Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

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

Taste of the Nation – Manchester

Looking to enjoy some great food and support an important cause at the same time? Join gourmets and gourmands for this year’s Taste of the Nation in Manchester on Wednesday April 16th from 6 to 9PM. A benefit for Share Our Strength, which works to alleviate childhood hunger, this annual event attracts some of New Hampshire’s most prestigious restaurants.  This happening will take place at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester.

Taste of the Nation – Manchester is a great way to sample some of the best dishes from NH’s premier dining establishments. Over 50 eateries of all types and cuisines will be participating, including Amphora, the Bedford Village Inn, the Common Man, the Copper Door, Ignite Bar & Grill, Molly’s Tavern, Piccola Italia, Shorty’s, Unums, and Villa Blanca. 

Beverages will be provided by The Boston Beer Company, The Cozy Tea Cart, Milly’s Tavern, Southern Wine and Spirits, and others.  Baked Downtown Cafe & Bakery, Edible Arrangements,  Queen City Cupcakes,  and Triolo’s Bakery, among others, will be providing dessert selections.

Share Our Strength supports the NH Food Bank, NH Kids Count, NH Farm to School, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manchester.  For more information about Share our Strength, visit their website, No Kid Hungry.

Tickets for Taste of the Nation – Manchester  are $ 65 for general admission and $ 100 for VIP admission, which allows ticket holders to arrive at 5PM.  Tickets are available online here.

For more information on Manchester’s Taste of the Nation, click here.

Restaurant Week Portsmouth & the Seacoast – Spring 2014

Restaurants in New Hampshire’s shore towns are collaborating on a Spring Restaurant Week Portsmouth and the Seacoast which will be held from April 3rd through the 12th.  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).  Over forty eateries are joining in this event; they include a wide variety establishments, from casual dining to elegant upscale restaurants.

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.  Market Street

During this event, The Port Inn in Portsmouth is offering special discount rates, and the Music Hall has a full schedule of performances to make your night on the town special.

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.  The Music Hall schedule can be found here.

The 2014 Made in New Hampshire Expo

The 19th annual Made in NH Expo will be April 4th through 6th this year.  This fair highlights local New Hampshire businesses; over 110 will be there to introduce you to their offerings.  As the motto of the Expo is “Try It and Buy It,” many exhibitors will be giving away free samples.  Vendors run the gamut from Barkin’ Biscuits (all natural dog treats), Candia Vineyards, and the Granite State Candy Shop to Sunapee Granite Works (jewelry), Knot Again (cutting boards),  and Weeping Willow Fine Arts (jewelry and housewares).  Many new companies are joining veteran exhibitors at this fun fair. Other companies present will be showcasing a wide variety of products: foods, glassware, tableware, pet foods, skin care items, clothing, furniture, and various services.

The hours for the Made in New Hampshire Expo will be Friday  1 –  8PM; Saturday  10AM – 8PM; and Sunday 10AM – 4PM.   As usual, the Expo is at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester.  There is an admission charge; seniors and children’s tickets are discounted.  For more information see their website.   You can find a list of the Made in New Hampshire Expo exhibitors by clicking here. Mt. Monadnock

The 19th Annual New Hampshire Maple Weekend

To lift your spirits this cold and snowy winter, you can head south to Florida to bask in the sun – or stay here and be enrobed in the sweet scent of maple syrup being made! 

March 15 to April 6 has been designated Maple Sugaring Month this year, during which time sugar houses state wide open their doors to the public to show how maple sugar is made.  Visit demonstrations showing how gallons of freshly-tapped maple tree sap are transformed into maple syrup, maple sugar, and other great products.  Sam's Sugar Hse, Milford (1)

On NH Maple Weekend, March 22nd and 23rd, over 100 participating maple sugar houses throughout the state will be showing how syrup is made, handing out free samples, and selling one of NH’s most popular naturally made products.  Many sugar houses will be offering samples of maple candies, coffee, and doughnuts sweetened with maple syrup.  There will be a variety of other activities, including horse-drawn rides, petting farms, and of course, pancake breakfasts.   

For more information on NH Maple Weekend and NH Maple Sugaring Month, check out the website of the NH Maple Producer’s Association.  For a list of sugar house participating in Maple Weekend with a list of each one’s special Weekend activities, click here.


The 2014 Monadnock International Film Festival

The main events of the 2014 Monadnock International Film Festival will be taking place from Thursday April 10th through Saturday the 12th.  Highlighting local, US, and international films, MONiff’s website states that ”The festival’s goal is to bring great movies and their film makers and actors, to the Monadnock Region.”

This year’s films will be announced on March 7th.  In addition to screening movies, the festival will have panel discussions with film makers, actors, and directors and special events each day at which members of the public can mingle with film personnel.  DSC00467

Films are screened at the Colonial Theater on Main Street in Keene and at other locations around the town. This is a great opportunity to see presented on a theater screen films that might not otherwise be available in the New Hampshire area.  For ticket information, click here.

Ken Burns, one of the most celebrated documentary film makers, will highlight a fundraiser for the Festival a few days before MONiff.  An Evening with Ken Burns will take place from 5 to 7PM on Sunday March 30th at the Restaurant at Burdick Chocolates, 4 Main Street, Walpole, NH. Tickets are $ 75 per person, $ 125 per couple.  Click here for more information on this event.

This Monadnock International Film Festival is sponsored by Arts Alive, Keene State College, the Putnam Foundation, and several local businesses and arts groups.  MONiff has a very extensive website with in-depth treatments of the featured films, festival activities, and participants.


2014 Home Buyer Fair

Each year the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority sponsors a home buyer’s fair to bring together potential buyers, mortgage lenders, inspection companies, government agencies, and related businesses in one place – one-stop shopping for home buyers! This year the Home Buyer Fair will take place on Saturday March 8th at the Radisson Hotel –  Center of New Hampshire.

The NH Housing Finance Authority has scheduled very informative seminars at the Fair on how to pick the right mortgage, shopping for a home, and evaluating the soundness of a house.Rindge

If you are thinking of purchasing your first home or thinking of downsizing or upsizing, you will find many people ready to assist you. Major New Hampshire lenders such as Residential Mortgage Services and Merrimack Mortgage will be there, as well as Northway Bank, St. Mary’s Bank, and others. Home inspection services will also have booths, as well as insurance companies and real estate agencies.

Admission to the fair and the seminars is free. The hours for the Home Buyer Fair at the Radisson Hotel – Center of New Hampshire (700 Elm Street, Manchester) are 9AM – 2PM, Saturday March 16th. For more information, click here.

47th Annual New Hampshire State Home Show

What better way to fight off the winter blahs than to start thinking about spring and summer improvement projects for your house?  That’s why this is the perfect time for the New Hampshire State Home Show!  Now in its 47th year, the annual NH State Home Show brings to Manchester over 300 companies that can help you build or renovate your home.  From building contractors to painters, if a company has anything to do with housing, chances are, they’ll be here. New Boston 1.5

This is one of the area’s most popular functions of its kind, with an attendance of over 9,000.   Painters, roofers, landscapers, flooring and renovation specialists, and builders will all be at the Home Show to help you with your planning.  Banks will be at the Show too, to discuss financing possibilities. 


This annual event is sponsored by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of NH.  The 2014 NH State Home Show will be held Friday March 21st through Sunday March 23rd at the Center of NH at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester. Hours: Friday 1 – 8PM, Saturday 10AM – 6PM, Sunday 9AM – 4PM. This website offers more details about the 2014 New Hampshire State Home Show.   

Weighing whether to undertake a major remodel or to look for a new home? Check out the helpful tips and resources on my Facebook page.  

Old House & Barn Expo 2014

The 2014 Old House and Barn Expo will be held on March 15 and 16 at the Center of NH at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.  Hours are 9AM to 5PM both Saturday and Sunday. Fitzwilliam

Sponsored by the NH Preservation Alliance, this trade show is designed to present to old house and barn owners the experts that can help them preserve and revitalize their historic buildings.  There will be hourly lectures on a variety of topics and over 60 exhibitors and demonstrators.  DSC_2829

Noted speakers include barn repair specialists Steve Bedard and Ian Blackman, horticulturalist Tovah Martin, and historic interior experts Richard Nylander, Joe Cornish, and Sally Zimmerman.   DSC01410

Some of the programs include how to research the history of a house, maintaining wood floors, restoring old gardens, plaster repair, choosing appropriate paints, lowering energy bills, building stone walls, etc.  Noted architectural historian Tom Hubka will present a program on vernacular homes.   Harrisville 01348 to (42)

There is a modest admission charge.  For more information on the 2014 Old House and Barn Expo, click here.  The Expo will be held at the Center of New Hampshire at 700 Elm Street, Manchester with ample parking at the Center’s parking garage at 65 Granite Street. 

The 2014 NH Farm & Forest Exposition

Southern New Hampshire is home to many farms and woodlots, large and small.  In addition, many homeowners include gardening or part-time farming among their hobbies. As there’s not much a farmer or gardener can do outside this time of year, it’s the perfect time for the 31st Farm and Forest Exposition! This year the Expo will be Friday and Saturday February 7th and 8th at the Center of New Hampshire in the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.Farm

The Expo will offer more than 20 workshops, almost 100 exhibitors, a variety of fair food booths, and fun activities for children – and adults.  To see a short video from WMUR-TV about last year’s Expo, click here.

Many programs are geared to full-time farmers, but there are many sessions that are directed to backyard gardeners and homeowners as well. Some presentations will cover farm management subjects like selling crops and animal products to supermarkets and schools, farmer’s markets in winter, and the services of NH Department of Agriculture.  Others have a wider audience in mind, such as programs on small-scale maple sugaring, growing plants from seed, the care and feeding of your chainsaw, beekeeping, the resurgence of the American Chestnut tree, raising dairy goats, living with our bear neighbors, and barn preservation. Beef Cattle on Temple Farm

The NH Farm and Forest Exposition is co-sponsored by the UNH Cooperative Extension Service, the NH Division of Forests and Lands, and the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food.  The Expo’s hours will be 9 to 6 on Friday and 9 to 4 on Saturday; admission is $ 7, with free admission for people 16 and under. The Radisson is located at 700 Elm Street in Manchester.

For full details see the NH Farm and Forest Exposition website.

15th Annual Penguin Plunge at Hampton Beach

Liven up your Sunday morning on February 2nd with a quick plunge into the cool waters off Hampton Beach. This Special Olympics New Hampshire fundraiser attracts hundreds of swimming enthusiasts every year.  Plungers raise funds for Special Olympics NH by soliciting donations from friends, business associates, and family members. Each participant pledges to raise $ 350 to help support this important cause.

Many plungers come back year after year. The plunge will take place “rain, snow, or shine.” This year’s theme is Zombies. For details about joining the penguins, click here. Check in for participants is 9 to 11AM.

If you prefer to stay high and dry, drop by to cheer the plungers on! This year Mark Ericson and Karen Kiley from WOKQ will join WMUR’s Chief Meteorologist Mike Haddad to welcome the penguins. There will be great activities for both wet and dry participants: a costume parade at 11:30,  a lunch and post-plunge celebration at 12:30, and the bestowing of special awards at 1:30.

For more information about Special Olympics NH, see their website. For details on this year’s Penguin Plunge at Hampton Beach, click here.