The Hippo


Jan 19, 2020








A previous Market Days Festival. Courtesy photo.

41st Annual Market Days Festival 

Where: Downtown Concord, on Main Street and side streets 
When: Thursday, June 25, through Saturday, June 27, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
Cost: Free admission; $5 wristband for all-day access to mini golf and Krazy Kids play area

Market Days are here again
Concord Market Days Festival returns early this year

By Angie Sykeny

Despite major construction in the downtown area, Concord is still holding its 41st Annual Market Days Festival in the traditional place on Main Street — just a little earlier this year. While the festival has always been held in July, this year it will be held Thursday, June 25, through Saturday, June 27.

“It’s meant to be in the heart of downtown,”  Liza Poinier, operations manager of Intown Concord, said. “Moving it wouldn’t be the same, and as it turns out, this year’s fest will be bigger and better than ever.”
With more than 50,000 attendees, Market Days is central New Hampshire’s largest free community event of the year. The festival features live music, kids’ activities, demonstrations, over 170 vendors and more.
In Bicentennial Square, you’ll find the Homegrown Music Stage, where local and independent musicians perform. In Eagle Square, watch contestants compete in the Pitch Perfect singing contest, with the finals on Saturday evening. At the South Main Park Stage, located on South Main Street, there will be over a dozen local performers, including Club Soda on Thursday at 6 p.m., and the Freese Brothers Big Band on Friday at 6:30 p.m., as well as a movie under the stars — The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) — on Friday night at dusk.
The intersection of Pleasant and Main streets is home to roller derby and skateboard demonstrations as well as the second annual FIT challenge on Saturday at 10 a.m., where teams of two will compete in a series of challenges.
“You don’t have to be a fitness buff to participate,” Poinier said. “It’s not a serious strong-man contest. It’s more like Survivor, where there’s physical and mental challenges.”
The Statehouse lawn is the Free Family Fun area where, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, kids can participate in crafts, storytimes and games. Also in this area, in celebration of Concord’s 250th anniversary, the Abbot-Downing Historical Society will have an original, restored Concord Coach on view from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Head to the City Plaza for a round of golf at the second annual Market Days Mini Golf Course. The course has 10 custom holes, each designed by local businesses. Krazy Kids of Concord will also have a kids play area set up with bouncy houses and games.
Get an up-close look and learn about community vehicles and trucks at the Touch-a-Truck on North Main Street and Centre Street, from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. From 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, the Lone Wolf Cruisers Car Club will have a classic car show.
Meet with more than 20 local artists and crafters and find one-of-a-kind items at the Concord Arts Market, held on Pleasant Street between Main and State streets.  
Festival-goers are also invited to enjoy the newly renovated east side of North Main Street.
“It’s not the same Main Street it’s always been,” Poinier said. “It’s transformed. There’s new trees, benches, sidewalks. It’s just lovely, and it’s going to be brand new, so people at Market Days will be the first to experience the area without all the trucks.”
If you need a break from the festival or are wondering where to go, stop by Intown Concord’s Beer & Hospitality Tent on North Main Street in front of Capitol Plaza where you can get a cold beverage and pick up a Market Days map and schedule.
Poinier said the city was very cooperative in making Market Days happen, even with all the construction.
“It’s such a huge part of the identity of the people who live in Concord,” she said. “We have people who have been vendors since its first year, and volunteers who have volunteered since its first year. It’s something people look forward to, and it’s beloved.” 
As seen in the June 25, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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