For just over two decades three towns in the North Country have held a Moose Festival at the end of August. And, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that such an homage would include a moose calling contest.
This one started with a demonstration by Roger Irwin, a wildlife photographer and experienced moose vocalist.
“Now I’ll try and do a cow call. This is the cow. She’s asking for a bull to come visit her.”
There were about a dozen folks trying to make that moosey come-hither sound.
“Somebody named Joyce. We have no last names. Joyce is in the adult category. Let’s giver he a big, old moose chant.”
“Moose, moose, moose.”
Then, Joyce gave it a try.
The festival takes place over three days in Colebrook, Pittsburg and Canaan, Vermont. It’s an economic development effort says Britni White, an official with the North Country Chamber of Commerce.
“It is a fundraiser for the chamber but it is also an attempt to boost the economy in general by bringing people to the area.”
It began Friday with a street fair.
Saturday the major event moved to Canaan, Vermont, just across the Connecticut River. There was a band and hot-air balloon rides.
There was a maple syrup tasting contest that predictably left kids with sticky fingers and sugary smiles.
Man at the stand: “You got a favorite or are they just all good?”
Kid: “Two, I think. Two is my favorite so far.”
There was a car show and vendors with arts and crafts and food.
And there was a dog show to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. There were also horse-drawn wagon rides.
Donna Jordan, one of this year's organizers, figures at least three thousand people attended.
No moose showed up. But for many the delicate, yearning sound of those moose calls was remembered.