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It's That Time of Year: New England's Summer Festivals -- New Hampshire

Discovery New

Every Summer New England states host some of the best festivals. Many are kid-friendly or are just for families. Some of these events are for charities, town support, or sponsored by various local business. Some events this year are free to attend!


21st Annual Celebration of Lupines
June 1-30, 2014
Franconia Notch – White Mountains, New Hampshire

Come view the beautiful blooming lupine fields in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Tour the fields by foot or horse-drawn wagon. Visit the many museums and attractions: Sugar Hill Historic Museum, New England Ski Museum, Franconia Heritage Museum, The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, and the Frost Place. Festival events include art exhibits, concerts, walking tours, an open-air market, specialty dinners at local inns, and a variety of promotions at local businesses. Your ticket to take part in the events is the Fields of Lupine Festival Tour Book, which includes a calendar of events, local map, descriptions of participating businesses, and discounts at local businesses. Some Festival events may require an additional cost; see booklet for details.

Old House & Garden Festival
June 7, 2014
Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden - Portsmouth, New Hampshire

This year’s festival will highlight the Moffatt-Ladd House’s beautiful garden and historic plants and trees. Visitors will have the opportunity to take self-guided tours of the house and speak with experts in the field of decorative arts, art conservation, and historic preservation. A heirloom plant sale will be ongoing throughout the festival, and there will be a free concert in the warehouse at 4:30 p.m.

The Fort at No. 4: French and Indian War Encampment
June 7-8, 2014
Charlestown, New Hampshire

The sights and sounds of the French and Indian War are to be found at The Fort at No. 4. The Fort will be hosting its French and Indian War Encampment in which French, British and Native camps will be open for visiting. Blacksmithing, spinning, cooking and military drills will occur throughout the weekend; mock battles will be held as well. The Fort at No. 4 was the northernmost British settlement along the Connecticut River in New Hampshire until after the French and Indian War.

Progressive’s Laconia Motorcycle Week
June 14-22, 2014
Laconia, New Hampshire

New England’s most famous motorcycle gathering! Laconia Motorcyle Week is a long-time favorite among biking enthusiasts — offering breathtaking motorcycle rides along winding roads and past stunning lake vistas, and on historic by-ways like the Kancamagus Highway. There will be headlining bands and concerts all through the Lakes Region so you can quench your thirst for some good music. Enjoy events that include “The Ride to the Sky” up Mount Washington, Hillclimb/Drag Races, Vintage Motorcycle events, Rally in the Valley and trips to the new American Police Motorcycle Museum. Plan on attending some of the Gypsy Tours that will be held during Motorcycle Week that bring you on some great rides around the state of New Hampshire. Bikes rentals are available at Laconia Harley-Davidson and HK Powersports (Laconia) as well as Manchester Harley Davidson.

Market Square Day
June 14, 2014
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Created to celebrate the renovation and beautification of Downtown Portsmouth and, in particular, Market Square, the Festival has grown in size along with the growth and popularity of Portsmouth. It is estimated that between 60,000 – 80,000 people walk through Downtown Portsmouth on that one day enjoying the entertainment, products and food offered by artists, crafters and merchants — many from the Seacoast area.

Taste of the Nation
June 25, 2014
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Share our Strength makes a stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, when more than 70 local restaurants will get together beneath big-top tents on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum. This year’s Taste promises to be the best yet, featuring incredible food and drink from the top restaurants and brewers on the Seacoast, a fabulous silent auction with rare items and experiences, a VIP lounge, and music so you can dance the night away! Proceeds go toward aiding hunger relief efforts.

Prescott Park Arts Festival – Open Air Theater Production
Running each Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from June 27 through August 24
Prescott Park -- Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Come to beautiful Prescott Park on the banks of the Piscataqua River for a wonderful outdoor theater production. Check website closer to the time for show details.

New England Brewfest
June 27-29, 2014
Village Shops - Lincoln, New Hampshire

Breweries from across New England will gather to tap into their exceptional brews at the annual New England Brewfest! Come to the Lincoln Village Shops in Lincoln, New Hampshire — in the heart of the White Mountains — to sample and learn about these delicious craft brews. There will be 30 breweries and more than 100 beers on tap. While you’re tasting, enjoy live entertainment, craft beer education programs, great food and exhibits offering brew paraphernalia and souvenirs. Lodging packages available; see website for details.

Summer in the Street
Saturday evenings, June 28 - August 2, 2014
Downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Summer in the Street is a performance/music series where musicians, theatrical and dance companies can entertain folks in the heart of the City.The event, now in its eleventh year, creates a gathering spot in the heart of Portsmouth for friends, neighbors and visitors alike.

Strawbery Banke: An American Celebration
July 4, 2014
Porstmouth, New Hampshire

A real old-fashioned fabulous 4th of July! Complete with a children’s bike & wagon parade, giant kite fly, potato sack races, kids liberty treasure hunt, garden crafts, live music, historic garden tours, costumed role players, colonial hearth cooking, basket weaving, hand-thrown pottery, food and fun for all. Tour a Gundalow River Boat and meet Abe Lincoln.

Annual League of NH Craftsmen's Fair
August 2-10, 2014
Mount Sunapee Resort – Newbury, New Hampshire

America’s oldest craft fair, the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair is one of the finest, most prestigious craft events in the USA today. This annual nine-day event showcases the work of more than 350 craftspeople’s items, made by hand in New Hampshire. It’s the place to see an incredible variety of beautiful, one-of-a-kind craft items that are functional, decorative and built to last. The fair is held at the Mount Sunapee Resort in the beautiful Dartmouth/Sunapee region of New Hampshire. The Annual Craftsmen’s Fair is a fun way to explore the fascinating world of fine craftmaking, with activities for all ages. Meet and talk to the craftsmen, learn about their techniques, and purchase from them. Find creative and practical gifts at more than 200 craft booths and The Shop at the Fair. Adults and children can sign up for workshops — including basket weaving, tools for kids and glassblowing. Or, watch daily demonstrations of glassblowing, woodcarving, blacksmithing, furniture building and more.

Annual White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival
August 15-17, 2014
Between Waterville Valley and Loon Mountain, New Hampshire

The largest outdoor blues festival in New Hampshire! The festival features award-winning blues artists, food vendors, craft vendors, a climbing wall and many fun activities for children including Saturday night fireworks. The festival is held in the heart of the White Mountains and the boogie stage is in a natural amphitheater located on a 72-acre pasture in the Pemigewasset River Valley.

Annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb
August 16, 2014
Route 16, Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire (White Mountains region)

You may have seen these bicycle racers on TV challenging the mountains in Europe, but they call this event the “TOUGHEST HILLCLIMB RACE IN THE WORLD!” – 7.4 miles up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to the tallest peak in the Northeastern U.S. Come see for yourself why the top racers from the world and local riders travel to Pinkham Notch for this challenge.

Annual Lakes Region Fine Arts and Crafts Festival
August 23-24, 2014
Meredith, New Hampshire

An outdoor, juried arts and crafts exhibition and sale of fine arts and fine crafts, featuring high-quality works of more than 80 artists and craftspeople. The festival is held outdoors among the Meredith Village Shops and the Mill Falls Marketplace.

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