BELLOWS FALLS -- Though rumors there will be no pilgrimage to the Meeting House this weekend have proven false, this year’s installment of the tradition will be toned down considerably.
Rockingham Development Director Francis "Dutch" Walsh said the event will not be a formal as in past years due to a lack of time and volunteers needed to make it a bigger shindig.
Walsh said one of the younger members of the Rockingham Historical Commission had planned a wonderful arrangement of food and music as well as a guest speaker and a scavenger hunt. He said, however, it will have to wait until next year.
The development director said the Meeting House will nevertheless be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. He said self-guided tours of the Meeting House have been made possible.
The pilgrimage, started in 1907, is a beloved tradition and Walsh said it usually coincides with Old Home Days, a three-day festival held the first weekend of every August. It spans back to 1976 -- the 200th anniversary of the year the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
Last year’s pilgrimage featured a performance by indie-folk musicians Red Heart the Ticker, the stage name of Tyler Gibbons and Robin MacArthur, who have toured across the country and issued two self-recorded and self-produced albums.
The artists performed a mix of original songs and material from an album of New England songs.
Church services stopped being held there in 1819, but town meetings continued until 1869. After going unused for many years, it was restored by the town in 1907.
The meeting house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2000.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.