A new week-long event celebrating local agriculture and restaurants is coming to Nashua. The Eat Local Fall Food Festival will bring activities and promotions centered around local food to the downtown area from Saturday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 2.
“It’s a replacement for our Restaurant Week event, which had become kind of a ubiquitous concept,” said Paul Shea, executive director of Great American Downtown, the Nashua community organization hosting the festival. “We wanted to do something that would differentiate the Nashua food scene as well as highlight the increased interest in supporting local farms.”
For the whole week, participating downtown eateries will offer special items highlighting ingredients from local farms. The goal, Shea said, is not only to raise awareness about the farms, but also to give the chefs an opportunity to showcase their culinary talents and creativity with how they use the ingredients.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, Nashua will have its second Main Street Farmers Dinner, a locally sourced multi-course meal prepared by six or so chefs from downtown restaurants and paired with regional beers and wines. It’s held outside on Main Street and accommodates around 300 people. This year’s dinner is sold out, but people without tickets may still be able to enjoy the food being featured.
“There are a good number of dishes that will be presented at the dinner that will likely continue to be available at participating restaurants as part of the festival,” Shea said.
The festival will close on Sunday, Oct. 2, with a special Harvest Celebration held at the hub of all things local: the farmers market. There will be live music, a pumpkin carving contest and the beginning of voting for the downtown scarecrow competition.
“I think local food maintains nutrients better, tastes better and makes the region stronger,” Shea said. “The more we take advantage of what we have in our backyard, the better the quality of life in Nashua will be.”
Local musicians will also be spotlighted in Nashua’s first Downtown Fall Music Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, put on in collaboration with the food festival.