Today, as with many of the towns on the New Hampshire border with Massachusetts, Hollis is rapidly changing from mixed-use farmland (orchards, corn, pumpkins, other vegetables) to a bedroom community for the 54% of working residents who travel to other towns in New Hampshire, and the 30% who work out of state.
Hollis is steeped in tradition and has several lively celebrations characteristic of many old New England towns, including two lovely harvest festivals and their annual celebration called “Old Home Days.”
Hollis Old Home Days is an annual weekend celebration focused on “the days of Hollis Past”.” The “Old Home Days” tradition derived from activities established in New Hampshire in 1899, by Governor Frank West Rollins , in an effort to create some buzz and to draw people back to New Hampshire towns. Hollis Old Home Days reemerged in 1996 along side of the town’s 250th anniversary. There is a strong focus on showing the current generation of residents where Hollis came from and the traditional values that made Hollis the wonder place it is today. In 2010 the event included “amusement rides, parade, barbecue, silent auction, booths, fireworks, live music, balloon rides, pet parade, heritage craft demonstrations” and various other activities. It is generally held over the second weekend in September at Nichols Field in downtown Hollis.
The annual Hollis Strawberry Festival each June features a concert by the town band accompanied by a multitude of strawberry-based treats for sale including strawberry shortcake, pies as well as ice cream made from locally grown strawberries.
The Hollis Apple Festival is held each year in October and often includes a concert by the Hollis Town Band. The festival has previously included the Applefest Half Marathon which was first run in 1983.In fact In 2008, it was named “Race of the Year” by New England Runner. The Applefest is often co-hosted by the Hollis Women’s Club among other Hollis organizations.
There are four schools in Hollis, two of which are part of the Hollis/Brookline Cooperative School District. Hollis Primary School serves kindergarten through third grade, and the Hollis Upper Elementary School serves grades four through six. The Hollis Brookline Middle School serves seventh and eighth grade and Hollis Brookline High School serves grades nine through twelve. The state if the art high school was built in 1998. And has gained many accolades for academic excellence as well as highly visible and competitive sports programs. The former high school became the current middle school, the former middle school became Hollis Upper Elementary, and the former Hollis Elementary became Hollis Primary. Recently, with the finishing of the newly constructed Montessori building, a new method of education has become available.