Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The 46th Annual Stratham Fair

For almost 50 years, the Stratham Fair has been the first agricultural fair of the season. This year it will be held Thursday through Sunday, July 18th – 21st at Stratham Hill Park, Route 33 (Portsmouth Avenue) in Stratham.

There will be activities for every member of the family. Every day will be filled with many agricultural demonstrations and shows. Some of the contests include rabbit hurdling, ox and horse pulling, pie eating, and goat milking. Like many country fairs, the Stratham Fair will have rabbit, poultry, sheep, livestock, and plant judging – and many more.  There will be carnival rides, a midway, and special children’s activities too.

Entertainers include funnyman Wacky Chad and the talented Flying High Frisbee Dogs.  The musicians and singers that are performing include: Tom Dixon, Nicole Murphy, Jamie Lee Thurston, Jillian Cardarelli, Zach Lockwood, the Funky Divas, The New Englanders, and the Jandee Lee Porter Band.

The special highlights of the fair will be the Miss Stratham Fair contest on Friday evening, the Stratham Fair Road Race on Saturday morning, and the Finale Fireworks Sunday night.

The Fair has scheduled a preopening breakfast at 7 – 9AM on Thursday, followed by the exhibits opening at 10AM.  Fair activities will be held Thursday 10AM – 10PM, Friday 8:30AM – 10PM, Saturday 7AM – 10PM, and Sunday 10AM – 10PM. Click here for a full schedule.

The Stratham Fair is the major fundraising event for the Stratham Volunteer Fire Department. There is an admission charge, but discounts are available, with special discount days for grandparents, the military, Stratham residents, and groups.  Restrictions apply; see this webpage for ticket details.

The 2013 Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition

It’s never too early to look forward to one of New Hampshire’s premier summer events – the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition.  On June 20th, 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 22rd), and voting for a people’s choice award winner.  The creations will be on display through July 7th.  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 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.  Additional sponsors and volunteers are always welcome; visit the Sand Sculpture website for more details.

 

14th Annual Penguin Plunge at Hampton Beach

Liven up your Sunday morning on February 3rd with a quick plunge into the frigid 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 of $ 350 from friends, business associates, and family members.

This year Mark Ericson and Karen Kiley from WOKQ will join WMUR’s Chief Meteorologist Mike Haddad to welcome the Penguins.  The Plunge will take place “rain, snow, or shine.”  This year’s theme is “Going to the Chapel.”

Last year, 703 Plungers raised over $ 500,000 for the NH Special Olympics organization.  For details about joining the Plungers, click here.  Check in for participants is 9 to 11AM.   The costume parade starts at 11:30 followed by the Plunge at Noon.  There will be a Post Plunge Lunch at 12:30.

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