The Hippo


Jul 5, 2020








Steamers from the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival.

 Special events 

When you’re not eating, there are plenty of other things to do throughout the festival.
Friday, Sept. 7
4 p.m. Festival opens
6 p.m. 29th annual ribbon cutting ceremony on Mohegan Sun Stage
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. NH Made Culinary Demonstration in Culinary Tent. Demo and tasting of local products
4 - 9 p.m. Live entertainment on two stages featuring the best bands in our region.
9 p.m. Festival closes
Saturday, Sept. 8
10 a.m. Festival opens. 
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Culinary Chef demonstrations hosted by Wicked Bites, featuring the region’s most famous chefs. Watch, sample and pick up free recipes
2 p.m. Lobster Roll Eating Competition on Mohegan Sun Stage
2 p.m SKULL it Corn Hole Compettion at Barefoot Cabana Stage
3 p.m. Beach clearing for firework setup
6:30-8:15 p.m. The Great Escape band live at Mohegan Sun Main Stage
8:30 p.m. Spectacular Fireworks, last of the summer
9 p.m. Festival closes
Sunday, Sept. 9
10 a.m. Festival opens
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Culinary Chef demonstrations hosted by Wicked Bites, featuring the region’s most famous chefs. Watch, sample and pick up free recipes.
11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Live entertainment on two stages featuring the best bands in our region
3 p.m. Beach clearing for Sky Diving Extravaganza
5 p.m. Skydiving by Sky Dive New England, center beach
6 p.m. Festival closes
Children under 12 get in free all weekend. Friday admission costs $5 per adult, Saturday tickets are $10 and Sunday tickets are $8. 

So much seafood
Festival brings thousands to the beach


 By Andrew Clay
Lobster rolls, chowder, fried clams, oysters and all kinds of other seafood will be available to try during the 29th annual Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, happening Friday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 9.
Dozens of restaurants, both local and from outside the state, will offer a diverse array of seafood all weekend, according to John Nyhan, president of the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce and one of the overseers of the festival.
 “I’m excited this year because we have some far-distant vendors but we also have some traditional food vendors here at the beach located right in Hampton,” said Nyhan. “The Old Salt has been a true partner of ours for many, many years and has stayed with us through good times and bad. They’ll be back again this year with their famous chowder. We have Lupe’s 55 with Mexican seafood, and then we have JB’s Seafood that has jumped back into this year’s festival. They will be offering lobster rolls and oysters on the shell and chowder. We have quite the variety of food vendors. I wish I could mention all 50, but those are a couple of examples.”
Various awards will be given out throughout the length of the weekend including best booth design, judge’s choice, best lobster roll and more. 
The festivities begin Friday, Sept. 7, at 4 p.m. when the Hampton Beach boardwalk is transformed into a party covering the entire seaside strip. Directly following the 6 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony on the Mohegan Sun Stage, culinary demonstrations and tastings begin in the Culinary Tent and will be backed by the endless live entertainment of Gretchen and the Pickpockets and The B Street Bombers performing on the main stage, and Slacktide and Bailout rocking the beach stage from 4 p.m. to close. 
Friday’s demonstrations will be put on by New Hampshire Made, an organization of businesses that exclusively create their products in-state, said Nyhan. 
Saturday, Sept. 8, is the first full day of the festival with gates opening at 10 a.m., and will feature the main event of this year’s ceremony: the Lobster Roll Eating Competition. 
“Our lobster roll eating contest is big. We have it on the stage and it’s a jam-packed crowd watching it and that’s exciting,” said Nyhan. 
Contestants will battle for the first-, second- and third-place prizes of $600, $250 and $150. On top of the cash prize, the champion will receive an automatic entry into next year’s competition. 
Contestants will have 10 minutes to eat as many McGuirk’s Ocean View Restaurant Pub and Hotel lobster rolls as possible. Last year’s champion Joe Menchetti from Cheshire, Connecticut, will attempt to top his mark of finishing off 18 rolls to retain his bragging rights. 
Other events that will be going on throughout the day on Saturday include the SKULL it Corn Hole Competition beginning at 2 p.m. at the Barefoot Cabana Stage where Barefoot will reward the cornhole champions a cornhole set. The competition is open to the public, and teams can register online. 
A Wicked Bites culinary demonstration will take place at 11 a.m., live music by The Great Escape band beginning at 6:30 p.m., and the final firework display of the summer being lit directly off the beach at dusk. 
Sunday, Sept. 9, is the last day of the celebration and gates will open at 10 a.m., with culinary demonstrations beginning at 11 a.m. featuring various chefs from throughout the Seacoast region. 
The Voice, Mixtape and Ricco Barr and the Jumpin Jive Review will perform on the main stage from noon to the festival’s conclusion at 6 p.m. Erinn Brown Band and Wellfleet will take the beach stage from 11 a.m. to close. 
Sunday’s main event will be a skydiving display put on by Sky Dive New England at 5 p.m., where 16 professional skydivers will land in the middle of the beach. 
“People love to see people jump out of planes,” said Nyhan.
New this year is a solution for football fans.
“We are in competition on Sunday afternoon at one o’clock with the New England Patriots,” Nyhan said. “So as not to lose our patrons, in the beer tent on the street we are bringing in 52-inch TVs and we’re going to have the football game broadcasted live. So that’s an exciting event for us too, to be a part of the Patriots’ first game.” 
Attendees can submit pictures taken at the festival to the photo contest by downloading the new Hampton Beach Seafood Festival app.
“We realize that a lot of people are now digital through their phones so we have a mobile app. In that mobile app we will have all of the different events along with a photo contest with rules and regulations so people can download their photos right into our app. From there we will be able to review the photos and make our selections,” said Nyhan. 
The festival has been named “One of the Top 100 Events in North America” by the American Bus Association for the last 11 consecutive years, with event attendance for this year’s event being estimated at exceeding 150,000 people, according to the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival website.  
For more information about this year’s Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, visit, or download the mobile app. 

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