Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

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

New Hampshire Open Doors 2013

New Hampshire Open Doors gives everyone the opportunity to meet hundreds of crafters, artists, farmers, and other creative folk in their own workshops or studios.  This year Open Doors will be held the weekend of November 2nd and 3rd.   For an “up close and personal” time with these inventive people, this can’t be beat!

Gibson Pewter, Hillsborough
Gibson Pewter, Hillsborough

What began 9 years ago as a way of letting New Hampshire residents know about the great crafters in their midst has grown into a celebration of everything created in New Hampshire – from beer to high-end paintings. Local farms, chocolatiers, wineries, and bakeries join potters, jewelers, clothiers, quilters, photographers and painters for this event.  No matter where you live in the state, you will be able to meet dozens of your most creative neighbors during this two-day celebration.  Also included in the Open Doors event are retail stores like Wilderness Creations (Dublin) and the Black Moose Country Store (Windham) which specialize in handcrafted New Hampshire made products.

Oak Leaves Studio, Wilton

Oak Leaves Studio, Wilton

It’s a great way to start your holiday shopping.  The New Hampshire Open Doors website makes stopping and shopping very easy.  The website includes lists of the participants by name, category, and location, and even contains tours that take you to several crafters who live in adjacent areas, such as the Keene area, Mont Vernon, and the Peterborough region.  Further afield, tours are also listed for central and northern New Hampshire places like, Canterbury, Walpole, and Plymouth. Check out the website for the list of participants, detailed maps and directions, and the times each shop or studio will be open.

Restaurant Week Portsmouth & the Seacoast – Fall 2013

Restaurants in New Hampshire’s shore towns are collaborating on a Fall Restaurant Week Portsmouth and the Seacoast which will be held from November 7th through the 16th.  Some of the best eating places in the greater Portsmouth area will be offering 3-course prix fixe lunch menus for $ 16.95 and dinners for $ 29.95 (per person; not including drinks and taxes).  The types of eateries joining in this event include a wide variety establishments, from casual dining to elegant upscale restaurants.Market Square

Popular Portsmouth eateries such as the Black Trumpet Bistro, Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Café, the Portsmouth Gas Light Co., and the reborn Rosa are being joined by select restaurants in surrounding towns to make this a special happening. Restaurants from Exeter to New Castle and from Hampton to York, ME are participating.  The list includes the Three Chimneys Inn in Durham, Anneke Jans in Kittery, Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter, Salt in New Castle, and the Stage Neck Inn in York.

For more information on Restaurant Week Portsmouth and a list of all the participating eateries, check out the Restaurant Week Portsmouth page on the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce website.

2013 Southern New Hampshire Expo

Mark your calendars for October 17th. The 2013 Southern New Hampshire Expo is an event you won’t want to miss!  Over 200 local businesses will be on hand to introduce themselves, show their products, and answer questions about their services.  More than 3,500 people came to the Hampshire Dome in Milford, NH to experience last year’s Expo, and it looks like this year’s fair will be bigger and better than ever.

The Expo is a great way to find out about the wide variety of services and products available in the area.  Big companies and small, old and new, they’ll be there! You are sure to discover businesses you didn’t know about – products you didn’t know were available – and services you didn’t think you could find. The scope of companies range from Aquatic Creations to the Wireless Zone, services like Amherst Recreation and Bridges to the Milford Rotary and Welcome Wagon.  Hampshire Hills will have a booth, as will Chappell, Home Depot, Staples, and hundreds of others. SONH Expo

Several eating establishments will also be present – offering free tastings. Sample the savory flavors of some of the area’s best restaurants, including Giorgio’s, the Mile Away, and the Copper Door.  Casual dining restaurants like T-Bones, the Hilltop Café, and Longhorn Steakhouse will also be well-represented.  In addition, many other quality food purveyors such as The Cozy Tea Cart and A&E Coffee Roastery will be distributing samples of their flavorful creations.

The service companies that will be represented cover a wide field, from institutions like the Bridges and the NH Citizen’s Corp to the Birth Cottage of Milford and Living at Home Senior Care.

There will be prize drawings every half hour, entertainment at the main stage, and strolling entertainers. The Expo will once again be hosting the high school Robotics Challenge this year. Teams from several area high schools will be on hand to demonstrate their innovative robotic creations.  Come visit with some of the brightest engineers and scientists of tomorrow and see what they have designed.PVR at SONHE2012

I and some of my associates from Prudential Verani Realty will have a booth at the Expo.  Please stop by and say hello!  Donna Damore, Fred Massone, Sanna Card, Lynn Daigle and I can assist you with any questions you have about buying or selling a home.  This year we will be offering our popular raffle again, with gift cards and other great prizes donated by our business partners:  Residential Mortgage Services (RMS), Broker’s Title, Merrimack Mortgage, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

The Southern New Hampshire Expo is a program of the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce. Expo hours will be 2 to 7:30PM Thursday October 17th at the Hampshire Dome on Emerson Road in Milford.  More information may be found on the Expo’s website.  For a list of vendors, click here.

22nd Annual Keene Pumpkin Festival

Saturday October 19th is the date for this year’s Pumpkin Festival in downtown Keene.

The Festival starts at 8:30AM with the Great Pumpkin Mile Race. The Food Court opens at 11:30, featuring traditional fall foods like apple crisp and maple cotton candy. At 12:30 the Costume Parade kicks off. From then until 8:30 PM there will be entertainers at the bandstand, roving street performers, children’s activities, a craft fair, pumpkin bowling, and a chance to see a great display of carved pumpkins. The lighting of the pumpkins starts at 4PM.pumpkins

Last year, 26,812 jack-o-lanterns were displayed at the Pumpkin Festival.  It would be great to break that record this year.  And this year, Festival organizers are making it easier than ever to participate!

C&S Wholesale Grocers have donated 20,000 pumpkins for the Keene Festival. Individuals or families that would like to carve some gourds can collect free pumpkins on Tuesday October 15th.  Families, school groups, and other organizations that would like to carve 25 or more pumpkins for the Festival should register in advance before October 15th for their free pumpkins. For details of this free program and information on how to register, click here.

This year, HGTV Magazine will be holding a series of programs at the Gilbo Avenue Welcome Center on fall themes starting at 1PM:  autumn entertaining, pumpkin decorating, and Halloween gift and candy giving.

Main Street will be closed to traffic during the Festival.  People may park at designated spots in and around Keene or at the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey and hop a shuttle to downtown Keene; there is a charge for parking. This webpage has full parking details.

For more information on this year’s Keene Pumpkin Festival, go to this website.

UPDATE:  Keene beat the world’s record with a count of 30,581 lighted pumpkins on October 19th!