Plans to host the 1936 New Hampshire American Legion Convention began immediately after the September 1935 vote for Newport as the convention site. The Post was required to show Legion organizers that Newport had the facilities to host the large number of people expected to attend. In December 1936 the Brewster Post created the American Legion Convention Corporation. The officers were President Samuel Edes, Vice Presidents Harold P. Shepard and Harold G. Fairbanks, Treasurer Curtis C. Chase, Secretary Charles Aiken, Assistant Secretary Ralph G. Stockwell, Directors Earl W. Douglass and Homer T. Sibley, and Judge Advocate Maurice J. Downing. Chairmen of the committees were Merton J. Sargent - Housing; Homer T. Sibley - Registration; R. P. Donovan - Advertising; Harold P. Shepard - Parade; Bernard Gilbo (Keene) - Drum Corps; Maurice J. Downing - Convention Ball; William F. Aiken - Entertainment; Earl W. Douglass - Banquet; George S. Harding - Concessions; Gilman Gunn (Keene) - Sons of American Legion; Nat Daimont - Sports; Leonard F. Dudley - Program; Harry Leaver - Boy Scouts; Arthur Bergeron - Transportation; Marshall Perkins - Police; W. F. Mansfield - Decoration; S. P. Rodeschin - Fireworks; Harold E. Jameson - Halls. Frank E. Learned was the general director of convention arrangements.
In April 1936 initial plans for the convention were formulated, with the entire membership of the Post called upon to help. The Claremont and New London Posts volunteered their services as well. July began with a canvas of the town to secure enough rooms for convention attendees. Rooms were also located in Claremont and around Lake Sunapee.
To help with parking, Newporters were asked to leave their cars at home. Parking lots were located in several large fields around town, with the central lot in the Fairbanks Field. A footbridge was constructed across the Sugar River to provide access to downtown through the playground. Condon’s provided bus service from the Lake Sunapee area.
The Universal Decorating Company of Watertown, Massachusetts was engaged to decorate Main Street. The Legion Hall, street lights, Town Hall and local businesses were decked out in red white and blue. Legionnaires granted the request of the Newport Ski Club to hold their second annual Pine Needle Ski Meet at Wilmarth Park during the festivities. Many other activities to entertain the crowd included an air show at Parlin Field, a huge carnival on the Billy Van Meadow, block dances, a vaudeville show and opening night fireworks. For the benefit of Legionnaires unable to attend the convention, WFEA Manchester and WNBX Springfield, Vermont planned to broadcast the opening session, addresses at the convention banquet, and the parade.
At registration each Legionnaire received three tickets. One ticket gave them a chance to win a Greun watch, donated by Maurice Downing. The other two tickets were for a chance to win a completely outfitted 1936 Deluxe model trailer, pictured here. Throughout the summer preceding the convention, Newporters traveled around the state with the trailer to publicize the convention. Percy A. Feather of Keene won the watch, and Virginia Dupont of Berlin won the trailer.