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  • by Tom Eastman

Selectmen Approve World Mud Bowl Plans

The Town of Conway Board of Selectmen formally approved a permit Tuesday which will allow the 1982 World Mud Bowl mud football championships to be held as planned in North Conway on September 10-12th. The permit allows the organizers of the gala event to hold a pep rally the night of Friday, September 10, to kick off the weekend's festivities, a parade from the American Legion Post 95 down Main Street to Schouler Park, and the games themselves on the 11th and 12th.

The National Mud Football League - Mt. Washington Valley Hog organizers David Cianciolo and Steve Eastman met with Selectmen Peter Pinkham, Bob Bumstead, Paul Ashnault and Assistant Town Manager John Walsh to present their plans for the vent. the meeting - the second to take place between the organizers and Town officials - formally clears the way for the staging of the mud football contests.

After listening to the organizers' plans for the charitable games, Selectman Paul Ashnault noted that his only concern was over public toilet facilities. Commenting that plans showing only two portable toilets would be inadequate, Ashnault noted that he would like to see more facilities established around Hog Coliseum, site of the games. "I'd like to see four more set up," said Ashnault, adding, "I'd rather see too many than not enough."

Both Cianciolo and Eastman noted that they would obtain the additional portable toilets, bringing the total to six. Combined with facilities at the North Conway Community Center and other sites, the portables bring the total for overall public facilities to 13. Small signs will be set up in the Coliseum, directing spectators to their whereabouts.

One of the most popular aspects of last year's World Mud Bowl Weekend - the parade - is set for Saturday the 11th. Participants will congregate at the American Legion parking lot at 10 a.m., with the procession set to get underway at 10:30 a.m. Passing by the reviewing stand in front of Carroll Reed's on Main Street, it will then enter Schouler Park at Norcross Circle. Cianciolo - who is serving as parade organizer with Eastman - predicted that the parade will probably be completed by 11:30 a.m.

"We do expect that the parade will be slightly larger than last year, but not overly so," commented Cianciolo. "We'll be looking for quality and humorous floats, not quantity - our priority is good entertainment in keeping with the nature of the games."

Cianciolo and Eastman noted that parking has been planned to follow the successful system worked out last year. Those plans have received Conway Chief of Police Don Lance's approval. Parking will be available at the North Conway Bank, the North Conway Country Club, the Village Parking Lot and at the former North Conway Grammar School.

A $30,000 bodily injury and $50,000 liability policy for property damage have been arranged for the event.

Security near the Beer Tent will be strengthened this year with the construction of a double fence around the area which will prevent the passing of beer to those outside the facility. "We didn't have any problems there last year, but Chief Lance recommended that we needed to strengthen the security. The double fence will eliminate any abuse in the drinking area, by preventing the viewing of the games from the tent as well as the passing of beer to others outside of the area," explained Cianciolo.

The Mt. Washington Valley Hogs - World Mud Football champions in 1975, '76, '77, '78, '80 and '81 - have been busy upgrading Hog Coliseum for the upcoming games in other areas as well. Team members have spent work weekends constructing cement posts atop the back row of the top stands to allow for easier access for senior citizen seating. Landscaping projects and a clearing up of the players' area have also taken place.

"Keep working on that amphitheater you've got there - you'll have a great facility for musicals concerts and Town events, Selectman Board Chairman Bob Bumstead told the Hog organizers. Upon being told that Portland Symphony Orchestra musical director Bruce Hangen once commented that it would be amusing to have the band play at the Mud Bowl, the Selectman replied, "Well good. We've got to get word out that we have cultured Hogs up here in the Valley." He added that the cooperation shown by the organizers towards Town Officials both this and last year is appreciated.

The charitable games will get under way with the semi-finals on Saturday, September 11, at 12 noon immediately after the parade. The finals - simply known as the World Mud Bowl - are set for Sunday at 12:30 pm. Teams participating in the event this year include the Valley's defending champion Hogs, the Carrabassett Valley Rats of Maine, the Massachusetts Muddahs, and PJ's Pub of Beverly, Massachusetts.

All proceeds from the World Mud Bowl benefit local charities and community organizations, including the North Conway Community Center and the Conway Recreation Center. Last year's games raised a total of $12,000 for the groups while generating promotional publicity for Mt. Washington Valley. A total of 5,000 people attended the games.

The World Mud Bowl is sponsored by Silver Brothers of New Hampshire, distributors of Lite Beer by Miller.


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