Reporting Lauren Leamanczyk
WOLFEBORO, N.H. (CBS) – The busy 4th of July week in picturesque Wolfeboro is even busier this year thanks to their most famous summer resident, presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“Most people, especially the merchants, are pretty excited about it,” said Bill Todesco at his Main Street hot dog stand.
Romney and his family spend every Fourth at their compound on Lake Winnipesaukee. This year there are 30 of them, including all 18 Romney grandchildren. They try to keep a low profile.
“They don’t go around saying ‘Hey here we are.’ You know they’re not like that,” said Michael Travis, a year-round Wolfeboro resident.
But this year, keeping a low profile is tough. Reporters are all over town.
As the Romneys hang out at their lakefront property, the New Hampshire Marine Patrol and the Secret Service keep watch. Their black sedans stand out in town.
Even an annual trip to Bailey’s Bubble for ice cream turned into a photo shoot. Crowds gathered Monday night as Romney and his grandkids licked their cones.
“People all got out their cell phones and started snapping pictures, but they gave him space, which I was happy about,” said owner Deb Skelley.
The prospect of a president calling Wolfeboro home is a hot topic in town.
Some residents worry about the effect on traffic and the feel of the community as Wolfeboro’s profile grows, like Kennebunkport, Maine, the summer home of former President George H. W. Bush..
“It’s supposed to be calm and quaint, not big black cars driving around that look like Secret Service,” said Amy Bergeron.
But Romney’s success is also a boon for business, and a source of pride that has many humming “Hail to the Chief.”
“I think I’m honored that Mitt finds Wolfeboro such a special place like I do,” Skelley said.