New Hampshire — Festivals and Events
When the long harsh winter finally comes to an end, New Hampshire shifts quickly into top gear as towns across the state find many creative ways to have a festival. New Hampshire has a lot to celebrate, from craft brewing to its stunning fall foliage. You can expect great food, music, crafts, and often carnival rides at most events. This All-American state does a super job making summer and fall as fun as possible in its own low-key friendly manner.
Prescott Park Arts Festival
Portsmouth celebrates its beautiful summer season with three months of special events devoted to the arts. Venues along the banks of the Piscataqua River showcase a rolling schedule of live music, dance, theatre, and other performances on many evenings and afternoons for free. It prides itself on its free admission, and its pretty cool to watch a ballet performance followed up by a rock band.
New Hampshire Music Festival
With over 60 years of experience, this premier music event is one of the state’s most popular musical programs. It is held in the town of Plymouth and runs through much of July and August, bringing many great talents to the stage to perform everything from chamber music to classical and the pops.
Hillsborough Balloon Festival & Fair
Each July the beautiful country town of Hillsborough invites people down for four days of hot air balloon fun. Few sights are as stirring as dozens of colorful balloons floating above the green hills and lakes of New Hampshire. If you prefer, you can ride in the balloons during certain times or just enjoy the spectacle. There are also parades, fireworks, and a great family-style carnival with rides, games, and fair food. This type of event is New England at its most authentic.
This could very well be New Hampshire’s finest classic American state fair. At the height of summer in August, the town of Cheshire opens up its large fairgrounds to an eclectic array of fun events that cater to everyone from families to monster truck fans. There are traditional livestock competitions along with concerts, horse shows, and yes, the very popular monster truck rally.
Warner Fall Foliage Festival
You hardly need an excuse to come to New Hampshire and bask in the glorious fall colors, but the town of Warner certainly adds to the fun. Since 1947 this cool little central mountain town has been putting on an All-American show with barbecue, food vendors, parades, live music, and family-fin carnival rides. Come down in early October for nine days of fall color fun.
New Hampshire Brewer’s Festival
As you’d expect, New Hampshire has a thriving craft brewing scene. Each November all the local breweries around the state converge on Manchester to share their latest creations. It’s a fine way to say goodbye to fall and prepare to hunker down for winter. Besides all the tasting fun, this event also features seminars on brewing techniques and other interesting topics.