The Hippo


Jul 19, 2019








Photo by Annie Holt Photography.

Pirate and Princess Festival

When: Saturday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Milford Community House Lawn, 5 Union St., Milford
Cost: Free admission (varying costs for food, accessories and raffles)

Costumes encouraged
Pirate and Princess Festival returns to Milford

By Matt Ingersoll

 Watch your favorite fairy tales and storybooks come to life at the second annual Pirate and Princess Festival, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The free event will be held at the Milford Community House Lawn and will feature more than a dozen vendors, as well as fun pirate- and princess-themed games and family-friendly activities. Costumes are encouraged, and special costume accessories will be available at the festival for purchase.
“Since it’s a free event, people can just visit and walk around if they want to, and we’ll be cooking hot dog and hamburgers and have pizza and snacks and drinks and that type of stuff,” said Melissa Hardy, treasurer of the High Hopes Foundation and an organizer of the festival. “Last year we kind of just threw it together as a way to see what kind of feedback we’d get from the community. We had more than 400 parents and children, so it was a great success.”
All funds raised from vendor, food and raffle sales will benefit the High Hopes Foundation, a Nashua-based nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with serious or chronic illnesses.
Hardy said this year’s festival is expected to be much larger because more people have reached out looking to volunteer or spread the word.
“A lot of people may remember a balloon festival that we had in Milford for many years for High Hopes,” she said, “and that was one event where they got a majority of their funding. We haven’t had that event for some time, and so we’re trying to bring back a signature family event that we could put our name on.”
New features for this year’s festival include a DJ playing music throughout the day. Kids will also get a chance to make their own costume accessories, like a pirate sword and ship, and a princess wand and tiara.
Some of the vendors who will appear at the festival include Launch Trampoline Park of Nashua, Tokyo Joe’s Studio for martial arts training and Tastefully Simple.
“We’re also going to have a really big raffle with more than 40 giveaway items,” Hardy said. “We’ll be giving away everything from admission tickets to York’s Wild Kingdom to a one-night stay at the Mount Washington Resort. There will be levels of prizes that will be more expensive for raffle fees than others. We’ll have a lot of sports-related items too, like a signed Red Sox baseball, a Celtics team autographed basketball and a Patriots team autographed football.”
Hardy said as of this spring, the High Hopes Foundation has become an entirely volunteer-based organization. The foundation launched in 1983 when New Hampshire neighbors Jacqueline Yinger and Dawn Cavanaugh started it as a community support initiative to send Jacqueline’s young daughter, a cancer patient at the time, to Disney World.
“It’s a bit different from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the sense that it’s not necessarily always children with [life-threatening] illnesses but also children with medical challenges in their day-to-day lives,” Hardy said. “We’ve granted more than 500 experiences to children. Some of the more recent ones were to raise money for dog training lessons for a boy with autism, once he found that being with a dog could help him go to school and be in public without the fear that he had socially. We also helped a girl who had cerebral palsy get horseback riding lessons to help her with her everyday life.”

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