Hardware store ‘anvil drop’ will draw festive crowd Thursday

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It’s starting to feel like the dog days of summer–most of the summer festivals are over, kids’ sports seasons are done, and the TV and newspapers are filled with back-to-school ads. But don’t despair, because one of the best summer activities is scheduled to take place this week: the Gardner Hardware Anvil Drop.

Gardner Hardware is located in a great old brick building at 515 Washington Avenue North. During the annual Anvil Drop, the parking lot is filled with food, hardware vendors, music, and at least one old beater car. Each year, Savage Aural Hotbed entertains the crowd with their loud, rhythmic songs, which involve pounding on old oil drums, and before long folks begin to appear on the roof to drop old food–like cantaloupes, melons, and eggs–off the roof of the building onto the beater car(s) below. Watch out for the splatter–it gets sticky! Watermelon in particular can go quite a long way.

After plenty of melons and eggs have been launched, the crowd is worked into a frenzy when the anvil appears. With great drama, a countdown is held until foom! the anvil is dropped and it falls to the ground like a missile, cutting straight through the car’s roof. The good thing is that someone then usually grabs the anvil and drags it back up to the roof to drop it again.

It truly is an event not to be missed, so make sure you’re at Gardner Hardware for the big drop on Thursday. The event begins at 3:00 pm, with Savage Aural Hotbed beginning to play at 5:00 and the drop scheduled for 7:00. There will also be food, a raffle, product demonstrations, and free samples. Proceeds benefit the MS Society.

And while you’re at Gardner, step inside and see what a nice hardware store it is. If you’re like me and hate the vastness and stupidity of Home Depot, you’ll like the size, scale, and simplicity of Gardner. You can get a key made there, or pick up dog food, or paint, or a power tool, and feel good about patronizing an independent store that’s been around for +125 years and drops anvils from its roof. Can’t ask for more than that.

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