Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

Southern New Hampshire Life - Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

The 2013 Symposium at the Andres Institute of Art

Andres Institute of Art celebrates outdoor sculpture in a natural setting at Big Bear Mountain in Brookline. 

Every fall, the Institute invites a select number of artists from around the world to come to their studio to create works for their collection. The 15th Annual International Sculpture Symposium will be held from September 15th through October 6th, featuring four celebrated sculptors: Florin Strejac of Romania, Greg Spitzer from Massachusetts,  Jocelyn Pratt of New Zealand and Helgi Gíslason from Iceland.

Andres Inst. of Art

The theme for this year’s creations is “Introspection”   During this Symposium, the public is invited to view the artists while they work, interact with them, join guided tours of the collection, and attend the unveiling of the newest artworks on October 6th.

The Institute, which is open from dawn to dusk, is at 98 Route 13 in Brookline; admission is free.  There are several walking trails that take visitors to the 60+ sculptures that are sited in natural settings on the hillside.  For more information about Andres Institute of Art, click here; for more on this year’s Symposium, visit the Institute’s website.

The Hillsborough County Fair

The 56th Annual Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair will be held from Friday September 6th through Sunday the 8th. This is a true county aggie fair, but there are many programs that will inform and entertain the many townies in Hillsborough County too.

Some highlights of the Fair are The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-in on Friday, square dancing on Saturday, and a program featuring horticulturist Margaret Hagen, well-known from her appearances on WMUR Channel 9, on Sunday.

Cow at a fair

There will be many classes for 4-Hers and farmers; cooking, quilting, wood carving, fruit, vegetable, and photography contests; cow, sheep, rabbit, dog, and goat shows; horse log skidding; and horse, oxen, lawn tractor, and truck pulls.  This year there will also be demonstrations by the New Hampshire School of Falconry.

Some of the more popular competitions include the pie eating, horseshoe throwing, and pumpkin weighing contests. Other entertainment ranges from midway amusement rides and Mo the Clown to the Cowboy Mounted Shooters and many musical groups, including the Tammy Lynn Myles High Band and the Barn Fire Band.

Carousel at a fair

The Hillsborough County Fair will be at 15 Hill Dale Lane, off of State Route 13, in New Boston. Hours:  Friday Noon to 6; Saturday 9AM to 7PM; Sunday 9AM to 6PM.  General admission: $ 10/day; children 6-12, seniors 65+, active military and veterans: $ 5/day. For more details and a schedule of the Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair click here.

Recouping Costs of Home Remodeling and Renovations

One of the aspects of remodeling or renovating your home is whether the project is a good investment.  Most people want to know if they will recoup the costs of the renovation or remodeling when they sell their property.

The Appraisal Institute, the national organization of professional real estate appraisers, recently published an article indicating which renovations have the highest value added for the cost incurred.  Click here for this short publication.

Their article is based on a country wide study by  This study, available online, lists the job costs and resale values of the 20+ most popular remodeling projects. The prices and resale values are given for both mid-range and upscale renovations.

The costs – and the resale value – of a renovation vary significantly throughout the United States, which makes this study so valuable. The Remodeling 2013 Cost vs. Value Report not only has national figures, but also the statistics for New England, and various subregions, such as the Manchester-Nashua NH area, the Boston-seacoast NH region, Central Massachusetts, etc.

Access to the statistics is free, and a detailed printout is available by registering with the website.  For greater Nashua-Manchester’s report, click here. The publication for Rockingham County NH and Greater Boston is available on this webpage, and central Massachusetts information is available here.

Considering buying a home? Let me assist you to find the perfect property for you!

Call (cell: 603-321-9895; direct office: 603-459-1103; general office 603-888-4600) or email

Steve Russo

– Steve Russo, Connecting People with Homes in Southern New Hampshire and North Central Massachusetts.


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2013 Hampton Beach Seafood Festival

Hampton Beach is the place to be the weekend after Labor Day!  This is the 24th year for the very popular Hampton Beach Seafood Festival.  Over sixty restaurants are slated to be dishing out great seafood – clams, shrimp, and lobster –  and their accompaniments – at Center Beach on Ocean Boulevard from Friday evening September 6th through Sunday evening the 8th.  For variety, the eateries will also be offering barbecue ribs, steak tips, and many other dishes to satisfy your appetite.

Along with the great fare, there will be over 80 local arts and crafts vendors and 15 bands and orchestras providing music from two stages.  For small children, there will be Kiddie Land.  For adults, the popular Lobster Roll Eating Contest takes place at 2PM on Saturday.  For all, there will be a great fireworks show Saturday at 8:15PM and a skydiving demonstration by 16 members of Skydive New England at 5PM on Sunday.  This is not a small get-together – over 150,000 people are expected.  Festival organizers recommend wearing comfortable shoes – and not to eat before you come!

Hampton Beach Seafood Festival hours: Friday 4 to 9PM; Saturday 10AM to 9PM; Sunday 10AM to 6PM. Admission: adults – $ 5 on Friday and Sunday, $ 8 on Saturday; children under 12 admitted without charge.  Free parking in over 13 lots throughout the town with free shuttle buses to Ocean Boulevard.  For more details, visit the Festival’s website.

The 98th Annual Hopkinton State Fair

This year the Hopkinton State Fair will run from Thursday August 29th through Monday September 2nd.  The fairgrounds are located on Route 103 in Contoocook, near the Hopkinton High School.  Horse at a fair

The fair will have one of the largest livestock exhibits in New England, 4-H exhibits, a farmyard animal petting barn, home and garden exhibits, and horse and pony wagon rides. Other entertainment will include comedians, bands, a magic show, truck and tractor pulls, a demolition derby, a sand sculpture competition, and New England’s biggest carnival midway.A Midway ride


The Fair hours will be: Thursday through Sunday 8AM – 11PM; Monday 8AM – 5PM.  The Midway will open at Noon on Thursday and Friday and at 10AM on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  The Fair’s website has a full schedule of events and all the details you will need to make your visit to the Hopkinton State Fair a memorable one.  To purchase your tickets in advance online, click here.

10th Annual Peach Festival in Milford

If you need an excuse to come to Lull’s great produce and gourmet shop in Milford, you definitely have one this Saturday, August 17th.  That’s when the Lull Farm Stand will once again be the location for the Annual Peach Festival.

As its name suggests, the Festival will feature everything peach: home baked peach pies and pockets (turnovers), regular and sugar-free peach jams, peach bread, peach shortcake, and peach sauce drenched sundaes.  There will also be hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch and a lobster dinner in the evening.

The event is sponsored by Milford’s Church of Our Saviour.  Proceeds of the Festival will be used to support the church’s outreach programs, including local food banks and the church’s partner in Angola, St. Andre’s Anglican Church in Ondjiva.

The peachy festivities will take place at Lull’s Milford location, 615 South Street (Route 13), from 9:30AM to 3PM, with lobster dinner sittings at 5 and 6PM.  Tickets for the lobster dinner should be purchased in advance at Lull’s, Toadstool Bookstore (Milford store), and the Milford Veterinary Hospital.  The Festival will be held rain or shine.