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 24th American Independence Festival

Every year, cities and towns across America celebrate Independence Day with parades, barbecues, and fireworks.  Exeter celebrates in a different way, with activities revolving around events that occurred when our country began to come into existence almost 240 years ago.

Inspired by the discovery of one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence in town in 1985, Exeter’s American Independence Festival recreates the spirit of the Revolutionary era.   Through re-enactments of historical events and educational displays, this day-long festival tries to impart to visitors what it was like to be living in America when the thirteen colonies began their rebellion against their mother country.

Revoltionary War Historic Marker, Exeter

Revoltionary War Historic Marker, Exeter

This year the festival will take place on Saturday July 12th.  There will be re-enactments of Exeter scenes from Revolutionary times when Exeter was the rebel capital of New Hampshire.  One of the highlights will be the reading of the Declaration of Independence in the town square, as originally occurred in Exeter on July 16th, 1776.

Visitors to the Festival will be able to tour the historic Ladd-Gilman House and Folsom Tavern, experience Revolutionary Era interpreters, see a battle re-enactment, enjoy an arts and crafts fair, and experience what life was like back in the 1770’s.  The American Independence Museum will have on display the Dunlap Broadside, one of the original handwritten 1776 copies of the Declaration document.   The festivities begin at 10AM and end at 4PM, with Folsom Tavern open to 6:30PM for refreshments.  Exeter Town Hall

There is a charge for some events.  Most activities will take place on the grounds of the American Independence Museum at 1 Governors Lane, Exeter.  For more information about the 24th American Independence Festival, visit its website.

2014 Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition

There are two reasons to visit Hampton Beach this time of year – a refreshing dip in the ocean – and one of New Hampshire’s premier summer events – the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition.

During the weekend of June 19th-21st, competitors will fashion works of art from 250 tons of imported sand. Yes, they import sand to Hampton Beach! The competition, open to registered participants only, results in great sculptures that beautify the beach for several weeks.

There will be several special events in conjunction with the competition, including sand sculpting classes, fireworks (June 21st), and voting for a people’s choice award winner. The creations will be on display through July 6th.    Beach

For more details and for photos of the impressive works of past award winners, go to the Sand Sculpture website by clicking here. Master sand sculptors who would like to participate in the competition should contact the event co-sponsor, Greg Grady, via his website.

The 2014 Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition is supported by the Hampton Beach Village District, the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, and the NH Division of Parks.

Rock’n Ribfest 2014

June 13 through 15 is Rock’n Ribfest weekend in New Hampshire.  The Ribfest starts Friday June 14 at 4PM (to 11PM) and continues Saturday 11AM to 10:30PM and Sunday 11AM to 3PM.  Barbecue is king at the Ribfest, but there will also be many snack, dessert, dining, and drink vendors.

Entertainment includes well-known entertainers Josh Logan, The Slakas, and The Psychedelic Relics, and many others.  There will be a teen band competition, tours of the Budweiser Brewery, and many other activities for people of all ages.

Tickets for the Rock’n Ribfest can be purchased at the gate or prior to June 6 online; they provide general admission to many activities.  General ticket information is available here. There are additional charges for A Taste of Ribfest, the Saturday night comedy show, rides, food vendors, etc.  Sunday June 16 is Military Appreciation Day; there will be free admission for anyone with a military ID and up to four family members.

Sponsored by the Nashua West Rotary Club, all proceeds from the Rock’n Ribfest will go to support local nonprofits.  This site lists some of the organizations that have benefited in the past.  The Rock’n Ribfest is held at the Anheuser-Busch complex, 221 Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack.  There will be parking at nearby lots and shuttle buses.  Click here for directions and parking info.

The 2014 Rock’n Ribfest website offers extensive information on this great annual event.

The 5th Annual Taste of Milford

On Friday May 30th  from 6 to 8:30PM, the Milford Oval will be alive with the 5th Annual Taste of Milford.  Visitors will be able to sample the offerings of twenty-five local restaurants and food vendors at stores in and around the celebrated Milford Oval.  Musicians will provide entertainment to the strollers as they wend their way around the various shops lining the downtown area.

The Oval

The restaurants and food purveyors participating include: Amigos, Café on the Oval, Carole’s Cake Creations, Chapanga’s, Clark’s Tavern, Earthlings Baked Goods, Foodees, the Francestown Village Store, Fuzzies Ice Cream & Deli, Giorgio’s Ristorante, Jade Dragon, Jake’s Ice Cream, Maple Lane Farm, the Milford Goat Dairy, the Mont Vernon General Store, Noni’s Homemade English Toffee, Papa Joe’s Humble Pie, Pasta Loft, the Red Arrow Diner, Swirl n Serve, Trombly Farm, Two Happy Butchers, Windows on West Street, and The  Yankee Chef.

More information is available on the Taste of Milford webpage.  Tickets are $ 30, but if ordered in advance, there is a $ 5 discount; tickets are available by clicking here.  Tickets are limited and this event has sold out in previous years – so don’t wait to place your order.

Proceeds from the 2014 Taste of Milford benefit the Milford Improvement Team, which works to promote the downtown Milford area.

Young Eagles Spring Rally at the Nashua Airport

Young Eagles flights will be taking off from Boire Field at the Nashua Airport on Saturday June 7th.  If you are between the ages of 8 and 17 and interested in flying – or just seeing Nashua from the air – drop by the Nashua Airport to get a free ride!Blue Plane

There is no obligation; totally free, the flights are provided by local licensed pilots who want to bring their love of flying to others.  Most of the planes are single-engine crafts based at the Nashua Airport.  Participants must be 8 to 17 years old and be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Flights will be taking off every few minutes from 10AM to 1PM.006

This international program is enjoyed by over 100,000 kids a year; over 1.6 million in 90 countries have participated.  Kids taking a fight will receive a certificate and have their name entered in the Logbook at the Experimental Aircraft Association headquarters.

The planes will be leaving from Infinity Aviation, 117 Perimeter Road, at the Nashua Airport (Boire Field).  No reservations required or accepted.  In case of inclement weather, the Young Eagles Flights will be held on Sunday, June 8th.  For more information about the Young Eagles Program, check out their website.Bob's Plane

In 2010 students at Nashua High School South produced a great informative video about the Young Eagle Rally at the Nashua Airport.  To see this video on YouTube, click here.Joe's

This spring’s Young Eagles Rally is sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association, the International Aerobatic Club, and local businesses Infinity Aviation and the Midfield Cafe.  For more information, call Greg Lison at Infinity Aviation: 603-598-4526.

The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire 2014

If you like Game of Thrones, the New Hampshire Renaissance Fair is the fair for you! This is a much more family friendly event than that television series, but it captures some of the same adventure and fantasy as that very popular show.  This family friendly faire will take place from 10AM to 5PM on Saturdays and Sundays May 10 -11 and 17-18.  

NH Ren Fair 514

Entertainers will include pirates, singers, magicians, fairies, storytellers, musicians, and knights a-jousting. The competing  knights will be from the Neville Companye and  Les Jeux des Roi. Music will be provided by a wide variety of  medieval, Renaissance, and Celtic groups, including  Diabolis in Musica, Myschyffe Managed, and the Misfits of Avalon. 

There will also be a Maypole for dancing,  a Children’s Glen for younger folk, and demonstrations of traditional crafts.  On Saturday May 10th at 5PM plan to stay late for a special Beltane celebration to welcome in summer.  

Over 40 venders will be offering medieval-style wood- and leather- crafted wares, jewelry, and costumes, and also more contemporary articles.  In addition, there will be an auction to benefit local charities. 

NH Ren Fair 514

The faire grounds are off of 9 Thorne Road in Kingston; there’s ample parking nearby.  There is an admission charge, with discounted admission for active military, veterans, and children.  This year proceeds from the Faire will be going to the NH Food Bank and Rockingham Meals on Wheels.

The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire has an extensive website with detailed information on parking, the entertainers and crafters, performance schedules, and everything to help you plan your day at the faire.

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 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.


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.