals beginner package for downhill skiing and riding, and a $19 trail pass, lesson and rentals beginner package at cross-country ski areas throughout the month of January. Availability of the offer varies at each participating ski area and reservations must be made in advance, so call or view online the resort of your choice for lesson times, etc. Resorts participating in the January Learn to Ski & Ride Month offer and links to their programs and phone numbers can be found at www.skinh.com/learn/january-learn-to-ski-snowboard-month.

For families who want to get their little ones on the slopes for the first time, or adults who have always longed to ski or ride but never tried, ski areas around the state are also offering a number of learn to ski and ride deals that last all season long.

Ragged Mountain's Bebe Wood Free Learn to Ski & Ride program is a new, season-long program for anyone over the age of 7 who wants to learn to ski or ride. The offer includes three lessons, lower mountain lift tickets, and the use of brand new Rossignol rental equipment – all for free. Mount Cranmore's Rossignol Get Skiing Package for true beginners includes three lessons, lift tickets and ski rentals for $349. With the completion of the third lesson, students receive a new pair of Rossignol Experience 74 skis with bindings and a discount card for ski boots at Sport Thoma ski shop.

Loon Mountain is offering its First Class Beginner's Weekends in January and March. These intensive weekends lay a strong foundation for beginners over the age of 13, and include lessons, the use of a private slope-side learning lounge, morning coffee, lunch, après ski gatherings and a free pair of HEAD skis, boots and bindings for each participant for $375.

Other resorts are offering season-long discounts for those who want to learn to ski and ride. At Mount Sunapee, the three-day Start Here Learn to Ski/Snowboard package includes rentals, two-hour lesson, a day-long ticket to the South Peak Learning Area, and discounts on a second and third day of skiing. This offer also applies to telemark skis for those who want to learn a new style of skiing. Gunstock Mountain Resort offers a Mountain Magic 3 Lesson Package, which includes three lessons, lower mountain lift ticket and rentals. Graduates of the program not only get discounts on future lessons, rentals and certain lift ticket packages, but Gunstock also guarantees that students will learn the basics of skiing or riding after three lessons or the resort will provide additional instruction.

To learn more about Learn to Ski & Ride Deals in January and throughout the season, go to http://www.skinh.com/deals/Learn-to-Deals.

ArtPlace-The art of Tim Campbell (455) w/ 3 pics

by Barbara Gibbs/The Art Place

Tim Campbell identifies with the term of outsider art, which was coined by an art critic in 1972 as an English synonym for "art brut" — French, meaning raw art or rough art. The critic, Roger Cardinal, used this term to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture. The term "outsider art" is often applied more broadly to include self-taught or naïve art makers. Campbell's work reflects his sharp sense of humor, and interest in primitive folk art as well as contemporary political and religious imagery. His work covers a vast range of subjects, including North American birds, his "Animals as People" series, and folk-style map paintings. He also loves to create caricature-like portraits, accentuating odd features and stretching proportions to fit the look he wants. "I like anything that's not right. I don't like perfect things."

His collection of maps includes one of Lake Winnipesaukee with our own "Nessy" popping up out of the water. Tim's collection of birds includes a robin, cardinal, chickadee, goldfinch, as well as New Hampshire's own purple finch. Of course, he has added a loon or two to the collection. This series demonstrates a more specific and detailed approach to his art. He paints his native New Hampshire fish series in a more Americana style. Having a birthday on Oct. 31, Campbell has made a lot of images relating to the Halloween holiday. He has an entire series of popular Halloween scenes and images that he has made into cards. These and other holiday cards go over very well. Campbell said, "My work is both thought-provoking and humorous. It has taken Folk Art to a new level." Campbell also creates sculptural pieces. "They are created entirely from recycled wood and metal. Using vintage pieces for my painted furniture gives them a primitive appearance. Each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind."

Campbell was born in Keene and decided to be an artist in second grade when he beat even high schoolers in an art competition. Later on, Campbell actually failed an art class in high school, but didn't let it kill his passion. Campbell's art career has flourished since then, and his work can be found in galleries around the United States and internationally. In 2010, Campbell was honored with the highest award as a traditional artisan in "The Early American Life" magazine's Directory of Traditional American Crafts.

Campbell works in his studio in Keene, with his dog, Otis, a Jack Russell terrier who keeps him company while he works, and serves as a muse for this whimsical self-taught artist. His original art as well as prints, can be seen at The Art Place, downtown Wolfeboro.


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Too sexy for karaoke? Not these Lakes Region performers

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During karaoke night, Mike Gentile, a vocalist for a rock band, belts out hard rock at the Broken Spoke in Laconia. (David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun)


LACONIA — Bobby O'Neill of Meredith knows how to finish a song.
After growling out "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred, O'Neill does a little dance and wiggles his tush, just as depicted in the song's lyrics.
An appreciative crowd at the Broken Spoke howls with laughter as O'Neill returns to the bar.
Welcome to karaoke night.
The Broken Spoke, 1072 Watson Road, Laconia, hosts karaoke on Thursday nights.
The Rod and Gun Club, 358 S. Main St., Laconia, hosts karaoke on Friday nights.
For about two years, on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., the Copper Kettle Tavern at Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant in Meredith has run its version, with roughly 30 to 60 people attending.
"It's a wide range," says Sim Willey, one of the owners of Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant in Meredith (www.hartsturkeyfarm.com), about the types of people who get up and sing to recorded music. It depends on the time of year. In the summer, families will hit the floor, while in the winter, more local residents will grab the mic, he said.
Asked if he tries out his singing prowess, Willey quickly demurs.
"No, I'm terrible," he admits.
O'Neill, karaoke performer at the Broken Spoke, keeps it light when talking about his reasons for singing in front of a crowd. "I've been singing ever since my mother said I should go to Hollywood. She said the walk would do me good," he quips.
His favorite song is "Come Monday," by Jimmy Buffett.
"Sometimes when you get women that are even older than me, they'll toss me a buck or two," O'Neill says with a grin.
His standbys include "I'm Too Sexy," — "that's the only one that I have the words memorized for, other than 'Tequila.'"
Tim Parker, karaoke DJ from Laconia, has spent six to eight years running the equipment at karaoke nights at the Rod and Gun Club and the Broken Spoke.
Crowds will call for the newer music, such as "Uptown Funk," as well as the classic rock, the "new country" and the country standards that are staples of his playlist.
"I do a lot of birthday parties, weddings, company parties. I've done a lot of Christmas parties as well," he says. Alcohol is not essential to karaoke, but it helps, Parker notes.
"It helps you relax a little bit. If you're a little bit nervous about singing for the first time, you might as well have a shot and go for it," Parker says.
AC/DC ranks among the toughest bands to emulate; Aerosmith, Guns & Roses and Journey all feature lead singers with high tenors (or the screaming equivalents).
"You're only going to sing as good as you think you are, but everybody is a winner in karaoke land. No matter how good or bad you sing, everybody is number one," Parker says.
Some DJs project lyrics on the wall, while others, like Parker, scroll lyrics on a TV screen for the singer to follow. He pays for a subscription to pull down songs from the internet. His backup is a hard drive with songs on it in case the internet fails.
The venues pay for his services, and usually the nights go off without a hitch. Usually.
"Be patient with your karaoke host, sometimes things don't work," Parker says, noting that electronics can be fickle and prone to crash on the rare occasion.
Alicia Turner, bartender and manager at the Broken Spoke, says Parker draws a faithful crowd on Thursdays. Turner, herself a talented karaoke performer, says her favorite song is "I'm the Only One" by Melissa Etheridge.
"We have all sorts of variety," she says.
"Everyone has their own vocals, everyone can do different things with their voice, but we don't really have bad singers. We have a lot of really good singers. I think they're people who are in bands who are trying to practice. You're hearing a bunch of people sing for free, a bunch of really good artists," Turner says.
The feared variety of karaoke known as "scary-aoke" brings drunken, off-key singers to the forefront, but that doesn't happen often at the Broken Spoke, Turner says. But no stigmas attach to anyone who has a few drinks and butchers a song, she adds.
"We accept everyone up there," she says.


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DJ Tim Parker runs the karaoke equipment and occasionally grabs a microphone to belt out a tune. Rick Reed helps Parker with set-up; he's also the drummer in a band that Parker takes to bars. (David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun)

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"I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred receives an interpretation from Bobby O'Neill, karaoke performer, at the Broken Spoke in Laconia. (David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Alicia Turner, bartender and manager at the Broken Spoke in Laconia, takes to the microphone while DJ Tim Parker runs the karaoke equipment. (David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun)

Great Waters announces 2017 performances

WOLFEBORO — Great Waters Music Festival in Wolfeboro has announced its complete musical line up for the 2017 year, including five events at the Kingswood Arts Center, four at the Great Hall, two at Anderson Hall and a fundraising event at the Pinckney Boathouse.

The season starts with folk artist Tracy Grammer at the Great Hall in the renovated Wolfeboro Town Hall on March 24, then rising star Hayley Reardon follows at the same location on April 21. For the second year in a row, Great Waters will present" An Evening of Barbershop," featuring three New England quartets at the Great Hall on May 12.

The Kingswood series starts on June 30 with Neil Berg's "102 Years of Broadway," followed by their fundraising event at the Pinckney Boathouse featuring cabaret style entertainment from Chris Shepard and Rebecca Robbins.

Back to the Kingswood Arts Center on June 30 with The Doo Wop Project featuring the great rock and roll sounds from the '50s and '60s. Great Waters is planning a free event for the community on July 21 with more details to follow.

Local favorites The Ossipee Mountain Boys will perform at The Great Hall on July 28, then "When Swing Was King – A Tribute to Benny Goodman" will be at Kingswood on Aug. 4.

On Aug. 11 Great Waters will present "Yellow Brick Road," featuring all the great songs from Elton John at Anderson Hall. Then back to the Kingswood Arts Center for the final two events – VoicePlay on Aug. 18 and Barbra & Frank – The Concert That Never Was featuring the hit songs of Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra on Aug. 25.

Great Waters Music Festival begins its 23rd season in 2017 and is currently seeking volunteers and committee members to help continue bringing quality music and entertainment to the Lakes Region area.

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