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 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.

Keene Ice and Snow Festival 2014

On February 8th downtown Keene will host its annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival.  From 10AM to 4PM,  Central Square will be festooned with ice and snow sculptures – and there will be lots of fun activities to participate in.Keene 2/8/2014

Help judge the snow sculptures, join the snowball throwing contest, build a snowman, or have your photo taken with the Ice Princess, Polar Bear, and the Snowman.  Warm up with hot chocolate, s’mores, and more!  Be entertained by magician Ben Pratt and enjoy the other entertainers and food sellers.   DSC_3620

For some colorful photos of previous years’ Festivals, check out the “Keene, NH Ice and Snow Festival” Facebook page.  This event is co-sponsored by the Monadnock Travel Council and the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce. For more information on the Keene Ice and Snow Festival, click here.


First Night Portsmouth 2014

The First Night tradition began in Boston in 1976 and has since spread throughout the country. In New Hampshire, Wolfeboro in the Lakes Region and Portsmouth on the Seacoast are the state’s two official First Night celebrations.  First Night Portsmouth is organized by Pro Portsmouth, a local nonprofit group.  Downtown Portsmouth

First Night includes activities for both children and adults.  Events start around 1PM with ice sculpting in Market Square.  Indoor programs for younger participants begin at 4PM with puppet shows, magicians, storytelling, and face painting in several downtown venues.  At 5PM, the Pontine Theatre will present “Cap’n Eli’s Best Ear,” a puppet performance based on a 19th century story.

Musicians will be in various locations throughout the area.  The New Connie Bean Center will feature a “Battle of the Bands” from 8 to 10:30PM. Local singers will be featured at the Middle Street Baptist Hall starting at 8:15PM.  T. J. Wheeler & Company will be at North Church from 8:15PM.   At South Church there will be a chili cook-off and gospel and folk music.  The Randy Armstrong Trio at Temple Israel will feature world fusion jazz. North Church

The Seacoast Repertory Theater will host Poor Howard and Bullfrog, a blues band, from 5 to 7PM, followed by psychic/illusionist Roderick Russell at 8PM.  The NH Theater Company is offering “Singing in the New Year: A Comic Cabaret” at the West End Studio Theatre.

Outdoor activities will be centered around Market Square, with a street dance on Pleasant Street beginning at 5PM, fireworks at South Mill Pond at 7:30PM, and of course, the Countdown to Midnight in the Square.

The First Night Portsmouth’s website has full details about the events and locations.  You will need a First Night Portsmouth 2014 Button to gain entry to the indoor activities; the buttons may be purchased online by clicking here, or at the Portsmouth Hannaford’s, the Flower Kiosk, G. Williker’s,  and People’s United Bank branches in the NH Seacoast area and nearby ME locations.

Most downtown streets will be open to traffic; but Pleasant Street from State Street to the Square, Church Street (next to the North Church) and Parrot Avenue (from Richards to Junkins) will be closed.  The parking garage at Hanover Street will offer reduced rate parking starting at 4PM.  There will be a free shuttle for all First Nighters, which will transport celebrants between the various event locations.

First Night Portsmouth will be an afternoon and evening of fun-filled activities for all ages.  Don’t miss it!

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth 2013

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth is a month-long celebration of the December holiday season.  The leading sponsors, the Strawbery Banke Museum and the Music Hall, have planned holiday-themed caroling, strolling, musical productions, and other activities for almost every day in December. The Boston Globe called this celebration of the season “One of the top ten holiday things not to miss in New England.”    Portsmouth Xmas Tree

Traditional winter decorations enliven the downtown area, and holiday themed presentations at the Music Hall make this a very festive time in New Hampshire’s old port city.   Special productions include stagings of The Nutcracker (Dec. 14 & 15), concerts by local choruses (Dec. 18 & 19), and a Messiah sing (Dec. 20).            DSC00777

Strawbery Banke’s Candlelight Stroll – every Saturday and Sunday through December 22nd – features musicians, carolers, and presenters interpreting how holidays were celebrated in years past; it is a major highlight of Vintage Christmas. Strawbery Banke (6)

There is an admission charge for most activities.  For full details, visit Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth’s website.

2013 Winter Holiday Stroll in Nashua

The Winter Holiday Stroll will enliven downtown Nashua on Saturday November 30th.  Beginning with a candle light procession from City Hall to Railroad Square at 5PM, the downtown area will host a variety of entertainments for the evening, until 10PM.  Many area streets will be closed to traffic to allow strollers to walk to the many shops open late that day and to enjoy the 34 music venues set up along Main Street, West Pearl Street, and other nearby lanes.  Hunt Building

There will be musical performances for everyone’s taste, from folk (the Cow Hampshire Folk group), classical (Merrimack Valley Flute Choir), and traditional (Steve Blunt), to jazz (The Legionnaires), soul (Queen City Soul), rock (Bellwire) and psychedelic (Megafauna).

The Artists Collective Theater will be previewing their “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.”  The Peacock Players and the Upstage Dramatics Arts will also be featured. The Northern Ballet Theatre and other dance companies will be among the 50+ groups that will be performing.

In addition to music and theater offerings, the Holiday Stroll will feature magicians, martial arts and lumberjack demonstrations, and ice carving.  The New Hampshire Astronomical Society will be manning telescope stations to show visitors our starry heavens; the Bishop Guertin Robotics Team 811 will be exhibiting their basketball-playing robot, GROM.  And it wouldn’t be a Winter Holiday Stroll without an appearance by Santa Claus!Nashua City Hall

This year a gingerbread house contest, “Home for the Holidays,” will be added to the entertainments.  The contest will be held upstairs at Martha’s Exchange from 4 to 9PM.  Competitors can enter in one of six categories:  kids, teen, family, group, adult nonprofessional and adult professional. The houses will be raffled off after the judging.  This activity is sponsored by the St. Phillip Greek Orthodox Church teen youth group.  For more information on this event, click here.

Plan to come early and stay late. Streets will be closed off starting at 3:30PM, but there will be parking available at the Elm Street Parking Garage, the High Street Parking Garage, and the Southern NH Medical Center Parking Garage.  There will also be shuttles available from the parking areas at Rivier University and Holman Stadium from 4 through 10:30PM.

For a complete list of performers, parking information, and other details, see the special Nashua Holiday Stroll website.

Milford Pumpkin Festival 2013

The 24th Annual Milford Pumpkin Festival will be held from Friday October 11th through Sunday the 13th.  As in prior years, the events will be centered in and around the Oval (Union Square) in downtown Milford (at the junction of state routes 101A and 13).

There will be a host of events – local singers and bands, a Great Pumpkin contest, pumpkin catapulting, a chili contest, and countless other activities for people of all ages.  An arts and crafts fair will be held in Town Hall (3rd floor) and along Middle Street on Saturday and Sunday.

Milf Twn Hall

Younger visitors might like scarecrow making, the haunted trail (in Emerson Park on Friday and Saturday 6-9PM), face painting, and pumpkin painting.  For older folks, there will be a beer, wine, and spirits tasting on Friday evening, followed by fireworks on the Oval at 8:45.

Saturday is filled with activities, including pumpkin catapulting (10AM to 2PM; TD Bank parking lot), the pumpkin lighting at the Oval at 5:30, the Zombie Walk from 6 to 9PM, and the Talent Show (at the Amato Theater) at 8PM.

Sunday will start with the Milford 5K Run/Walk Road Race, leaving from the high school at 9AM, followed by pumpkin catapulting (10 to 2) and the Spank Alley Skate Team at 11AM.

Milf Pump Fes

To satisfy appetites, all three days there will be vendors featuring typical autumn foods and other fare – hot cider, doughnuts, smoked ribs, soups, etc.  The Unitarian Universalist Church (nearby on Elm Street) will feature a Harvest Pantry Shop with jams, preserves, and other pantry favorites 10AM – 4PM Saturday.

Milf Pump Fest 2012

Hours for the Milford Pumpkin Festival will be: Friday 5 to 8:45PM; Saturday 10AM to 8:30PM, and Sunday 7:30AM to 3PM.  For more information, purchasing advance tickets, and a full schedule, visit the Milford Pumpkin Festival website.

Schnitzelfest 2013

The 11th Annual Schnitzelfest will be held Saturday September 28 in Hillsborough. Come taste some of the most authentic Deutsch dishes this side of the Atlantic, overseen by German-born John Heer and his wife Judi of Hillsborough’s well-known German John’s Bakery. Schnitzel is the highlight of the festivities, but there will be plenty of bratwurst, knackwurst, German pretzels, sauerkraut, wieners, and German potato salad. Beer and wine will be readily available, so you can raise your stein to the oom-pah band and other entertainers. Desserts featured include kuchen, apple strudel, and schnecken. Crafters will be selling a wide variety of souvenirs and gifts.  This festival is supported by the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce.  Schnitzelfest will be held rain or shine from 11AM to 5PM on the 28th at Butler Park, at the corner of West Main and Central streets in Hillsborough. Admission is free.

The Fall 2013 Young Eagles Rally at the Nashua Airport

Young Eagles flights will be taking off from Boire Field at the Nashua Airport on Saturday October 5th.  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!

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, be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and must register between 10AM and 1PM at the Young Eagles Rally table near Infinity Aviation, 117 Perimeter Road.

Flights will be taking off every few minutes. The planes will be leaving from Infinity Aviation, which is hosting the rally. In addition to free flights, Nashua Flight Simulator will be offering free rides in a flight simulator, and there will be several interesting planes on display. The Midfield Café will be serving refreshments.


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 naming them an official Young Eagle.   They will also receive a Learn To Fly handbook and have their name entered in the Logbook at the Experimental Aircraft Association headquarters.

In case of inclement weather, the Young Eagles Flights will be held on Sunday, October 6th.  For more information about the Young Eagles Program, check out their website.  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.


Want a bird’s-eye view of the local real estate market?  Give me a call: Steve Russo  Connecting People with Homes at Prudential Verani Realty

Cell: 603-321-9895; direct office: 603-459-1103; general office 603-888-4600 or email

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


Facebook page: Steve Russo, Realtor

The 2013 Deerfield Fair

This fall the Deerfield Fair will take place from Thursday September 26th through Sunday the 29th at the Deerfield fairgrounds, 34 Stage Road (State Route 43) in Deerfield.  Its hours will be: Thursday 8AM – 9PM; Friday and Saturday 8AM – 10PM; and Sunday 8AM – 7PM.

The granddaddy of aggie fairs is celebrating 137 years. Numerous livestock shows and educational 4-H programs will fill all the hours of the fair.  For entertainment, there will be strolling performers; shows by puppeteers, magicians, clowns, singers, and country bands; midway rides; the Flying Wallendas Family Circus; pig scrambles; and horse, tractor, and antique tractor pulls. Cow at a Fair

There will be competitions in over 20 broad areas, with numerous awards given for everything from handicrafts and creative writing to the more usual livestock and produce categories. Daily highlights: Thursday – the Barn Fire Trio and the All Together Now Band; Friday – the Miss Deerfield Fair Pageant; Saturday – the Heel and Toe Square Dancers; Sunday – the Annual Demolition Derby.

The Deerfield Fair Horse Show runs concurrently with the Fair.  Horses will be vying in over 175 competitions.  Click here for the horse show schedule.

Horses at a Fair

Admission: $ 10 for adults and children 13 and over; children 12 and younger, free.  Seniors admitted for $ 7 on Thursday and Friday; military with ID admitted free of charge every day.  Advance ticket purchases are just $ 8/each until September 22nd; they are available at the fairgrounds office; Radio Grove Hardware, Raymond; Candia General Store, Candia; J.R. Rosencrantz & Sons in Derry and Kensington; Deerfield Veterinary Clinic, Deerfield; and Yannis Pizza in Deerfield. Tickets may be purchased online on this webpage. Campsites are available.

You can find more information on the Deerfield Fair by clicking here.

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.