Summer Guide 2024

Load up your season with fun

Finally, it’s summer!

OK, maybe not in an official calendar sense but Memorial Day weekend marks the start of that summer mindset — your warm-weather clothes, evenings of flip-flops and ice cream, summer music and cookouts with hot dogs, burgers, grilled corn or whatever deliciousness says summer to you.

Some other perfect accompaniments to summer? Food festivals, car shows, concerts, theater, art fairs, comedy, ball games and so much more. Use this weekend and this week’s guide to summer 2024 to help you plan your season of fun.

FAIRS & FESTIVALS

• The annual Meredith Memorial Day Weekend Craft Festival is happening Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mill Falls Marketplace (312 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith). New England-based artisans and craftsmen will gather to sell their foods and crafts, including jewelry, up-cycled items, pottery, pies, sauces, pickles and infused oils. Admission is free. Visit castleberryfairs.com.

• The Goffstown Rotary Club’s (Parsons Drive) Car Show is returning for its 11th year on Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include goodie bags for the first 50 registrants, along with food trucks, raffles and trophies given in 16 classes. Admission is free, and the cost to participate as a registrant is $20 per car, with all proceeds benefiting local charities. Visit goffstownrotary.org.

• The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s (6 Washington St., Dover, childrens-museum.org) New Hampshire Maker Fest is on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is a large-scale “show and tell,” with makers of all kinds, including artists, engineers, scientists and others, showcasing their creativity. Admission is on a pay-what-you-can basis, with a suggested donation of $5 per person.

• Milford’s third annual Pride Festival is happening Saturday, June 1, from noon to 4 p.m. at Keyes Park (45 Elm St., Milford) and will feature live music, food and more. See “Milford NH PRIDE” on Facebook.

• Hillsborough’s History Alive event will be on Saturday, June 8, at Kemp Park (11 River St.) in Hillsborough. June’s event will focus on Abenaki Indian life and culture. The event is free. Visit historyalivenh.org

Market Square Day in downtown Portsmouth will return on Saturday, June 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Produced by the local nonprofit Pro Portsmouth, the festival kicks off with a 10K road race and features craft and artisan vendors, food, two stages of live entertainment and more. Visit proportsmouth.org/events/market-square-day.

• It’s Children’s Day at the New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton, nhfarmmuseum.org) on Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Try your hand at old-fashioned games and check out storytelling, blacksmithing demonstrations, tractor rides, s’mores making and more. Admission is free for children under 4, $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children ages 4 to 17. A family passes cost $30.

Laconia Motorcycle Week is celebrating its 101st anniversary this year. The rally goes from Saturday, June 8, through Sunday, June 16, and includes motorcycle tours, live entertainment, vendors and scenic rides around Weirs Beach in Laconia. Visit laconiamcweek.com.

• The Northlands Music and Arts Festival runs Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, at the Cheshire Fairground in Swanzey. The line up at northlandslive.com currently features nearly three dozen performers and musical acts over three stages. One- and two-day festival passes are available.

Manchester Pride Week starts on Saturday, June 15, with a Pride Parade and Festival. The parade will begin at 11:15 a.m. and proceed down Elm Street to Veterans Park, where the Festival will take place from noon to 6 p.m. There will be live entertainment, food trucks, local vendors and artists, and more. See the complete line-up of events at manchestertrue.org.

• Take a trip to the coast for the 24th Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic, happening from Thursday, June 20, to Saturday, June 22. Prizes will be awarded for the best sand sculptures. The sculptures will be lighted for nightly viewing through June 26. Visit hamptonbeach.org.

• The Somersworth International Children’s Festival will feature live music, food, wildlife encounters, a petting zoo, vendors and more on Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Noble Pines Park in Somersworth. A pre-festival celebration will be held the night before, Friday, June 16, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Somersworth High School (11 Memorial Drive, Somersworth), with food, vendors, music and fireworks. Visit nhfestivals.org.

• Join the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire for its annual Father’s Day weekend Fly-In BBQ on Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nashua’s Boire Field (83 Perimeter Road, Nashua). Attendees are welcome to enjoy a barbecue buffet lunch and get a close look at visiting aircraft on the ramp. Pilots are invited to fly in, and vintage airplanes and home-built aircrafts are especially welcome. Tickets, including the barbecue, are $30 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6 to 12. Without the barbecue, tickets are $10 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under. To purchase tickets, visit nhahs.org.

Plaistow’s Old Home Day returns on Saturday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with local vendors on the Town Hall green (145 Main St., Plaistow) as well as a beard contest, a baby contest, raffles, entertainment booths, a parade and more. This year’s theme is “Happy Birthday, Plaistow!” to celebrate the town’s 275th anniversary. Follow the town Old Home Day’s Facebook @plaistowoldhomeday for updates.

• Intown Concord’s 50th annual Market Days Festival runs from Thursday, June 20, to Saturday, June 22, in downtown Concord from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The event includes a wide array of local vendors, live entertainment, family-friendly activities and more. Visit marketdaysfestival.com.

• Join the Wilton Main Street Association for its annual Summerfest, happening on Saturday, June 22, starting at 10 a.m. and featuring an arts market, live music, food, street vendors, a pancake breakfast and a fireworks display in the evening. See visitwilton.com/summerfest.

• The annual Nashua Pride Festival, a free celebration of diversity, acceptance and fun focused on promoting equality, happens Saturday, June 22, from 2 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Nashua Public Library (2 Court St.) and will feature a parade that kicks off at 2 p.m. Visit nashuanh.gov/1217/nashua-pride-festival.

• Join the New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton) for Fourth on the Farm, happening Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include a tractor ride to see farm animals, as well as demonstrations, reenactments, a scavenger hunt, lawn games, lunch and strawberry shortcake, and live performances of songs from the 1700s and 1800s. Admission is free for members and children under 4, $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children ages 4 to 17. A family pass can be purchased for $30. Visit nhfarmmuseum.org.

• The Raymond Town Fair returns for its 48th year from Friday, July 12, to Sunday, July 14, at the Raymond Town Common (Epping and Main streets, Raymond). It will feature live music, family-friendly entertainment, a children’s parade, a fireworks display and more. See “Raymond Town Fair” on Facebook.

• The next New England Reptile Expo is scheduled for Sunday, July 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown (700 Elm St., Manchester). The show features more than 200 vendor tables full of reptiles, pet supplies and more. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for kids ages 7 to 12 and free for kids ages 6 and under. Visit reptileexpo.com.

• The Hillsborough Summer Festival is back again this year at Grimes Field (29 Preston St., Hillsborough) from Thursday, July 11, to Sunday, July 14, with live entertainment, carnival rides, a fireworks show on Saturday night, a 5K road race on Friday and a parade on Sunday. Festival hours are 6 to 10 p.m. on Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday; noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Visit hillsborosummerfest.com.

• Returning to the grounds of American Independence Museum (1 Governors Lane, Exeter) for a 34th year is the American Independence Festival, on Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Be transported back in time with a live reading of the Declaration of Independence, and enjoy historical reenactments and colonial artisan demonstrations as well as colonial games, music and dances. Visit independencemuseum.org.

• The Capital City Pride Festival (capitalcitypridenh.com) will take place in Concord, from Monday, July 15, to Monday, July 22. A Community Arts Event with Queerlective will take place at the Kimball Jenkins School of Art (266 N Main St. in Concord, 225-3932, kimballjenkins.com) Monday, July 15 at 12 p.m. A Pride Family Picnic will take place at Kimball Jenkins on Tuesday, July 16, at 12 p.m. Performances of Coming Out Stories and Queeraoke will take place at Teatotaller (2 Capital Plaza, N Main St. in Concord, 715-1906, teatotallercafe.com) Sunday, July 21, at 6 p.m. There will be a Pride After Party and Mini-Ball at the Bank of NH Stage (16 S Main St. in Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Monday, July 22, at 6 p.m. Visit capitalcitypridenh.com.

• The Stratham 4-H Summerfest returns for a third year on Saturday, July 20, at the Stratham Hill Park Fairgrounds (270 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham). Attendees are welcome to join as the work of 4-H volunteers and members will be on display in the 4-H building, show rings and livestock barns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits include shows and displays on gardening, cooking, environmental stewardship, hiking and much more. See extension.unh.edu/event/2024/07/2024-stratham-4-h-summerfest.

• The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire’s (27 Navigator Road, Londonderry) annual Classic Car Show is set for Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and vehicles of all makes and eras are welcome. Trophies will be given out for the People’s Choice Award and the Museum Award. Vehicle registration is $10, or you can come as a spectator for $5 (cash only; kids ages 12 and under are free). A rain date of July 22 is planned. Visit nhahs.org.

• Organized by the Merrimack Valley Military Vehicle Collectors Club, this year’s Weare Rally will go from Friday, July 25, to Sunday, July 27, at Center Woods School (14 Center Road, Weare). The rally features military vehicle displays, scenic rides, demonstrations, food and more. The cost is $5 per family. See mvmvc.org.

• Don’t miss the 15th annual Live Free or Die Tattoo Expo, happening from Friday, July 26, to Sunday, July 28, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown (700 Elm St., Manchester). The event features tattoo artists, contests, vendors, live music and performances. Show hours are from 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, from 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 when purchased in advance for a one-day pass ($20 at the door), $25 in advance for a two-day pass ($30 at the door), and $35 when bought in advance for a three-day pass ($40 at the door). Visit livefreeordietattoo.com.

• The annual Summer Psychic & Craft Fair returns for a 13th year to Weirs Beach Community Center (25 Lucerne Ave., Laconia) on Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hosted by CAYA Reiki and Healing, the event will include psychic readings, vendors and door prizes. Admission is free. See eventbrite.com for ticket information.

• The Canterbury Fair is celebrating its 66th year — join the fun on Saturday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Canterbury Center (Baptist and Center roads) with live music, demonstrations from local artisan and antique vendors, children’s activities and more. Admission is free. Visit canterburyfair.com.

• The Belknap County Fair is set to return on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, Aug. 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 174 Mile Hill Road in Belmont. The fair features live entertainment, food, exhibits and animal shows. Admission at the gate is $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens 65 and older, police, fire and EMS personnel, and free for kids under 10 and for military service members. Visit bcfairnh.org.

• The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen will hold the 91st Annual Craftsmen’s Fair at the Mount Sunapee Resort (1398 Route 103, Newbury) Saturday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 11. It will feature the juried work of hundreds of members with sales booths, educational workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions. See nhcrafts.org/annual-craftsmens-fair.

• The 2024 Manchester International Film Festival is set for Friday, Aug. 9, and Saturday, Aug. 10. For tickets and a schedule of events, visit palacetheatre.org/film.

• Returning to the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown (700 Elm St., Manchester) from Thursday, Aug. 8, through Saturday, Aug. 10, is the annual New Hampshire Antiques Show, hosted by the New Hampshire Antique Dealers Association. Nearly 60 professional antique dealers will exhibit their collections of antique furniture, art, jewelry and more. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $15 on Thursday, and $10 on Friday and Saturday; return visits are free. Visit nhada.org.

Hudson’s Old Home Days return, Thursday, Aug. 8, to Sunday, Aug. 11, on the grounds of the Hill House (211 Derry Road, Hudson). There will be carnival games, live music, fireworks, food and more. Event times are Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. See hudsonoldhomedays.com.

• Save the date for the 46th annual Alton Bay Boat Show, returning to the Alton Town Docks on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon and featuring a variety of vintage boats on display. Admission is free. See the nhbm.org/alton-bay-boat-show for details.

• Don’t miss the 16th annual Hampton Beach Children’s Festival, Monday, Aug. 12, through Friday, Aug. 16. The event includes ice cream, dancing, balloons, storytelling, a magic show and a costume parade. All activities are free and open to the public. Visit hamptonbeach.org/events/childrens-events for details as they become available.

• Don’t miss Londonderry’s 125th annual Old Home Days, set for Wednesday, Aug. 14, to Saturday, Aug. 17. Details are in the works, but past celebrations have included concerts, fireworks, a parade, a 5K road race, a baby contest, children’s games and more. See londonderrynh.gov or follow the event page on Facebook @townoflondonderryoldhomeday.

• Hillsborough’s History Alive event will be on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18, at Jones Road in Hillsborough. The event will focus on historical reenactments of famous battles and daily village life from times past, and will include activities, crafts and musicians. Tickets are $10 per adult and $8 for seniors. The event is free for children 16 and under when accompanied by an adult. You can purchase a bracelet on the day of the event and it will cover both days. Cash only; credit cards are not accepted in-person. Visit historyalivenh.org.

• The New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton) is hosting its annual Truck and Tractor Day on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Trucks, wagons, antique cars and tractors dating back to the mid 1900s will be on display, and the event will feature demonstrations on things like the two-man saw and the butter churn treadmill. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors 65 and older, $6 for children ages 4 to 17, and free children under 4. A family pass is available for $30. Visit nhfarmmuseum.org.

• The 125th Gilmanton Old Home Day is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Smith Meeting House (Meeting House and Governor roads, Gilmanton). Details on this year’s event are still being ironed out, but previous events have included live entertainment, a puppet show, a silent auction, an antique auto parade, an art show and more. Visit gilmantonnh.org/organizations/gilmanton-old-home-day for details as they become available.

• Head to Field of Dreams Community Park (48 Geremonty Drive, Salem) for the park’s annual Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A wide variety of activities is planned, including a petting farm, face-painting, bounce houses, food trucks, photo opportunities with superheroes and princesses, and more. Visit fieldofdreamsnh.org.

Candia’s Old Home Day will return on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Moore Park (74 High St., Candia). The event starts with a parade after a firemen’s homemade breakfast. Local crafters and artisans, town community booths, games, a wildlife exhibit, food and music will also be featured. Visit candiaoldhomeday.com.

Pembroke and Allenstown’s Old Home Day returns on Saturday, Aug. 24, starting with a parade down Main Street in Allenstown to Memorial Field (Exchange Street) in Pembroke. A fun-filled day is planned at the field, featuring two stages of live entertainment, antique cars, children’s games, a craft area, bounce houses and a fireworks display at dusk. Admission and parking are free. See “Pembroke & Allenstown Old Home Day 2024” on Facebook.

• Don’t miss this year’s Hopkinton State Fair, a Labor Day weekend tradition happening from Thursday, Aug. 29, to Monday, Sept. 2, at the fairgrounds (392 Kearsarge Ave., Contoocook). There will be livestock shows, a demolition derby, carnival rides, monster trucks, live entertainment, food and more. The fair hours are 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. See hsfair.org.

Cruising Downtown will return to the streets of downtown Manchester for a 23rd year on Saturday, Aug. 31, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Organized by the Manchester Rotary Club, the event will feature cars on display, along with food, live demonstrations, local vendors and two stages of live entertainment. Admission is free for spectators, and vehicle registration is $25. Visit cruisingdowntownmanchester.com.

• The Exeter UFO Festival returns to downtown Exeter on Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1 — the event commemorates the anniversary of the “Exeter Incident” (an alleged UFO sighting on Sept. 3, 1965) by featuring in-depth talks and presentations from leading experts on UFOs, along with a variety of “intergalactic” children’s games and food, all to benefit the Exeter Area Kiwanis Club. See exeterkiwanis.com/exeter-ufo-festival.

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FOOD EVENTS

• Start your summer eating at Bentley’s Famous BBQ Pig Roast, Saturday, May 25, from noon to 6 p.m., hosted by the Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch, (221 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 595-1202, budweisertours.com). Watch award-winning Pitmaster and owner of Bentley’s Famous BBQ Brandon Saldoni serve barbecue. A $25 ticket price includes the pig roast and first beverage. A $15 ticket is general admission with hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, fried dough, kettle corn and ice cream for purchase. Children 3 and under are free. Visit budweisertours.com/mmktours.

• The Town of Bennington will host a Rhubarb Festival on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sawyer Memorial Park (Route 202) in Bennington. This celebration of all things rhubarb includes a craft fair, vendors, food trucks, children’s activities, a petting zoo, a story walk, music, plants, baked goods, jams, beverages and more. Follow the event page on Facebook @nhrhubarbfestival.

• Tickets are on sale now for the High Hopes Foundation’s seventh annual New Hampshire Bacon & Beer Festival, returning to Anheuser-Busch Brewery (221 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack) on Saturday, June 1, with general admission from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and VIP admission beginning at 12:30 p.m. Go to nhbaconbeer.com.

• The 37th Annual 97.5 WOKQ summer kick-off Chowder Festival will be at Prescott Park (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) on Saturday, June 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Several local eateries will serve chowders and the festival will feature live music, kid-friendly activities, ice cream and more. Chowders will be available until the vendors run out. l Tickets cost $20; see prescottpark.org.

• The 15th Annual Herb & Garden Day, presented by the New Hampshire Herbal Network, returns to the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum (18 Highlawn Road, Warner) on Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event features workshops tailored to all skill levels, along with plant and tree identification walks, an herbal market and plant sale, food vendors, children’s activities and more. Full-access general admission is $35 in advance. Visit nhherbalnetwork.org/herbday.

• The Friends of the Library of Windham will hold their 38th annual Strawberry Festival and Book Fair on Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Windham High School (64 London Bridge Road, Windham). The festival will feature homemade strawberry shortcake, live music, raffles, local vendors and games. Visit flowwindham.org.

• The Taste of Downtown Nashua, presented by Great American Downtown, returns to the Gate City on Wednesday, June 5, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. More than 30 participating restaurants, shops and other local businesses will have temporary food service set up inside their establishments, where samples will be served to ticket-holders. Tickets start at $39.99 per person and include access to samples from all of the event’s participating vendors. Visit downtownnashua.org/taste.

• An evening of Plant-Based Junk Food will be held at the Rockingham Brewing Co. (1 Corporate Park Drive, Unit 1, Derry, 216-2324, rockinghambrewing.com) on Wednesday, June 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. The Brewing Company, in conjunction with Vulture Food (vuturefood.com) will host an all-vegan popup. Details will be posted on the Brewery’s website closer to the event. Rockingham Brewing Co. hosts many food and drink events throughout the summer. Visit facebook.com/rockinghambrewing/events.

• Join world-renowned chef Aarón Sánchez for Live Free and Wine, an evening of food and wine at LaBelle Winery (14 Route 111, Derry, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) Sunday, June 9, at 6 p.m. (VIP reception at 5 p.m.). Nine award-winning chefs will come together to present the best cuisine New Hampshire has to offer, along with tastings of LaBelle wines. There will be a VIP reception and a silent auction. For tickets, visit emeril.ejoinme.org/NHwine. For more about upcoming food and wine events at LaBelle, visit labellewinery.com/public-winery-events.

• Online ordering for the 26th annual New Hampshire Jewish Food Festival, presented by Temple B’nai Israel (210 Court St., Laconia), opens on Saturday, June 15, and will continue through Sunday, July 7. Menu items will include savory brisket with gravy, freshly sliced corned beef, pastrami and tongue from Evan’s New York Style Deli in Marblehead, Mass., sweet creamy noodle kugel and a vast assortment of other home-cooked Jewish foods. Those who place their orders online will be prompted to select a time on either Friday, July 19, or Saturday, July 20, at Temple B’nai Israel. Visit tbinh.org/food-fest-menu to view the full menu.

• The St. Nicholas Greek Festival will return on Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days, at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (40 Andrew Jarvis Drive, Portsmouth, 436-2733). This year’s Greek Festival will feature fresh lamb, moussaka, spanakopita (spinach pie), gyros, and Greek pastry. Visit stnicholasgreekfestival.com.

• Tickets are on sale for New Hampshire magazine’s annual Best of NH Party, happening Thursday, June 20, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Flag Hill Distillery & Winery (297 N. River Road, Lee), with an additional VIP barrel tasting and tour from 5 to 6 p.m. Sample food and drink while listening to the 12-piece Scott Spradling Band. This event honors the 2024 Best of NH winners and supports the New Hampshire Food Bank. General admission tickets are $75; VIP Experience tickets are $115. Visit nhmagazine.com/best-of-nh.

• Get ready for the Kingston Fire Association’s Fifth Annual Brewfest, set to take place on Saturday, June 29, from 2 to 6 p.m. on the Plains in downtown Kingston (148 Main St.). More than 60 different beers, ciders and hard lemonade from at least 30 pourers will be available to sample at this 21+ event, which will also include food trucks and music. Tickets are $40 per person for full access (event is 21+ only) and $10 for designated drivers, and are available online now. Donations are also being accepted to the Kingston Fire Association. Visit kingstonbrew.com.

• The Hollis Strawberry Festival, presented by the Hollis Woman’s Club, returns for a 76th year to the Town Common (7 Monument Square, Hollis) on Sunday, June 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. Enjoy strawberry shortcake and other strawberry desserts while the Hollis Town Band performs. Face-painting, games and craft vendors are also part of the festival. Visit holliswomansclub.org.

• A family-friendly event featuring local food, drinks and entertainment, Farm-a-Q returns to Tuckaway Farm (36 Captain Smith Emerson Road, Lee) on Sunday, June 23, from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets begin at $25. Proceeds support the Heritage Harvest Project, whose mission is to promote regional heritage foods and agricultural diversity among farmers, chefs and local communities. See “Farm-a-Q” on Eventbrite to purchase tickets.

• Save the date for the annual Keep NH Brewing Festival, happening Saturday, July 13, at Kiwanis Riverfront Waterfront Park behind the Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road, Concord). General admission is from 1 to 4 p.m., with VIP admission beginning at noon. The festival is the signature fundraising event for the New Hampshire Brewers Association and features one of the largest gatherings of craft beers on tap, with more than 140 options to try and more than 50 breweries represented. Food trucks, local vendors and live music will be featured. See nhbrewers.org.

• Monadnock Music will host its annual Progressive Garden Party, featuring multiple tastings and performances across the Monadnock region, on Saturday, July 14, from noon to 4 p.m., with a rain date of Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A botanical tour of the region, the event features unique food and drink options and live performances at each location. Tickets are $100 ($85 for Monadnock Music members). Visit monadnockmusic.org.

• On Thursday, July 18, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., The Cozy Tea Cart (104A Route 13, Brookline, 249-9111, thecozyteacart.com) will host Iced Tea RealiTea, an interactive lecture where attendees will learn about the history of iced tea in the U.S. as well as different brewing methods for loose tea and the healthiest ways to drink their tea iced. The cost is $30 per person, and registration is required two weeks in advance. The Cozy Tea Cart conducts tea tastings and lectures throughout the summer and the year. Visit thecozyteacart.com/events.

• The Smuttynose Brewing Co. (smuttynose.com) will host the 2nd Annual New Hampshire Wing Festival on Saturday, July 20, from noon to 4 p.m. at 105 Towle Farm Road in Hampton. Expect wings, music, ice-cold beer and more wings. Entry includes unlimited wing sampling, one 16-ounce Smuttynose beer, one bottle of water, and a ticket to cast your vote for “Best Wings of New Hampshire.” Visit smuttynose.com/event/new-hampshire-wing-festival-2.

• For the third year, the Colby Hill Inn (33 The Oaks, Henniker, 800-531-0330) will host its Annual Lobster Bake and Blueberry Feast on Sunday, July 21. A feast of seasonal summer foods will be served and original blues music will be played by the Rick Campbell Band. Tickets are $125 per person (plus sales tax and gratuity) including open bar (wine, signature cocktail/mocktail or beer) ($15 credit for non-alcohol drinkers). Tenderloin is available for anyone with seafood allergies (must order at RSVP). The Inn hosts several special events throughout the summer and the year; visit colbyhillinn.com.

• The Spicy Shark presents the third annual New England Hot Sauce Fest, returning to Smuttynose Brewing Co. (105 Towle Farm Road, Hampton) on Saturday, July 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature more than two dozen local hot sauce companies selling and offering samples their spicy products, along with bounce houses, face-painting, several food trucks, a hot wing contest and four hot pepper eating contests. General-admission tickets are $13; VIP tickets are $17. Poceeds will benefit the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation and the Seacoast Science Center. Visit newenglandhotsaucefest.com.

• The Great New England BBQ & Food Truck Festival returns for an eighth year to the Hampshire Dome (50 Emerson Road, Milford) on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature a crafter’s booth and a kids’ zone in addition to eats from local food trucks, along with craft beer, live music, a cornhole tournament and more. Visit gnefoodtruckfest.com.

• The Town of Windham Recreation department will host a Food Truck Festival and Car Show on the grounds of Windham High School (64 London Bridge Road, Windham) on Sunday, Aug. 11. In addition to eats from local food trucks, there will be music and games of cornhole. Contact the Windham Recreation office by phone at 965-1208 or by email at recreation@windhamnh.gov.

• The Mahrajan Middle Eastern Food Festival (bestfestnh.com) will take place Friday, Aug. 16, to Sunday, Aug. 18, at Our Lady of the Cedars Church (140 Mitchell St., Manchester, 623-8944, olocnh.org). Lebanese foods such as shawarma, falafel, lamb, grilled chicken and many types of pastries will be served.

Gate City Brewfest will return to Holman Stadium (67 Amherst St., Nashua) on Saturday, Aug. 24, with general admission from 1 to 5 p.m. and VIP admission beginning at noon. Unique for being a family-friendly brewfest, the event also features food, live music, a cornhole tournament, children’s activities and more. General-admission tickets are $35 in advance and $50 the day of the event, while VIP tickets are $70 (limited to 200 tickets) and tickets for designated drivers and attendees under the age of 21 are $15. Proceeds benefit the Nashua Police Athletic League. See gatecitybrewfestnh.com.

• Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (111 Island Pond Road, Manchester, 623-2045, assumptionnh.org) will hold its 2024 Greekfest on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 25, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A full range of Greek foods will be served; there will be a loukoumades booth selling deep-fried dough balls covered in honey and powdered sugar, a gyro booth, a pastry booth and a bar. Visit the Church’s website for more information closer to the event.

• Food Truck Festivals of America presents the 10th annual Portsmouth Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, happening at Cisco Brewers (35 Corporate Drive, Portsmouth) on Sunday, Aug. 18, with general admission from noon to 5 p.m. In addition to food trucks, the festival features craft beer, lawn games, music and more. General admission is $5 in advance or $10 at the gate (kids ages 10 and under are free). Visit foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com/portsmouth.

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CONCERTS

• Nationally touring indie-folk “power duo” National Park Radio will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m. Tickets begin at $16.

• High-energy performer Nat Zegree will take the stage at The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Thursday, May 23, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $42.

• Senior performing troupe Silver Stars will take the stage at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) Friday, May 24, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 25, at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $12.

• Powerful singer Kat Wright will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) Friday, May 24, at 7 p.m. Tickets begin at $16.

• The BoDeans will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St. in Nashua; nashuacenterforthearts.com, 800-657-8774) with Chris Trapper opening on Friday, May 24, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

• New England-based blues band Frankie Boy & the Blues Express will play at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Friday, May 24, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $30.

Parker McCollum will perform with Corey Kent and George Birgeat at BankNH Pavilion, (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com), as part of his Burn It Down tour, on Saturday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

The Beach Boys will perform with Dave Mason at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Sunday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $27.

• Rhythm and bluegrass family band Bitter Pill will performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Sunday, May 26, at 8 p.m. Tickets begin at $30.

• Minnesota-based musician Chastity Brown will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets begin at $30.

• Feel-good pop musician Ryan Montbleau will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) Thursday, May 30, and Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. Tickets begin at $15.

•Singer Paula Cole will perform at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

• High-energy band Bella’s Bartok will play at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Friday, May 31, at 8 p.m. with opener Bitter Pill. Tickets are $23.75 in advance, $5 more at the door.

Cole Swindell, Dylan Scott and Mackenzie Carpenter will perform at the BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $41.55.

• Grammy-nominated songwriter Reed Foehl will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. Tickets begin at $31.

• New Hampshire country singer Taylor Hughes will play a Sunday Sessions performance sponsored by the New Hampshire Music Collective at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) on Sunday, June 2, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $18.75.

The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra will performits spring concert at The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $23.50.

The Granite State Ringers, New Hampshire’s only elite handbell choir, will perform at the Spotlight Room (96 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) on Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $50.

• Critically acclaimed pianist BLKBOK will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Sunday, June 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $31.

• Toronto songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Abigail Lapell will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) Sunday, June 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

• Master lyricist John Hiatt will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) Sunday, June 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $89.

Mr. Joe Jackson Presents: Joe Jackson Solo and the Music of Max Champion at The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Monday, June 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $71.

• Chicagotribute band Leonid and Friends will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Wednesday, June 5, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

• American roots musician Charley Crockett will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Wednesday, June 5, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $42 in advance, $47 at the door.

• Kenny Chesney tribute act No Shoes Nation will performat LaBelle Winery Amherst (345 Route 101, Amherst, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) on Thursday, June 6, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $40

• James Taylor/Simon and Garfunkel tribute act Good Acoustics will performat LaBelle Winery Derry (14 Route 111, Derry, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) Thursday, June 6, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $40.

• Gritty and raw folk-rock outfit The Wolff Sisters will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) Friday, June 7, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

• Master lyricist and satirical storyteller John Hyatt will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Friday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

• Country icon Jo Dee Messina will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Friday, June 7, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $27.

• The classic ’80s band Stryper will play at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Friday, June 7, at 8 p.m., as part of their To Hell With the Amps: the Unplugged Tour. The performance will include acoustic, stripped-down versions of the band’s classic songs. Tickets start at $47.

MUSE: A Salute to Divas, fronted by two New England-based female vocalists, happens at The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Friday, June 7, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $38.

• Indie rockers The Mallett Brothers Bandwill perform with Medium and Bear at The Range (96 Old Turnpike Road, Mason, 878-1324, therangemason.com) Saturday, June 8, at 5 p.m. Tickets cost $34 in advance, $40 at the door.

• Jazz-based Phishtribute band Jazz Is Phish will perform at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $20.

• New Orleans-style musicians Soggy Po’ Boys will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) on Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

• Symphony NH will perform The Music of John Williams – Star Wars and More at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $20.75. A pre-concert talk about the pieces performed will take place at 6:30 p.m.

• Journey cover band Voyage will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com), Saturday, June 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $21.

• The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) will host a Live Jukebox Request Night with the Scott Spradling Band Saturday, June 8, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $29.

• Led Zeppelin tribute show Kashmir comes to the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Saturday, June 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

• Banjo-based jazz band The Alison Brown Quintet will perform at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $29.

The Ted Herbert Community Big Band will take the stage at Majestic Theatre (880 Page St., Manchester, 669-7469, majestictheatre.net) Sunday, June 9, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 through Majestic’s website.

• Police guitarist Andy Summers will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Sunday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

• Singer-songwriter Ellis Paul will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Sunday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $36.

The Pixies and Modest Mouse will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lanek, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Tuesday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m., with special guests Cat Power. Tickets start at $48.65.

• Classic country and folk singer Kathy Mattea will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Tuesday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $46.75 in advance and cost $5 more at the door.

• Contemporary blues artist Keb’ Mo’ will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Tuesday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

Hootie and the Blowfish will perform with Collective Soul and Edwin McCain at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Thursday, June 13, at 7 p.m., as part of their Summer Camps With Trucks tour. Tickets start at $67.45.

• The Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) will host Trans-Canada Highwaymen, featuring Moe Berg, Chris Murphy, Craig Northey and Steven Page, Thursday, June 13, at 8 p.m. The Canadian supergroup will perform classic Canadian rock songs originally recorded by each member of the band. Tickets start at $54.

• Grateful Dead tribute band Dead Meat will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $28.50.

• Hawaiian musician Jake Shimabukuro will perform at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

• South American folk musicians Acoustic Nomads will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

• Blues and rock band The Senie Hunt Project will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Friday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m.Tickets are $23.75 in advance, $5 more at the door.

• New England-based Eagles tribute band Another Tequila Sunrise will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Friday, June 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

Lainey Wilson will perform with Ian Munsick and Zach Top at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Saturday, June 15, at 7 p.m., as part of their Country’s Cool Again tour. Tickets start at $98.95.

• Eaglestribute band Another Tequila Sunrise will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) Saturday, June 15, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $12 through the Colonial Theatre’s website.

• 1970s and ’80s hit makers Little River Band will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Saturday, June 15, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $27.

Cheek to Cheek, a Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga tribute act, will perform Saturday, June 15, at 8 p.m., at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com). Tickets start at $35.

• Legendary Celtic act Gaelic Storm will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) on Sunday, June 16, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $39 through the Colonial’s website.

• The Dead Tongues’ Ryan Gustafson will performwith Natalie Jane Hill at The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) on Tuesday, June 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

• Tribute band The Magic of Motown will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ (44 S Main St. in Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Chubb Theatre on Tuesday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $57.75.

• Bass-singing folk group The Wellermen will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Tuesday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40.

• The progressive rock band dada will play at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Tuesday, June 18, at 8 p.m. dada is known for its vocal harmonies and melodic power pop layered with inspired psychedelic and experimental rock impulses. Tickets are $39.

• Blues guitarist and singer Bonnie Raitt will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Tuesday, June 18, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $42.

• The Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) will host An Evening With Gaelic Storm Wednesday, June 19, at 8 p.m. This band is one of the biggest Celtic acts in the business. Tickets start at $39.

John Fogerty will perform with George Thorogood and Hearty Har at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Wednesday, June 19, at 6:50 p.m. as part of their Celebrationtour. Tickets start at $48.65.

• Motown tribute act The Magic of Motown will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org), Wednesday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $70.

• Legendary ’90s band Cake will play at Cisco Brewers Portsmouth (35 Corporate Drive, Portsmouth, 380-7575, ciscobrewersportsmouth.com) on Thursday, June 20, at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $51.50 through the Casino Ballroom’s website (casinoballroom.com) or $56.50 on the day of the show.

• Grateful Dead cover band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Thursday, June 20, at 8:30 p.m. and Friday, June 21, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $71.50 in advance and $76.50 at the door.

• Eclectic improv-rock band Umphrey’s McGee will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Thursday, June 20, at 8:30 p.m. and Friday, July 5, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $35 in advance, $40 on the day of the show.

• U2 tribute act Joshua Tree will beat LaBelle Winery Derry (14 Route 111 in Derry, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) Thursday, June 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $40.

• ’90s icon Paula Cole will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, (800) 657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Friday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

• Country musician Rodney Atkinswill perform with Annie Brobst at The Range Live Music and Concert Venue (96 Old Turnpike Road, Mason, 878-1324, therangemason.com) Friday, June 21, at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $56 in advance, $65 on the day of the show.

• Van Morrison tribute act Moondance will performat LaBelle Winery Amherst (345 Route 101 in Amherst, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $40.

• Iconic saxophonist Kenny G performsat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $87.

• Folk-rock band Max Creekwill perform with Rabbit’s Foot at The Range (96 Old Turnpike Road, Mason, 878-1324, therangemason.com) on Saturday, June 22, at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $34 in advance, $40 on the day of the show.

• British Invasion tribute band The Brit Pack will perform at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) Saturday, June 22, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $35.

• Legendary saxophonist Kenny G will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $59.

Pride Anthems, a musical tribute to iconic LGTBQ+ music, will take the stage at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

• Member of the classic rock band Yes Jon Anderson will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ (44 S Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Chubb Theater on Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m., with opening act The Band Geeks. Tickets start at $59.

• The Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) will host Magical Mystery Doors – Beatles, Zeppelin, Doors Tribute Saturday, June 22, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $40.

• Double platinum-certified singer-songwriter Hailey Reinhart will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Sunday, June 23, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Monday June 24, at 6 and 8 p.m. Tickets start at $61.

Michael Franti and Spearhead with Trevor Hall will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Tuesday, June 25, at 6 p.m. as part of their Togetherness tour. Tickets cost $67 in advance or $72 on the day of the show.

• Singer-songwriter Clay Cook will perform at the Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Thursday, June 27, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $28.

Phil Vassar will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Thursday, June 27, at 8 p.m. as part of his Hits and Heroes Tour. Tickets start at $50.

• Indie bands Tiger Saw and Sneaky Miles will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road in Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) Friday, June 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $16.

• Leading practitioners of the lost art of the guitar instrumental Nick Lowe and Los Straightjackets will perform at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) Friday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

Welcome to The Club: A Musical Cachet of The Great American Crooners will take the stage at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) Friday, June 28, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. This is a reinvention of the classic Copacabana Club with a full 19-piece Big Band and hits from Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Bing Crosby, Bobby Darin, Mel Tormé, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Bennett. Tickets are $29.

Club d’Elf has been helping audiences lose track of time for 25 years with its mesmerizing synthesis of Moroccan traditional music and electronic dubbed-out funk. The band will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Friday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m.Tickets cost $30.75 in advance and $5 more at the door.

• Van Morrison tribute act Moondance will perform at the Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Friday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $38.

• Catch the classic British band The Sweet at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Friday, June 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45.

• Eclectic musical duo Thost will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org), Friday, June 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $30.

An Elvis Tribute Concert starring Robert Black will take the stage at Fulchino Vineyard (187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis, 438-5984, fulchinovineyard.com) Saturday, June 29, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $29.

• Legendary performers The Temptations will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Saturday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $59.

• Hard-rocking band Cathedral will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ (225-1111, ccanh.com) BNH Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord) Saturday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m.Tickets start at $23.75 in advance, $5 more at the door.

• Hair metal tribute act Back to the ’80s will perform at the Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Saturday, June 29, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22.

A Day to Remember will perform with The Story So Far, Four Year Strong and Pain of Truth at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Sunday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40.80.

• Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Sunday, June 30, at 7 p.m. as part of his Works in Progress and Songs You Know tour. Tickets are $50.

• Folk-pop singer-songwriters Grace Pettis and Henry Honkonen will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Sunday, June 30, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $24.

James Taylor & His All-Star Band will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Monday, July 1, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $62.70.

• Two-time Grammy winner Jason Mraz will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $150.

Kidz Bop is at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $41.30.

• Country acts Country Night Live and Whiskey 6 will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $22.

• High-energy Americana band The Mallett Brothers Band will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road in Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) on Friday, July 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

• Bluegrass-rock combo Kitchen Dwellerswill perform with Jatoba at The Range Live Music and Concert Venue (96 Old Turnpike Road, Mason, 878-1324, therangemason.com), Friday, July 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $41 in advance, $49 on the day.

The Dave Matthews Tribute Band will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Friday, July 5, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22.

• Moody Bluesguitarist Justin Hayward and 1980s singer-songwriter Christopher Cross will play at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Saturday, July 6, at 7 p.m. with support from Mike Dawes. Tickets start at $99.

• Sublimetribute band Badfish! will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Saturday, July 6, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $29 in advance, $34 on the day of the show.

• Singer-songwriters Ian Archibold & Ian Galipeau will play a Sunday Sessions performance sponsored by the New Hampshire Music Collective at the Cantin Room at Bank of New Hampshire Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) on Sunday, July 7, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $18.75.

• Classical pianist Daniel Adam Maltz will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) on Monday, July 8, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $28.

• Country artist Priscilla Block will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Sunday, July 7, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $28 in advance, $33 on the day of the show.

• Rock anthem band The Used will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Wednesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. with Story of the Year and Amira Elfeky. Tickets cost $51 in advance, $56 on the day of the show.

Third Eye Blind with special guests Yellow Card and Arizona will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Thursday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $41.74.

• Passionate and emotional musician Erick Baker will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Thursday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $32.

• “Live at the Fillmore” Allman Brothers Tribute will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Thursday, July 11, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $37.

• Jimmy Buffet tribute act Good Acoustics will performat LaBelle Winery Derry (14 Route 111, Derry, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) Thursday, July 11, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40.

• Legendary reggae band The Wailerswill perform with Dis-N-Dat Band and Supernothing at The Range (96 Old Turnpike Road, Mason, 878-1324, therangemason.com) on Friday, July 12, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $42 in advance, $52 on the day of the show.

• Blues legends Roomful of Blues will perform at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) Friday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29.

Aaron Lewis will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Thursday, July 11, and Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m. as part of his American Patriot tour. Tickets start at $31.

• Catch The Bacon Brothers at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m. as part of their Free Standing tour. Tickets are $61.

• Grateful Dead tribute act Dead to the Core will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) Saturday, July 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

• 1980s hair band-influenced act Aquanett will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Saturday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $22 through the Opera House’s website.

Green River, a Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty tribute,will perform at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) Saturday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35.

• “Beginnings” — Celebrating the Music of Chicago will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Saturday, July 13, at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $37.

• Reggae band RDMTION will perform at Crow’s Feat Farm (178 Drinkwater Road, Kensington, 498-6262, crowsfeatfarm.org) Sunday, July 14, at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $10.

Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, Common Kings, and the Elovaters will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Sunday, July 14, at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $51.

• Jazz powerhouse Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Sunday, July 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $37 in advance, $42 on the day of the show.

Hailstorm, I prevail, Hollywood Undead, and Fit for a King will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Monday, July 15, at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $41.

Luke Bryan will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com), as part of his Mind of a Country Boy tour, with Huntergirl and Lily Rose Thursday, July 18, Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $89.

Brit Floyd, one of the top Pink Floyd tribute acts,will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Thursday, July 18, and Friday, July 19, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $31.

Hollywood Nights – The Bob Seger Tribute will be performed at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Friday, July 19, at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $45. This is a fundraising event for the Center for Life Management (centerforlifemanagement.org).

• Paul Simon tribute act Hearts & Boneswill perform at The Range Live Music and Concert Venue (96 Old Turnpike Road in Mason, 878-1324, therangemason.com) on Saturday, July 20, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $34 in advance, $40 on the day of the show.

• Soul and funk bands Trade and Crawlspace will perform at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $5 more at the door.

• Classic rock tribute act Fortune will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets are available through the Opera House’s website.

• AC/DC tribute act Dirty Deeds: the AC/DC Experience and Through The Doors will take the stage at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $21.

• Doors tribute band Peace Frog will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

• North America’s premier Celtic event, Tartan Terrors, will play at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Sunday, July 21, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

Daryl Hall and Elvis Costello and the Imposters will perform with Charlie Sextonat BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Monday, July 22, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $48.

O.A.R., Fitz & the Tantrums and DJ Logic will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Tuesday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40.

• Singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim will perform at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Tuesday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $53.75 in advance, $5 more at the door.

John Lodge of The Moody Blues will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800)-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Tuesday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

• “THE MUSIC OF ABBA – Direct From Sweden” will play at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Tuesday, July 23, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.

G. Love & Special Sauce with Brett Dennen and Mihali will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Wednesday, July 24, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $30 in advance, $35 on the day of the show.

John Lodge of The Moody Blues will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St. in Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) Wednesday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

Godsmack will perform with Nothing More and Flat Black at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Thursday, July 25, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $41.

• Country singer Kameron Marlowe will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Thursday, July 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $27 in advance, $32 on the day of the show.

• Beatles tribute act The Fab Four – Ultimate Tribute, will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Friday, July 26, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $27.

• Grateful Dead tribute act Zach Nugent’s Dead Setwill perform at The Range (96 Old Turnpike Road, Mason, 878-1324, therangemason.com), Friday, July 26, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $39 in advance, $45 on the day of the show.

• Irish folk band The High Kings will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Friday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

• Ozzy Osbourne tribute act Crazy Train will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Friday, July 26, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25 through the Opera House’s website.

Dan & Shay will perform with Jake Owen and Dylan Marlow at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com), as part of their Heartbreak on the Map tour, Saturday, July 27, at 7 p.m.

• “Bruce in the USA” a tribute to the E Street Band’s musical legacy, will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Saturday, July 27, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.

• Eaglestribute act Dark Desert Eagles – The Ultimate Eagles Tribute, will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com), Saturday, July 27, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $21.

The Windham Community Band will perform at Crow’s Feat Farm (178 Drinkwater Road, Kensington, 498-6262, crowsfeatfarm.org) on Sunday, July 28, at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $10.

Switchfoot, Blue October, and Matt Nathanson will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Sunday, July 28, at 7 p.m., as part of their Help From My Friends tour. Tickets cost $71 in advance, $76 on the day of the show.

• Celtic band The High Kings will perform at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) Sunday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39 through the Flying Monkey website.

Train will perform with Yacht Rock Revue at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com), as part of their Summer Road Trip tour, Sunday, July 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $38.

• Jerry Lee Lewis tribute act Great Balls of Fire will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) on Tuesday, July 30, at 8 p.m.

• Singer-songwriter Nico Moon will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) with Sophia Scott on Thursday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $27 in advance, $32 on the day of the show.

• Country band Texas Hill will perform at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) Friday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $24.

• Talking Heads keyboardist Jerry Harrison and King Crimson singer-guitarist Adrian Belew will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Friday, Aug. 2, at 8 p.m. as part of their Remain in Light tour. Tickets begin at $65; there will be a ticketed meet and greet at 5 p.m.

• Afro-futurist band Steel Pulse will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Friday, Aug. 2, at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $39 in advance through the Ballroom’s website, or $44 on the day of the show.

Rock N Roll Circus Featuring James Montgomery, Jon Butcher, and Johnny A will play at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Friday, Aug. 2, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $34. There will be a ticketed VIP event at 5 p.m. This show is produced by Rockin’ 4 Vets/Alive & Kicking Productions, which produces benefit concerts throughout New England to support organizations assisting veterans on issues related to PTSD, addiction and homelessness.

• Kenny Chesney tribute act No Shoes Nation will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Friday, Aug. 2, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22.

• ABBA tribute act Dancing Dream will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Saturday, Aug. 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22 through the Opera House’s website.

33 1/3 Live’s Killer Queen Experience will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Saturday, Aug. 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.

• Led Zeppelin tribute band Get The Led Ou will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Saturday, Aug. 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $33 in advance or $38 on the day of the show.

The Happy Together Tour 2024, featuring The Turtles, Jay and the Americans, The Association, Badfinger, the Vogues, and The Cowsills, will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Sunday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25.

• Heavy metal bands Lamb of God and Mastodon will perform at the SNHU Arena (555 Elm St., Manchester, 644-5000, snhuarena.com) Sunday, Aug. 4, at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $37.

Styx and Foreigner will perform with John Waite at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Sunday, Aug. 4, at 6:45 p.m. on their Renegades and Juke Box Heroes tour. Tickets start at $54.

311 will perform with Awolnation and Neon Trees at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $21.

Teddy Swims will perform with Freak Freely at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $37.

• Funk-Americana trio Assembly of Dust will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $43.

• All-woman string band Della Mae will perform at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) Friday, Aug. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25 through the Flying Monkey website.

• Tribute act That Motown Band will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Friday, Aug. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the Opera House’s website.

Jacob Tolliver will perform at Fulchino Vineyard (187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis, 438-5984, fulchinovineyard.com) Saturday, Aug. 10, at 6:30 p.m.

• Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute act Vyntyge Skynrd will perform at Lakeport Opera House (781 Union Ave., Laconia, 519-7506, lakeportopera.com) Saturday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. Tickets are available through the Opera House’s website.

Slipkid – A Celebration of The Who will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com), Friday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets begin at $21.

• Jam-rock trio Wellfleet will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Friday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets begin at $24.

• Neil Diamond tribute act Cherry Cherry will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $37.

The Doobie Brothers and Steve Winwood will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $38.

• A capella greats Straight, No Chaser will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Saturday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $58.

Face 2 Face – A Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Saturday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22.

• Award-winning musician Tyler Hilton will performat The Music Hall Portsmouth (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Saturday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $36.

A Classical Confection of classical music will perform at Crow’s Feat Farm (178 Drinkwater Road, Kensington, 498-6262, crowsfeatfarm.org) on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $10.

• Fleetwood Mac tribute act Rumours of Fleetwood Mac will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22.

Slipknot will perform with Knocked Loose and Orbit Culture as part of their Here Comes the Pain 25th Anniversary tour at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $69.

• Disco icons KC & The Sunshine Band will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $31.

Dierks Bentley will perform with Chase Rice and the Randy Rogers Band at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane in Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Thursday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m.

Lindsey Stirling will perform with Walk Off the Earth at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Friday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $44.

1964 – The Tribute, a recreation of Beatles performances from 1964, will take the stage at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

• Country singer Brett Young will perform with Mackenzie Porter at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $67 in advance or $72 on the day of the show.

Whiskey Myers will perform with Blackberry Smoke and Eddie Flint at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Saturday, Aug. 17, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $41.

Tom Rush will perform at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St. in Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) Saturday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49 through the Flying Monkey website.

• Seminal third-wave ska band Save Ferris will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Saturday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m.

• Singer-songwriter Pete Kilpatrick will performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org), Saturday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $16 in advance, $20 day of show.

• Rising country star Dustin Lynch will performat the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $67 in advance, $72 on the day of the show.

• Singer-songwriter Bo Bice will play at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39.

Creed will perform with Tonic and Finger Eleven as part of their Summer of 99 tourat BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $87.

Cage the Elephant will perform with Young the Giant, Bakar and Willow Avalon at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $43.

• New Hampshire bands GIRLSPIT, Burly Girlies, Hell Beach & Fun City Fan Club will perform at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Friday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $5 more at the door.

ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform with The Outlaws at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Friday, Aug. 23, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $41.

• New England’s premier Pink Floyd tribute act Echoes of Floyd will perform at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Saturday, Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m.

• Classic rock-jazz trio Sarah Blacker & the Light will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Saturday, Aug. 24, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $30.

Jason Aldean will perform with Hailey Whitters, Chase Matthew, and Austin Snell as part of his Highway Desperado tour at the BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Saturday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $67.

• Talking Heads tribute act Start Making Sensewill perform at The Range Live Music and Concert Venue (96 Old Turnpike Road, Mason, 878-1324, therangemason.com), Saturday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $39 in advance, or $45 on the day of the show.

• Trance arena rock combo Perpetual Groove will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Sunday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $40.50.

• Bluegrass duo Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley will performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) Sunday, Aug. 25, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30.

• Tribute band Sons of Cream will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) Sunday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

• 1990s pop stars Joey Fatone and AJ McLean will perform their show “A Legendary Night” at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $71 in advance, $76 on the day of the show.

Deep Purple and Yes will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40.

• Queentribute act One Night of Queen will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

• Canadian folk duo Rachel Davis & Darren McMullen will performat The Word Barn (66 Newfields Road, Exeter, 244-0202, thewordbarn.com) on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

• Queentribute act One Night of Queen will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) Thursday, Aug. 29, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $21.

• The Band tribute act The Weight Band will perform at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) Friday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $34.

• Tribute band Marcus Rezak’s Gumbo Live Phish Experience will perform at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Friday, Aug. 30, at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $24 in advance, $5 more at the door.

Todd Hearon & Tiny Dog Fight will performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 8 p.m.

Bret Michaels will perform with Chris Janson, Don Felder, Dee Snider and Lou Gramm at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) Saturday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $24.

Tedeschi Trucks Band will perform with Margo Price at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com) on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $40.

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COMEDY

Nick Callas will performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Friday, May 24, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $24.

• Catch the Tupelo Night of Comedy, featuring Brad Mastrangelo, Steve Scarfo and Jeff Koen at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Saturday, May 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22.

Will Noonan will perform at Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester, 206-3888, chunkys.com/movie-theater/chunkysmanchester) on Saturday, May 25, 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Juston McKinney will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) on Saturday, May 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $36.

Jason Cordova, Liam Hales, Jim McCue and Jack Lynch will perform at McCue’s Comedy Club at the Roundabout Diner (508 Portsmouth Traffic Circle, Portsmouth, 844-424-2420, Mccuescomedyclub.com) on Saturday, May 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Dave Rattigaon will perform at Murphy’s Taproom (494 Elm St., Manchester, 644-3535, scampscomedy.com/shows) on Saturday, May 25, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Piff the Magic Dragon will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) on Thursday, May 30, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

Piff the Magic Dragon will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) on Friday, May 31, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

Brian Glowacki and Friends will perform at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) on Friday, May 31, at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $24.

Tony V will perform at McCue’s Comedy Club at the Roundabout Diner (508 Portsmouth Traffic Circle, Portsmouth, 844-424-2420, Mccuescomedyclub.com) on Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Hasan Minhaj will perform at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St., Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com) on Thursday, June 6, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49.50.

Lenny Clark performs at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) on Friday, June 7, at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $24.

Hasan Minhaj will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) on Friday, June 7, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

Jim McCue and Liam Hales will take the stage at McCue’s Comedy Club at the Roundabout Diner (508 Portsmouth Traffic Circle, Portsmouth, 844-424-2420, mccuescomedyclub.com) on Saturday, June 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

• Catch Happy Hour Comedy featuring Matt Shore at The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18.

Brian Beaudoin will perform at Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester, 206-3888, chunkys.com/movie-theater/chunkysmanchester) on Saturday, June 8, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwoodwill performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Thursday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $56.

• See Tom Cotter at The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) on Friday, June 14, at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Max Dolcelli, Andrew Breen, Bill Campbell and Liam Hales will perform at McCue’s Comedy Club at the Roundabout Diner (508 Portsmouth Traffic Circle, Portsmouth, 844-424-2420, Mccuescomedyclub.com) on Saturday, June 15, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Andy Beningowill performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Saturday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $24.

Eddie B. will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Chubb Theatre, Saturday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $34.75.

Mike Hanley performs at Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester, 206-3888, chunkys.com/movie-theater/chunkysmanchester) on Saturday, June 15, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Corey B.will performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Monday, June 17, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $35.

Brian Glowacki, Ryan Gartley and Tony Moschetto will perform at Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22.

Kerri and Carolyn’s PSU Scene of the Crime Comedy will take the stage at The Flying Monkey (39 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2551, flyingmonkeynh.com) on Friday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25.

Pat McGannwill performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22, at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $34.

• Comedy at the Rex brings Jim Colliton to The Rex Theatre (823 Amherst St., Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) on Friday, June 21, at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Pete Davidson will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Saturday, June 22, at 7 and 10 p.m. as part of his Prehabtour. Tickets start at $67.

Will Noonan performs at Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester, 206-3888, chunkys.com/movie-theater/chunkysmanchester) on Saturday, June 22, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Jimmy Cash’s School’s Out! comedy show will beat LaBelle Winery Derry (14 Route 111, Derry, 672-9898, labellewinery.com) on Thursday, June 27, at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $40.

Nurse Blake will perform at the Casino Ballroom (169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 929-4100, casinoballroom.com) on Saturday, June 29, at 8 p.m. as part of his Shock Advised tour. Tickets start at $43.

Karen Morganwill performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Saturday, June 29, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30.

• Live Comedy features Tom Cotter at Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road in Manchester, 206-3888, chunkys.com/movie-theater/chunkysmanchester) on Saturday, June 29, 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Cam Bertrandwill performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Friday, July 12, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $26.

Johnny Ater will perform at McCue’s Comedy Club at the Roundabout Diner (508 Portsmouth Traffic Circle, Portsmouth, 844-424-2420, Mccuescomedyclub.com) on Saturday, July 13, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Dulcé Sloanwill performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Sunday, July 14, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $32.

Jackie Fabulouswill performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org), Thursday, July 18, at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

Bob Marley will perform at the Colonial Theatre Laconia (609 Main St., Laconia, 657-8774, coloniallaconia.com) Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $40.

Robert Kellywill performat The Music Hall (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Saturday, July 20, at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $36.

• Tupelo Night of Comedy features Drew Dunn, Paul Landwehr and Andrea Henry at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25.

Impractical Jokers will perform at BankNH Pavilion (72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com), as part of their Drive, Drive, Drive tour, on Friday, July 26, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $41.

Karen Morgan and Shawn Ruiz will perform at McCue’s Comedy Club at the Roundabout Diner (508 Portsmouth Traffic Circle, Portsmouth, 844-424-2420, Mccuescomedyclub.com) on Saturday, July 27, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Orlando Leybawill performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $28.

Lenny Clark is at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St., Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com) on Friday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35.

Garrison Keillor will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ (44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com) Chubb Theatre on Friday, Aug. 9, at 7:30 p.m.Tickets begin at $53.75.

Chris Franjolawill performat The Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St., Portsmouth, 436-2400, themusichall.org) on Friday, Aug. 16, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $32.

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THEATER

Into the Breeches! by George Brant, produced by Lend Me a Theater (lendmeatheater.org), runs May 24 through June 9 with shows Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets $25 for adults, $22 for students/seniors/members, $19 for senior members.

The Wizard of Oz presented by The Kids Coop Theatre will run on Friday, May 24, at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 25, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 26, at 1 p.m. at Derry Opera House (29 West Broadway, Derry, kidscooptheatre.ludus.com, 765-8593) Tickets are $15.

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be performed by the Manchester Community Theatre Players at The MCTP Theatre at North End Montessori School (698 Beech St., Manchester) Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2. See manchestercommunitytheatre.com.

42nd Street runs Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 23, at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-5588) with shows Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $28 to $49.

Paradise Now! will be presented by Theatre Kapow at the Bank of NH Stage (16 S. Main St., Concord; ccanh.com) on Friday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m. See tkapow.com.

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged) is presented by Cue Zero Theatre Company at the Arts Academy of New Hampshire (19 Keewaydin Drive, Salem, onthestage.tickets/cue-zero-theatre-company) on Friday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 23, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Sleuth presented by The Majestic Academy of Dramatic Arts will run on Friday, June 21, at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 22, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 23, at 2 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre (880 Page St., Manchester, majestictheatre.net, 669-7469). Tickets are $15 and $20.

• The young performers of the Palace Youth Theatre Camp will present shows this summer at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-5588). These include Alice and Wonderland ‘Jr. on Friday, July 5, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m.; 101 Dalmatians ‘Kids’ on Friday, July 12, at 7 p.m.; Newsies ‘Jr.’on Friday, July 26, at 7 p.m. & Saturday, July 27, at 11 a.m.; The Jungle Book ‘Kids’ on Friday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. ; The Wizard of Oz ‘Youth Edition’on Friday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. & Saturday, August 17, at 11 a.m.; andWilly Wonka ‘Kids’on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 12 p.m.

Heathers: The Musical by Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe, based on the 1989 film, produced by Ro Gavin Collaborative Theater and presented by Hatbox Theatre (715-2315, hatboxnh.com) and Manchester Community Theatre Players, runs July 12 through July 21, with shows Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at MCTP Theater at the North End Montessori School in Manchester (689 Beech St.) Tickets cost $28 for adults, $25 for students/seniors/members, $22 for senior members. See hatboxnh.com for content details.

All Shook Up presented by Majestic Productions (Adults) will run on Friday, July 12, at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 13, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 14, at 2 p.m. at Derry Opera House (29 West Broadway, Derry, majestictheatre.net, 669-7469). Tickets are $15 and $22.

Legally Blonde The Musicalis presented by Ovation Theatre Co. Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, featuring performers ages 15 to adult at the Derry Opera House (29 West Broadway in Derry). See ovationtc.com.

Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical is presented by Hatbox Theatre (715-2315, hatboxnh.com) and Manchester Community Theatre Players from Aug. 2 through Aug. 11 with shows Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the North End Montessori School’s MCTP Theatre (698 Beech St., Manchester). Tickets $28 for adults, $25 for students/seniors/members, $22 for senior members. See hatboxnh.com for content details.

Nunsense Jamboree presented by The Majestic Studio Theatre will run on Friday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 11, at 2 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester, majestictheatre.net, 669-7469). Tickets are $15 and $20.

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ART EVENTS

• See the four artists participating in this year’s Nashua International Sculpture Symposium at work on their pieces at Picker Artists (3 Pine St. in Nashua), where they are working Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. according to nashuasculpturesymposium.org, where you can sign up to donate to or pick up a meal for the artists. The pieces, which will become part of Nashua’s townwide exhibit of sculptures, will be unveiled in their installation locations on Saturday, June 1.

The 32nd Annual Memorial Weekend Craft Festival at Mill Falls Marketplace (312 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith) will be held on Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore a wide variety of crafts, including handmade jewelry, pottery, woodwork, textiles and more. Admission is free. Visit castleberryfairs.com.

The Concord Arts Market, an outdoor artisan and fine art market, will run one Saturday a month from June through October, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Rollins Park (33 Bow St., Concord). Market dates are June 8, July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 14. Visit concordartsmarket.net.

• View jaw-dropping sculptures crafted on Hampton Beach at the 24th Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic, happening Thursday, June 20, through Saturday, June 22, at Hampton Beach (180 Ocean Blvd.). The event includes award ceremonies and prizes for the greatest sand sculptures built with the theme “Sand Wars – May the Beach Be With You” in mind. The competition is by invitation only, but the sculptures will be illuminated for viewing at night until June 26. Visit hamptonbeach.org.

The 5th Annual Hampton Falls Liberty Weekend Craft Festival takes place on Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Hampton Falls Town Common (4 Lincoln Ave.) This event is free to the public. More than 75 juried artisans will feature their work. Discover pottery, pillow quilts, wind chimes and more. Visit castleberryfairs.com.

• Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester, currier.org) will hold its annual Block Party on Sunday, July 14, from 4 to 8 p.m. The evening will feature art activities, live music, free gallery admission, food trucks, face painting, a beer and wine tent, a community art project and more, according to the website.

Uncommon Art on the Common takes place on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Goffstown. Find participating artists and more at goffstownuncommonarts.org.

The 91st Annual Craftsmen’s Fair, an annual nine-day outdoor craft fair hosted by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, returns to Mount Sunapee Resort (1398 Route 103, Newbury) from Saturday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 11. There will be hundreds of craftspeople with vendor booths, plus special craft exhibitions, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and more. Tickets should go on sale at some point in June. Call 224-3375 or visit nhcrafts.org.

The Greeley Park Art Show (100 Concord St., Nashua) returns on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., both days. The annual outdoor juried art show hosted by Nashua Area Artists Association features a variety of artwork for sale. Visit nashuaarts.org/greeleyparkartshow.

Andres Institute of Art (106 Route 13 in Brookline) has a network of trails that are decorated with various sculptures and other artwork, and hosts various events, all summer long.

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ART EXHIBITS

• “The Potential of Women in Outer Space: Polly Apfelbaum & Alice Mackler at Outer Space gallery (35 Pleasant St. in Concord) will run until Saturday, July 1, by appointment, and another exhibit will be coming this summer displaying the work of Erin M. Riley & Lou Breininger.Visit outerspacearts.xyz.

• “Unfixed Concrete Ideal” is on display at 3S Artspace (319 Vaughan St. in Portsmouth, 3sarts.org) through Sunday, June 2. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

• “I Live a Journey of a Thousand Years,featuring about 20 works by Raphaël Barontini, will be on display through Sunday, June 23, at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester, currier.org).

• “Filippo De Pisis and Robert Mapplethorpe: A Distant Conversation” will be on display at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org) until Monday, Sept. 2.

New works by Rosemary Conroy are on exhibit atSullivan Framing and Fine Art Gallery (15 N. Amherst Road in Bedford) until the end of June. Visit sullivanframing.com.

• “Metalsum” will be on display at the McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road in Concord; nhaudubon.org) through Friday, July 12. The show features rustic metal artwork with an emphasis on portraying the natural world by Jane Kolias, a New Hampshire native now residing in Vermont, according to the event website. Visit the exhibition Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• “Stories of the Sea” includes Van Gogh’s first outdoor painting and two by Andrew Wyeth and will be on display at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org) until Friday, Oct. 18.

• “Cymodocea, an exhibit from New York-based artist Elisabeth Kley, will be on display at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org) until Sunday, Aug. 25.

• “Resurgence: Art of the Botanical” will be on display at Mosaic Art Collective (mosaicartcollective.com; 66 Hanover St. in Manchester) until Tuesday, May 28.

• “Luxe” will be on display at Mosaic Art Collective (66 Hanover St., Manchester, mosaicartcollective.com) from Monday, June 3, until Sunday, June 30.

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NATURE

• Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, prescottfarm.org) presents an indoor educational program for adults, “Native Salve for Stings and Rashes, on Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m. Learn about plantain, a common weed of lawns and fields that has healing properties for bee stings and skin rashes. $10 for members, $25 for non-members.

• Celebrate National Trails Day with Beaver Brook (117 Ridge Road, Hollis, beaverbrook.org) on Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants will help with the annual tradition of trail work, with a focus on cutting back branches that are encroaching on the Jeff Smith trail, according to the website. Organizers ask that you bring work gloves, a water bottle and bug spray, and dress for the weather. Participants can park on Iron Works Lane by the Hollis-Jeff Smith Trailhead, according to the website. Beaver Brook will provide all necessary tools and snacks and will have extra work gloves just in case.

• Go for a guided walk at Pickering Ponds (Pickering Road, Rochester) with the NH Audubon on Sunday, June 2, at 7 a.m. to observe nesting birds and their breeding evidence along the trails. Space is limited and registration is required. Visit seacoastchapter.org/field-trips.

• Saturday, June 1, is New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Free Fishing Day, when state residents and nonresidents are allowed to fish any inland water or saltwater in New Hampshire without a fishing license. Visit wildlife.state.nh.us.

• Join NH Audubon on Saturday, June 1, at 9 a.m. along with Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire (222 Park St. in Portsmouth, nhaudubon.org) for a special guided tour of Portsmouth in honor of Black Birders Week. Participants can learn about the African-American history of New Hampshire while keeping an eye out for birds and other local wildlife, according to the website. They ask that you arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the trail tour and note that free parking is available at the Parrott Avenue Parking Lot and along streets nearby. All ages are welcome but space is limited and registration is required, according to the website.

• Discover how not all owls hoot! and find out what other sounds owls make, at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, prescottfarm.org), where participants will see a taxidermied owl, sing and dance to owl sounds and music, and play an owl and mouse game in their “Summer Polliwogs: Whooo’s Who (American Owls)” workshopon Wednesday, June 5, at 10 a.m. for ages pre-K accompanied by an adult. Tickets for a pair are $15.

• Southeast Land Trust (SELT) is hosting Riveting Raptors with Tailwinds at The Nan and George Mathey Center for People and Nature at Burley Farms (247 N. River Road, Epping) on Wednesday, June 5, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to learn about owl, hawk and vulture habitat, conservation needs, and how to co-exist with these impressive neighbors. Visit seltnh.org to register.

• NH Audubon and Steve Mirick, an avid birder and expert butterfly enthusiast who has guided birding and butterfly communities, will lead an exploration of varied butterfly habitats in the Capital Area on Tuesday, June 11, at 11 a.m. A similar program on Tuesday, June 18, at 11 a.m. will be led by Mike Thomas, a retired entomologist and extraordinary butterfly enthusiast. Both will be at the McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, nhaudubon.org). Participants will learn how to identify butterflies in various habitats. All skill levels are welcome. Space is limited and registration is required.

Explore the world of bird habitat with the NH Audubon Seacoast Chapter and Matt Tarr of UNH Cooperative Extension on Wednesday, June 12, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and Friday, June 14, from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at Pickering Ponds trails in Rochester. Visit seacoastchapter.org.

• A native plant sale and spring craft fair will be held at the NH Audubon’s McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, nhaudubon.org) on Sunday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, prescottfarm.org) will host a workshop on “Poisonous Plants and Natural Hazards” on Saturday, June 8, at 10 a.m. Discover the healing properties of plantain, a common weed found in lawns and fields. Free for members and $25 for nonmembers to register. Visit prescottfarm.org.

• Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (534 Route 3, Holderness, nhnature.org) has its annual Breeding Bird Census on Wednesday, June 5. The public is invited to listen for and document the territorial songs of male birds, which indicate probable nesting. The early session, from 5:30 to 8 a.m., will cover two forested zones including Mt. Fayal, while the later session, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., will cover fields, exhibit areas and Kirkwood Gardens. Registration is required, according to the website.

• Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, prescottfarm.org) will host a workshop called “Inside the Beehive” on Saturday, June 15, at 1 p.m. The workshop is open to youth and adults, will involve a local raw honey tasting, and is free for members and is $15 for nonmembers.

• Join the Seacoast Science Center (570 Ocean Blvd., Rye) for World Ocean Day, Sunday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature hands-on games, educational activities, naturalist-led tide pooling sessions, food trucks, a beach clean-up and a life-size inflatable whale. Visit seacoastsciencecenter.org.

• Squam Lakes Natural Science Center will be hosting its StoryWalk Kickoff Reception at the Curry Place (846 Route 3 in Holderness) on Friday, June 28, at 10 a.m. Attendees can stroll along the Squam channel as they read a fun nature-inspired story posted one page at a time along the trail. Children can participate in a craft and enjoy a snack connected to the story, according to the website. Free and no registration required. Visit nhnature.org.

• Southeast Land Trust (SELT) is hosting a Summer Solstice Yoga Hike where participants will join avid hiker and 500-Hour Registered Yoga Instructor Venera Gattonini for a hike throughStonehouse Forest up to the cliff looking over Stonehouse Pond on Friday, June 21, at 6 p.m. The program is for ages 14 and up who have some hiking or yoga experience. Visit seltnh.org to register.

• Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, prescottfarm.org) will host an all-ages workshop, “Tractor Tour: Life in the Fields, on Saturday, July 6, at 10 a.m., where participants can watch for hawks and songbirds soaring overhead and learn how animals such as deer, bears, songbirds and turkeys depend on open fields for food and shelter, according to the website. Free for members and $15 for nonmembers.

• Pumpkin Blossom Farm (393 Pumpkin Hill Road, Warner) hosts Lavender U-Pick in its lavender fields on various dates between Friday, July 5, and Sunday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to wander the fields and cut and harvest bundles of lavender. Attendees are welcome to relax and have a picnic on the lawn, walk the shaded trail and visit the baby chicks. Lavender plants, products and treats will also be for sale. Visit pumpkinblossomfarm.com.

• Join the Seacoast Science Center for the 4th annual Piscataqua Riverfest at Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock St., Portsmouth) on Saturday, July 20. The event will feature sailing trips and tours, local food, a beer garden, live music entertainment and more. Visit seacoastsciencecenter.org.

• Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, prescottfarm.org) will hold four different Summer Polliwog programs for kids on different Wednesdays in July at 10 a.m. The first is called “Mud”tastic and involves a mud run on July 10 and is $12 for an adult and child pair; the next is Glorious Bugs, where participants will make homes for bugs, and is on July 17; the third is Water Up! Water Down! Water all Around! where participants will learn about the water cycle on July 24; and the last one, on July 31, is called Acorn Was a Little Wild, which involves a puppet named Stasher and a hunt for deciduous trees. These last three are $15 for an adult and child pair.

• The Seacoast Chapter of the NH Audubon will be hosting Birds & Butterflies of Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, July 20, at 8 a.m. Join Steve Mirick and explore the birds and butterflies of the refuge and adjacent areas, weather permitting, during a long but level walk. Participants will meet at the trailhead for the Cherry Pond Trail at 289 Airport Road in Whitefield. Registration is limited to 20 participants, according to the website. Visit seacoastchapter.org.

• Head to Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia, prescottfarm.org) for Fireflies Light Up the Sky on Saturday, July 27, from 7 to 8 p.m. to learn about fireflies and experience them in action. This even is for ages 12 and older. The cost is $15 for nonmembers.

The Second Annual Capital Area New Hampshire Butterfly Survey will take place on Saturday, July 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the NH Audubon’s McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord) and will help gather long-term butterfly data to support statewide butterfly conservation efforts. Visit nhaudubon.org.

• Go for a beginner wild mushroom walk at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (928 White Oaks Road, Laconia) on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. Led by experts from the New Hampshire Mushroom Co., this guided walk will take you along the farm’s scenic trails to search for, collect, identify and become familiar with the distinguishing features of different mushrooms. This event is for foragers 16 and older. $20 for members and $35 for nonmembers. Visit prescottfarm.org.

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SPORTS

• The six-time champion Nashua Silver Knights, members of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, will host their home opener at Holman Stadium (67 Amherst St., Nashua) on Friday, May 24, against the Vermont Lake Monsters, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. Their last home game will be on Friday, Aug. 2, at 6 p.m., when they will take on the New Britain Bees, before the playoffs begin later that week. Visit nashuasilverknights.com.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A minor-league affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball, is in the middle of a home stand at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester) that lasts until Sunday, May 26. Fireworks follow the game on Friday, May 24, at 6:35 p.m. courtesy of Atlas Fireworks. On Saturday, May 25, the Fisher Cats’ annual Cats-Con game will celebrate favorite movies, comic books, heroes, villains and much more, featuring characters from Double Midnight Comics. Other events this season include a Blue Heeler Appreciation Brunch on Sunday, May 26, before the 1:35 p.m. game against the Somerset Patriots; a Father’s Day celebration to honor Fisher Cats dad fans on Sunday, June 16, when the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a limited-edition Fisher Cats bucket hat; fireworks from Thursday, July 4, through Saturday, July 7, after games against the Portland Sea Dogs; Star Wars Night on Saturday, July 13; Sitcom Night on Thursday, Aug. 8; a celebration of the ’90s on Saturday, Aug. 10, when Beanie Babies get in free and the first 1,000 fans through the gates get a clear fanny pack; a celebration of New Hampshire hockey on Saturday, Aug. 24, where the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Monarchs-vs.-Fisher Cats bobblehead; a Piggy Tea Party Brunch before the 1:35 p.m. game on Sunday, Aug. 25, and more. The final home game is slated for Sunday, Sept. 8, against the Portland Sea Dogs. Visit nhfishercats.com.

• The Major League Soccer team the New England Revolution II will play their home games at Mark A. Ouellette Stadium (Victory Lane in Hooksett) on Sunday, May 26, at 3 p.m.; Friday, June 14, and Sunday, June 23, at 6 p.m.; Saturday, July 6, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 8, at 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m. Tickets start at $12. Visit revolutionsoccer.net/revolutionii.

The Hoodkroft Open at Hoodkroft Country Club (121 E. Broadway, Derry) will feature the men’s super senior division on Thursday, May 30; the men’s senior division and the women’s division (all ages) on Friday, May 31, and the men’s division (all ages) on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2. The costs are TBD but have ranged from $50 to $100 in past tournaments, depending on the chosen division, and golf carts are sold separately. Visit hoodkroftcc.com.

• Join Special Olympics New Hampshire for its 2024 State Summer Games, the organization’s largest competition of the year for its athletes, on Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, at the University of New Hampshire (105 Main St., Durham). The games include competition in athletics, bocce, equestrian, powerlifting, unified sprint triathlons and swimming. Visit sonh.org.

• RelAxe Throwing (157 Gay St., Manchester) will be home to the 4th annual Granite State Axe Tournament on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, with matches beginning at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday (big ax and dual knives) and at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday (hatchets and duals). See relaxethrowing.com.

• AG Paintball (158 Deering Center Road, Weare) on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, will host the New Hampshire Paintball Classic, featuring the 10-vs.-10-style match, which includes capture the flag, with first-, second- and third-place cash prizes. Visit agpaintball.com.

The 80th annual New Hampshire Soap Box Derby race will be held on Sunday, June 2, at 120 Broadway in Dover — check-ins begin at 7:45 a.m., with side-by-side competitions kicking off at 10 a.m. The Derby creates an opportunity for kids ages 7 and older to create a gravity-powered car and race it down a track in hopes of making the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship, hosted in Akron, Ohio. Cheering on the racers is free, and parking is available at 73 Oak St. in Dover. Visit nh.soapboxderby.org.

• The final match of the Division 1 through 4 NHIAA Baseball Tournament will take place on Saturday, June 8, at a time TBD at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester; time TBA). Visit nhiaa.org.

• Join the Milford Rotary Club to play 100 Holes of Golf in One Day on Friday, June 14, at Amherst Country Club (72 Ponemah Road, Amherst), with tee-off at 6 a.m. Play is expected to be completed by 7:30 p.m., and scoring will be based on 90 holes played continuously. Prizes will be awarded for closest to the pin and hole-in-one, if made. See golf100holes.com.

• Don’t miss the 100th annual Loudon Classic Middleweight Grand Prix, a 1.6-mile road race happening at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1122 Route 106, Loudon) on Saturday, June 17, as part of Laconia Motorcycle Week. General admission is $40 and VIP admission is $70. Visit nhms.com.

• The Franklin Animal Shelter’s Fifth Annual Charity Golf Tournament happens Monday, June 17, at Beaver Meadow Golf Course (1 Beaver Meadow Drive, Concord), with $125 registration per player beginning at 7 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the first- and second-place winning teams, and several contests are planned. All proceeds will benefit Franklin Animal Shelter. Visit franklinanimalshelter.com/golf.

• Registration is open for this year’s New Hampshire Senior Games. The first local event, a candlepin bowling tournament, is happening at Boutwell’s Bowling Center (152 N. State St., Concord) on Friday, June 21, at 1 p.m. More events are scheduled to take place in July and August, covering disc golf, archery, basketball, swimming, racquetball, table tennis, badminton, pickleball and more. See nhseniorgames.org.

• Dozens of high school football players from across the state will participate in the 12th annual CHaD NH East-West High School All-Star Football Game, scheduled for Friday, June 28, at 6 p.m. at Grappone Stadium at Saint Anselm College (100 St. Anselm Drive, Manchester). General admission tickets are $15, with all proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). Visit chadkids.org.

NH Roller Derby (nhrollerderby.com) has double-headers scheduled for Saturday, June 8; Saturday, June 29, and Saturday, July 27, at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

Granite State Roller Derby (granitestaterollerderby.org) has home bouts scheduled for Saturday, June 29, and Saturday, July 20, both at 6:30 p.m. and held at the Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord).

4th Annual Putts for Pups, a golf tournament fundraiser for Second Chance Ranch Rescue in New Boston, returns to Stonebridge Country Club (161 Gorham Pond Road, Goffstown) on Monday, June 24. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., the day will include 18 holes of golf, lunch, drinks, raffles, silent auctions, giveaways and more. Registration is $135 per person, or $475 per foursome. Visit secondchanceranchrescue.com/events/golf.

• It’s NASCAR Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1122 Route 106, Loudon) from Saturday, June 22, through Sunday, June 23. This includes the SciAps 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race & Mohegan Sun 100 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on Saturday and the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. Tickets vary in price, depending on the race. See nhms.com.

Monte Scheinblum’s Boston Clinic is hosted at World Cup Golf Center (4 Friel Golf Road, Hudson), where the professional golfer works with players of all skill types over the course of a few days. There will be group and individual sessions from Saturday, July 13, through Monday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Search “Boston Golf Clinic with Monte Scheinblum” on eventbrite.com.

• The Milford Community Athletic Association’s Fourth Annual Golf Tournament is happening on Monday, July 15, at Amherst Country Club (72 Ponemah Road, Amherst), with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The tournament will be followed by lunch and an awards ceremony and will feature several contests. Registration is $600 per foursome. Visit mcaa.us.

• New Hampshire Muscle Cars club will be hosting its Midsummer Sizzler on Sunday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Star Speedway (176 Exeter Road in Epping). It will include burnout competitions as well as slalom competitions. Visit nhmusclecars.com.

The 20th annual Fore Paws Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Salem Animal Rescue League, is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Aug. 12. Visit sarlnh.org.

The 121st Annual State Amateur Championship put on by the New Hampshire Golf Association starts Monday, July 8, and runs until Saturday, July 13, at Concord Country Club (22 Country Club Lane in Concord). Visit nhgolfassociation.org.

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Featured photo: Featured car is a ‘69 Camaro. Photo courtesy of AK Rods and Customs.

Art on wheels

Fans of muscle cars, British cars and rat rods prepare for another season on the road

By Zachary Lewis
zlewis@hippopress.com

Although metal, iron, copper, gasoline, asphalt, rubber, leather, fire and smoke are common elements in the world of muscle and sports car, American or import, the real fuel for these mechanized combustion wonders is the living, breathing community that supports and maintains these movable pieces of art, which will be on grand display at the Granite State Season Opener put on by New Hampshire Muscle Cars on Saturday, May 18, at the Deerfield fairgrounds.

This is a car club that unites thousands car enthusiasts alongside the other car clubs in the state such as British Cars of New Hampshire. Horsepower Farm and AK Rods and Customs are just a sample of the great crews and shops that craft and maintain the metal beasts. So this is a small selection of the large car world inside New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Muscle Cars club

The New Hampshire Muscle Cars car club was formed in December 2018 by muscle car enthusiast Phil Manro, and this is the club’s sixth show season. The club holds member events in the winter and summer. Exclusive to the summer and fall months are three car shows that are open to the public and for anyone to bring in their cars. These are the Season Opener on Saturday, May 18, the Midsummer Sizzler in July, and the Season Closer in October.

There are more than 11,000 members, making it the largest car club in New England.

New Hampshire Muscle Cars is a nonprofit organization. Money that is made goes back into the club to put on shows, to the infrastructure for the shows and club (a 24-foot club trailer, a couple of golf carts, scooters, lots of tents, a sound system, etc.) or to charities. Each event typically has a specific charity fundraising element. Working Dog Foundation, a group that trains police dogs, is the charity for the Season Opener and will be holding a demonstration of a police puppy taking down a perp.

“What we have tried to build and done so successfully is a nice community of car enthusiasts where we’re bringing together the vendors that support us with our member community,” Manro said. They have a core crew of around 30 volunteers who help put on these events, he said.

Muscle car ownership is not a prerequisite but if that prospect sounds like a nice future, this is the club to join. Shop owners around the state who work on such vehicles are in support and enjoy the connections made through membership. Keith Lefebvre, owner of AK Rods and Customs and a sponsor, said that the club “brings a great community together to learn from, to talk to, it gives you more of a diverse type of environment … one of the bigger things that makes a difference between what Phil does with the New Hampshire Muscle Car club and other events.”

Member-only events, although each is different, are held at sponsors’ sites. In April the event was at Horsepower Farm. It was a sort of open house where there was a shop tour and dyno tuning, which tests the horsepower of a car. (“Very loud,” Manro said.) Other locales have included places such as restoration shops.

Their biggest car show is typically the Season Opener. Their biggest year had around 1,113 show cars drive up and around 2,500 people. “We try to make it very affordable,” Manro said.

There’s a big grass field for parking and the first three gates are for the cars, while the fourth is where the humans enter.

The main fields, along with the gates, are devoted to cars with the fourth allotted for foot traffic and more than 40 vendors lining all the way up to the middle of the fairgrounds, where the food court will be along with, this year, live music blasted out by Southern Breeze.

Past this, there are two barns with car museum experiences: the indoor concourse showcase exhibit “Patina & Rat Rods” or their Barn of Rust, and the Race Car Barn. Behind the building is where the Working Dog Foundation will hold a demonstration.

Rat rods are typically older vehicles that are hodgepodged into functionality.

“In the movie Cars, Mater the tow truck there was all rusty and had a lot of different parts put on him. That’s kind of what a rat rod looks like,” Manro said. Now add a souped up engine that’s super loud. “They might look like something out of the junkyard but when you look real close you’ll see there’s actually a lot of craftsmanship that goes into making them. … They’re very eclectic.”

This year there will be 16 vehicles in competition in Barn 1 in battle for the Concourse Cup and the trophy that accompanies it.

Horsepower Farm owner Rick Soreno will have a rat rod competing in Barn 1. The 1930 Ford “was a parade car I bought in Belmont, New Hampshire,” Soreno said. “I took the body off it and sold everything else. Then we constructed a custom tube chassis for it. I had a Chrysler 300 SRT8 vehicle that got into an accident so I took all of the drivetrain out of that and put that into the chassis we built. We put it on ‘air ride’ [a type of suspension] and some big wheels and tires. It’s got the Gen III Hemi motor in it. A lot of custom fabrication work to it,” Soreno said.

A hemi is a car engine with a hemispherical combustion chamber, which is essentially a cylinder and piston top molded into the shape of a dome and typically refers to the V8 engine first designed by Chrysler in the 1950s and modified over time.

There are 30 different show car trophies up for grabs as well.

In the Race Car Barn there will be a 1960s front-engine dragster; these are unique in having the engine placed in front of the driver instead of behind as they are now. There will be road course cars, drag race cars and some others for a total of 10 very fast vehicles.

The what and why of muscle cars

According to Manro, a muscle car is “traditionally considered a car from the early ’60s to the very early ’70s, maybe ’71, ’72, with American-made V8 engine rear-wheel drive.”

The Pontiac GTO is considered one of the first.

There are Trans Ams, Firebirds, GTOs, Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers. Manufacturers include General Motors (Chevy, Pontiac and Oldsmobile). Then there are Dodge, Chrysler and Ford. The nuance of company ownership and titles is vast but these big names are good for an overview of the subject.

Now, there are “modern muscle vehicles, so you have modern Camaros that are kind of created in the likeness of their predecessors from the ’60s and ’70s,” Manro said. “It looks like an older Camaro, it looks like an older Challenger, or it looks like an older Mustang.” Around a third of the attendees have these, he said. “It’s a field of both classic and modern muscle cars.”

Manro grew up within walking distance of a race track, Oswego Speedway, and would head there on Saturday nights with his neighbors.

“That was what really got me into a little bit of the racing side of things,” he said. His father had muscle cars and imports. “He had a Jaguar in the ’60s that he worked on and restored, and that kind of got me into it.”

Manro’s first car was a ’77 Camaro he acquired in the mid-’80s when he was in high school. “Back then it was just a used car,” he said. Working on that car, and its history, cemented his love for the machine. When he was older he built his first kit car, a Factory Five Racing Shelby Cobra. “I had a lot of fun building that car,” Manro said. “Built probably a handful over the years.”

The suggestion to start the club was from his wife, Virginia. “She said to me, ‘Why don’t you start a Facebook group?’” he recalled.

The original intent was to find a handful of like-minded enthusiasts to go to shows and talk shop, but this vehicle shows no signs of stopping with over 11,000 members.

Soreno, the owner of Horsepower Farm, has been with Manro since the inception.

“I think I was the 20th member of the club. I’ve been with Phil since Day 1. It’s a good collaboration between the club and what we do for the members’ vehicles,” Soreno said.

This community spirit will be on display on Saturday, May 18, at the Season Opener. “I think it’s the camaraderie and the family aspect,” Phil Manro said. “We get a lot of families … people walking around having a lot of fun. … [It’s] a nice, inexpensive way to spend your day.”

New Hampshire Muscle Cars
Info: nhmusclecars.com; Cost of entrance is collected at the gates the day of the show for show cars and spectators. No online sales.

Granite State Season Opener
When: Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; gates open for show cars at 8 a.m. Rain date May 19.
Where: Deerfield Fairgrounds
Admission: $15 per show car, includes driver. $5 per passenger or spectator. Free for kids 12 and under.

The Midsummer Sizzler
When: Sunday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Star Speedway
Where: 176 Exeter Road, Epping
Admission: $15 per show car, includes driver. $5 per passenger or spectator. Free for kids 12 and under.
This event will contain a burnout and a slalom competition between traffic cones.

Granite State Season Closer
When: Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Hopkinton Fairgrounds, 392 Kearsarge Ave., Contoocook
Admission: $15 per show car, includes driver. $5 per passenger or spectator. Free for kids 12 and under.
Free apple cider and doughnuts; trunk-or-treat

The New Hampshire Muscle Cars car club will also take part in the 23rd Annual Cruising Downtown display of vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles Saturday, Aug. 31, in Manchester; cruisingdowntownmanchester.com.

Horsepower Farm

The sounds of revved engines replace the rooster call at Horsepower Farm. When the sun is up, they do a lot of dyno tuning, car building, restomods (restoration and modification of vehicles) and LS swaps (an LS is a series of engines manufactured by General Motors).

“We do exhaust systems, suspension systems, braking systems, wheels, tires, just about everything but paint right now,” said Rick Soreno, the owner of Horsepower Farms.

sleek black car, low to the ground, on tarmac beside pop up tent with branded merchandise
Photo courtesy of Horsepower Farm.

Dyno tuning involves a dynamometer and is a helpful tool in measuring the performance of any given car. At Horsepower Farm it is a big machine inside a drum built into the floor, where “we strap the car down to the ground and then we can run the car stationary — it’s kind of like a treadmill for a car,” Soreno said. Unlike what happened to Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, miles are not being ‘reversed’ off his dad’s shiny red 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder and the vehicle will not ultimately go crashing out of a glass garage.

Sensors are placed inside the tailpipe and as the vehicle is run, and Soreno is able to garner from the readings how to maximize output and see how different modifications performed on a car have enhanced its power. It’s a way to “get the most horsepower out of a vehicle without racing up and down the street,” he said.

This knowledge and subsequent modification and tuning can be applied to most vehicles.

“Any car could benefit from a tune. They all come from the factory a little bit de-tuned. You can always add a little bit of timing, get a little more snap out of it, get a little more response,” Soreno said.

The LS engine family, which started in 1997 with the release of the Chevrolet Corvette (C5), the fifth generation of Corvettes, is popular because of the price for the small-block engine that holds anywhere from 300 to 400 from the factory but can reach well over a thousand with modifications.

“Parts are easy to find,” Soreno said. “They tend to go in cars easy, a good swap for old muscle cars. … Any GM car that has a V8 in it is probably an LS motor that can be put into a muscle car. … If you boost them, and when I say boost them, put a supercharger or a turbo on it, they’ll pretty much double the output power. … Everybody wants more power,” Soreno said. These engines are a newer generation of the hemi engines created in the 1950s.

Apart from using the tools to create the equivalent of the Christopher Nolan-era batmobiles, Soreno and his shop delve in the metal arts. Depending on what he is working on, he uses scrap metal, pistons, rods, and pretty much any type of metal he can get his hands on.

One such project involves beautifying a restaurant at the Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain.

“A focal-point artisan metal tree in the middle of the restaurant, it’s pretty cool, and we’re building them a big sign for the wall,” he said.

Soreno and his crew are proficient.

“I’ve got four guys working for me. We crank out some work. We get a lot of our work from the New Hampshire Muscle Car club,” he said. Soreno had some advice for those interested in securing a muscle car for themselves.

“Call around and visit some good shops and see what they’re doing and see what they have parked out front. Talk to the business owners. They can steer you in the right direction. I do that with a lot of my clients before they buy a vehicle. I tell them to come get me and let me go with them. Especially if you don’t know what you’re doing yet, ’cause you can buy a headache,” Soreno said.

And Soreno knows what he is talking about as a lifelong innovator of all things connectable.

“I would not read the directions and I would just take all the parts and I would make stuff. Erector sets, Legos, various other things, and stick them together with the motors that I’d get for the electronic cars, just play with things … just gravitated toward it.” He bought his first car at 14 and worked on it until he could legally drive it out of his driveway. His number of cars has since increased. “Yeah, they’re fun, I’ve got a few of them.”

Soreno feels right at home in this world: “It’s a great big family actually, everybody is pretty nice in the club, we’re all here to help each other….”

Horsepower Farm
22 Shaker Brook park in Loudon
horsepowerfarmllc.com
572-4267

AK Rods and Customs

“We do classic American street rods, muscle cars, restorations and custom builds for customers throughout New England,” said Keith Lefebvre, owner of AK Rods and Customs, who was inspired to the trade by his father, who always included him in the action.

They have been a part of the New Hampshire Muscle Cars club since the beginning. Keith had done business with Phil and was one of the first sponsors of the club and their events. “When he reached out to me about the idea of the club, it sounded great,” Lefebvre said.

Keith graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts but left before receiving a master’s in education from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, to move to Laramie, Wyoming. He enrolled in Wyoming Technical Institute, placed in the top 10 percent of his class, and now has a waiting list that stretches over a year long.

refurbished old car, painted red and black, with open engine, sitting in showroom
Photo courtesy of AK Rods and Customs.

His five full-time employees and his mother, who works part-time, like to cater to the antique and classic car world.

“We’re a family-run shop, so we take a lot of pride in our name, reputation, and the quality of work that leaves here,” he said. They even work on British imports like the MG, Jaguar, as well as German imports and others.

“Being a part of the club with Phil, kind of helping him create a club that’s in a similar fashion, where people look up to it and hold it to a high standard — I typically wouldn’t put ourselves out there to be part of something like that unless it was run by people that are of an upstanding stature for our community,” Lefebvre said.

“Phil and Virginia are good people to work with,” he said. Keith does not advertise except through events and word of mouth.

They’ll have a tent at the Club’s Season Opener where they’ll show off striping and custom colors and graphics. They will also be bringing in four vehicles: a 1956 Chevy Suburban; his father’s 1933 Plymouth Coupe, which his father’s started to work on when Keith was 4 and finished when he was 11; a 1978 Trans Am Firebird, and a 1932 Ford that has “a blown hemi in it, a pretty cool-looking vehicle but it’s not quite finished, but it will allow customers to see some of the fabrication work, some of our welding work, some of our wiring work, and some of the things in the raw before it gets covered up.” Customers who have had their vehicles worked on by AK Rods and Customs will make a showing as well.

Lefebvre’s shop is more focused on high-end models.

“I don’t mess much with drag cars or race cars. I started the business focused on the indoor show car crowd,” he said. “We definitely are like the guys that build the cars with the white gloves and they push the cars on and off the carpet to some of these indoor arenas and things like that. Some of our vehicles are in that stature.” He also works for ‘daily drivers’ or those who are looking to restore a muscle car, but typically “all of our work typically leaves here finished, painted, pretty, and all ready for a concourse-style show.”

A customer can give Keith a shell of a vehicle and he and his crew can custom build a whole new car within that shell with new technology and parts.

“Hide all those modern amenities within the old facade of the original vehicle itself to kind of create a blend of new and old,” he said. It is like an individualized car factory with a keen eye to “coach-build our customers a custom whatever year, make, model vehicle, it is that they had envisioned. That’s really our corner of speciality in the market here in the New England area.” They will make the dream a reality.

Some jobs can take up to 18 months and possibly more. Keith and the crew from AK Rods spent sleepless nights to ready “Roxane,” a 1969 Dodge Charger with a 1,000-horsepower blown hemi priming the mechanical marvel. They built the fire walls, floors, frame rails, front and rear suspension and actually drove it to the Detroit Autorama in 2013. It won Best Pro Street Unlimited and Best Paint. “Which was a real big feather in the cap for some random New Hampshire boys to show up and do in the big arena,” Lefebvre said.

They even modified a ’69 Camaro for a customer in a wheelchair with an added hand-brake option to allow him the use of the brake system.

They only typically work on vehicles from 1984 or older, but will make exceptions for museum exhibitions or other special cases.

“Being a family-run shop, I’ve got some great guys that have worked for me for many years now. It’s nice to have a family-like community to work within and grow with,” he said.

All this hard work is worth it to Keith and the team at AK Rods and Customs to realize the vision of his customers and they’re overjoyed with the outcome. Some are impressed because customers will say, “that was my dad’s car and I never even got to see it on the road and we’re making grown, big burly construction men cry because we got their vehicles all done and they’re so happy that it finally looks the way they never thought they’d see it. It drives in such a way they never thought they’d be able to enjoy it. It’s a very appreciative line of work….”

AK Rods and Customs
1 Independence Drive in Londonderry
818-8264, akrodsncustoms.com

British Cars of New Hampshire

classic cars lined up on grass during car show, people looking at them, sunny day, trees behind
2022 Show of Dreams. Photo courtesy of British Cars of New Hampshire.

British Cars of New Hampshire operates with four councils throughout the state, holding monthly meetings in Manchester, Bristol, Portsmouth and Jaffrey.

The club was established in 1991 by six couples in the Manchester and Concord area led by the driving force of Mike Sweet. A similar club they had been part of in Massachusetts was too far south to attend regularly.

“It’s not just driving cool cars around, it’s giving back to the community, that’s our main focus,” said Sweet, who is also Prime Minister of British Cars of New Hampshire.

Their big charity fundraising car show is called Show of Dreams and will be held this year on Saturday, July 27, at the Alvirne Hills House in Hudson, with all proceeds to go to the New Hampshire Food Bank. Last year’s show earned over $20,000 for the Food Bank, amounting to around 40,000 meals that the organization was able to supply. This year’s Show of Dreams will be the club’s 27th with multiple trophies up for grabs.

Aston Martins are certainly allowed in the club, but James Bond cars are not necessary. Jaguar E types, Triumphs, MGs, Lotus, Morgan, pretty much any British ‘marque’ is included in the club. “These cars are the precursor to everything we drive today,” said Diana Stanley, who is a member along with her husband. They have a 1974 Triumph TR6, a 1980 Triumph TR8, a 1983 Jaguar XJ6 and a 2008 Jaguar XK. As with children, it is hard to pick a favorite.

“The problem is we love them all and we try to drive all of them,” she said. Their ’74 TR6 was purchased at a large British car show up in Stowe, Vermont, called The British Invasion that happens the third weekend in September and garners more than 700 cars from across the pond.

“They were the original sports cars. Most British cars were brought over after World War II, in particular the MG TD TC and TF, they were brought over by the soldiers….” These are the old-timey yet sleekly modern cars you see in a lot of BBC miniseries since their line was first produced in 1936. Soon they were being imported to the United States, and in Connecticut, where Diana Stanley and her husband are originally from, was a Triumph dealership.

Sweet first got interested in Matchbox cars and then James Bond.

“I fell in love with England and it was just a natural progression. My first car when I got my license was a 1972 MGB. That’s the way it worked out,” Sweet said. Along with the two-door sports car, Sweet has three Triumphs: a ’79 Spitfire, a ’76 TR 6 and a ’62 TR 3B. “It’s like therapy on wheels. If you’re having a bad day, all you’ve got to do is take the top down and take a drive,” he said. “There’s really nothing like being 4 inches off the ground and having the wind go through your hair and hearing a nicely tuned engine. It’s a lot of fun.”

Unfortunately, the driving season in New Hampshire is not the longest. The beginning of May is a typical starting point.

“As soon as the snow goes away and most of the salt is off the roads,” Stanley said, is when one is able to hop in the Jaguar for a ride. Depending on the weather outlook for snow the season can last until November. “The club is a very fun club,” she said. “We have a lot of activities.”

The drive on Saturday, May 18, starts at the Prime Minister’s residence in Weare; they will drive out to the western region of the state and return back, totalling about two hours.

Each of the four council groups will host rides to allow members to cruise around their region. Some drives feature different themes, such as waterfalls or covered bridges, but as long as the road is paved they’re good to go. A lunch or dinner is an aspect of the journey.

Although Aston Martins, MGs and Jaguars are high-performance cars, “they really wouldn’t be classified as muscle cars,” Stanley said.

“They’re fun roadsters but they’re not rocket ships,” Sweet said.

British cars definitely played a huge part in sports car crazes.

“The British held the market from the early ’50s right up until the late ’70s. … I’ve got old magazines here from 1952, 1953. People were just in love with these things. They’re racing them and it was just a way of life,” Sweet said.

British Cars of New Hampshire will have its Show of Dreams car show fundraiser at the Alvirne Hills House Field in Hudson, now the home of the Hudson Historical Society. New Hampshire Food Bank will provide volunteers to help park cars, sell raffle tickets and greet spectators.

The show’s “Piccadilly Square” area will hold vendors along with a food truck from the New Hampshire Food Bank and Lick’s Ice Cream from Litchfield, and there will be a DJ playing live music as well as emceeing the event. British car part suppliers in the state help with the show via donations, items for give-away, or items for the raffle at the event or at the silent auction. Car admission is $30, two cars makes that total $40, but if registration is day-of, registration is $40 for one vehicle.

Spectator entry is free and there is a Mini Cooper with an open moonroof with a sign that reads, “Throw the money in the Mini” as a suggested donation.

“We prefer to have families come and we want kids to see these cars, we even allow children to sit in our cars. It’s a fun day for everybody,” Stanley said. Participants will also be allowed to tour the historic home.

“We don’t really own them,” she said of the cars. “We steward them, because somewhere along the way it’s going to get sold to somebody else who is going to take care of it and then hopefully it’s preserved and people won’t forget where their cars that we drive now came from.”

British Cars of New Hampshire
27th Annual Show of Dreams
When: Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Alvirne Hill House Field, 211 Derry Road, Hudson
Info: bcnh.org

Working Dog Foundation

police officer with dog at event, kids petting dog
Photo courtesy of Working Dog Foundation.

A police academy for man’s best friend helps keep the career open for dogs by training them for police departments across New Hampshire and in Maine. Working Dog Foundation will be holding a demonstration at the New Hampshire Muscle Cars Season Opener at Deerfield Fairgrounds on May 18 and will be the charity that the event is fundraising for. More events can be found on their website.

Jeremy Wirths, chairman of the board of the Working Dog Foundation, said the organization was started by a small number of dog handlers in 1995 to assist police departments in and around the Granite State whose budgets were too small for a K9 program. It is also attached to the larger police dog training unit that is the New Hampshire Police K9 Academy.

At one point the Foundation supported close to 60 police departments. It is currently working with Milford, Alton, Bristol, Rochester, Barrington, Keene, and Wells, Maine.

“A dog’s nose is incredibly powerful,” Wirths said. “Working K9’s are … a less lethal option for the police officers to use for apprehension and as well as presence detection…. When they are on duty but not actively working in one of their disciplines they are comforting as well.”

“The work the dogs do is amazing. They’re keeping our communities safer. It’s just great to see the demonstration,” said Jamie Rich, Development and Outreach Manager of the Foundation.

A crowd favorite is the ‘controlled aggression’ part of the demonstration, where the police K9 takes down the fake perp in the bite suit. “It’s a pretty cool thing to see,” Wirths said. “Or using a small piece of clothing to be able to go track down and find somebody is always impressive to see as well.”

Wirths has played the decoy before. “Every time I get into it, it’s a bit of an adrenaline rush. I know that the dogs are highly skilled and good at what they do but it’s always still an adrenaline rush knowing that there’s an animal chasing after you to bite you. And as far as the actual bite itself, it’s a lot of pressure.”

Featured photo: Featured car is a ‘69 Camaro. Photo courtesy of AK Rods and Customs.

The hot list

In Hippo’s Best of 2024 readers’ poll, we asked readers to vote for the “Restaurant That Brings The Heat.” Looking to spice up your dining routine? Here are the top 11 winners in that category.

Destination India Restaurant and Bar

14 E. Broadway, Unit A, in Derry, destinationindianh.com, 552-3469

Destination India won “best of the best” in the heat category. Indian food has a reputation for being hotter than most New Englanders are used to. Destination India, for instance, has three levels of spiciness on the menu: “Mild,” “Medium” and “Indian.”

According to Destination India Chef and owner Navi Avhad, there is a nuance to spiciness that many don’t appreciate; it’s not so much a matter of being “hot” or “mild.” One of the critical factors in how good a spicy dish is, he said, has to do with the flavors the chiles bring along with the heat.

“We never use powdered chiles,” Avhad said. “We only use fresh, organic green chiles. It’s more expensive for us, but it means we can serve a higher-quality food.” He said that the most dependably high-quality chiles that he can get from his distributor are small “Thai” chiles, which he feels are healthier to eat than powdered red ones.

“Some people complain that hot food makes their stomachs hurt; that doesn’t happen with good-quality, fresh chiles,” he said.

Hottest dish: Vindaloo (chicken, lamb, goat or shrimp), $16. Vindaloos come from Goa, on India’s west coast. They are curries made with a vinegar-based sauce, which complements the green chiles with its sharpness. Chef Avhad said that regulars usually start with a “mild” level of heat. “It’s a spice level that lets customers appreciate the actual flavor. Later on they can build up the spiciness,” Avhad said.

Daw Kun Thai

93 S. Maple St., No. 4, in Manchester, dawkunthai.com, 232-0699

Desmond Holman, the co-owner of Daw Kun Thai, agrees that spiciness isn’t binary — either hot or mild.

“Thai food isn’t just hot,” he said. “It allows you to taste all other flavors as well.” With that said, there’s no denying that Thai cuisine can be extremely spicy. “Spicy food usually comes from tropical parts of the world,” he said, “and Thailand is tropical.”

chicken, beans, carrots and other veggies on plate with bowl of sauce, seen from above
Pad Ped Kai. Photo courtesy of Daw Kun Thai.

Holman said that getting customers used to Thai levels of spice was challenging initially. “People who grew up in New England like me are very cautious at first,” he said. “They don’t have a lot of experience with spices, but they’re learning.”

Hottest dish: Pad Ped Kai (spicy chicken stir-fry), $17.75

Holman said this dish — a stir-fry of curry paste (a version sometimes called “Thai Jungle Sauce”) with chicken, eggplant and bamboo shoots — is far and away the spiciest dish Daw Kun Thai makes; nothing else is even close.

“It’s two times as hot as anything else we have on our menu,” he said with enthusiasm. “It’s the only item that has two stars. And that’s its mild version. We have maybe five or six people who can order it ‘Thai Hot’ — that’s eight times as hot as the mild version. It’s so hot that I have to caution people who’ve never been in the restaurant before. It’s really too hot for some people, even at its mildest.”

Curry Leaf

6 Pleasant St. in Concord, 715-5746, curryleafus.com

Inder Saini, the Chef and owner of Curry Leaf, is pretty sure most of his customers come into his restaurant looking for a little heat.

Curries and karahis can be made with different levels of heat. Photo courtesy of Curry Leaf.

“I believe,” he said, “that it’s because of the spices. American food is good but a little bland. During cold weather, spicy food opens up your body.”

Hottest dish: Karahi (chicken, lamb or goat), $19.95

Karahi — which is named after the wok-like pan it is cooked in — is a South Asian curry that is an important part of North Indian, Afghan and Pakistani cuisine. According to Chef Saini, the chicken version is made with all dark meat, onions and peppers. “The customer can pick any meat,” he said, but the sauce is the same. Like dishes at many of the restaurants on this list, the heat comes from fresh green chiles.

A Lot of Thai

360 Daniel Webster Hwy., Unit 121, Merrimack, 429-8888, alotofthainh.com

According to the staff at A Lot of Thai, there are several spicy dishes on their menu — Drunken Noodles and Curry Chicken Basil, for instance — but their recommendation is for the spicy dipping sauce that comes with many of the dishes and allows each customer to adjust their level of heat.

Kashmir Indian Cuisine

396 S. Broadway in Salem, 898-3455, kashmirindianfood.com

Kashmir doesn’t fool around when it comes to spice. According to server/host Khem, even some of the Indian staff often order their food “medium.” Like many of the restaurants on this list, Kashmir depends on green Thai chiles for much of its heat.

Hottest dish: Vindaloo, $16.95 (chicken or lamb), $17.95 (shrimp)

Unlike most of the dishes at most of these restaurants, the vindaloo at Kashmir only comes in one level of heat: “hot.” It is cooked in a traditional style, with a paste made of dried red chiles, fresh herbs and vinegar.

Kathmandu Spice

379 S. Willow St. in Manchester, ktmspice.com, 782-3911

Kaji Maharjan, the manager of Kathmandu Spice, said that Nepalese food isn’t actually very spicy. “Well, it is,” he said, “but not Indian-spicy.” Kathmandu Spice clearly isn’t afraid of serving spicy food but Maharjan said there is a different framework of flavors behind the Indian food the restaurant makes and the Nepalese.

cooked leafy greens in hammered metal dish with side handles
Rayo Ko Saag. Photo courtesy of Kathmandu Spice.

“Indian cooking uses a lot of spices and chiles,” he said. “Nepalese food is much lighter. We don’t use nearly as much dairy or chilies.”

He gives the example of Saag, which is on both sides of the menu. “Our Indian Saag is made with spinach,” he said, “but we make our Nepalese Rayo Ko Saag with mustard greens.” It’s also made with mustard seeds and fried in mustard seed oil, each of which carries a different level of horseradish-like heat that is felt in the nose and sinuses as much as it is in the mouth. “We also put some chile seeds in it,” he said with a grin.

Hottest dish: Indian Curry (chicken or lamb), $17.95

Like every restaurant on this list, Kathmandu Spice will make any dish at any level of spice, but even its “Medium” level is on the hot side. Maharjan said one of the reasons the food at Kathmandu has such a vibrant flavor is how the staff processes the ingredients. “We grind all our spices here,” he said. “We don’t buy anything pre-ground.”

Hermanos Cocina Mexicana

11 Hills Ave. in Concord, 224-5669, hermanosmexican.com

short ball glass filled with cocktail and ice, lime wedge, salt rim, with a straw
A margarita with house-infused pineapple/habañero tequila. Photo courtesy of Hermanos Cocina Mexicana.

Every dish at Hermanos Cocina can be customized for different tastes, but according to General Manager Melissa Thompson one of the restaurant’s spiciest offerings is a surprising one.

Hottest dish: house infused pineapple/habañero tequila, $11

“We’re a scratch kitchen,” Thompson said, “so any of our dishes can be spicy, especially our enchiladas or our pastor de avocado, but our house infused tequilas are something special.” Hermanos infuses Lunazul blanco tequila with either jalapeños or pineapple and habañeros.

“It depends on what is available and seasonal,” Thompson said, adding that most customers have it in a margarita.

Puerto Vallarta Mexican Grill

865 Second St. in Manchester, 935-9182, vallartamexiannh.com

Puerto Vallarta is another restaurant that prides itself on its heat flexibility. Many of the dishes on its menu are fairly mild even by New England standards, but according to bartender and manager Christobal that is easily remedied.

“Customers come in all the time and ask us to make one of our regular dishes extra spicy,” he said.

Hottest item: Hot Tomatillo Salsa, $2.99

There are several dishes at Puerto Vallarta that are spicy to begin with — Camarones Endiablados (Shrimp Diablo), Aguachile, and Burritos Caliente (literally “hot burritos”) — but none of them packs the punch of its house-made tomatillo salsa. Unlike many tomatillo salsas, it isn’t green, but a red color. It is pureed, but not so finely that there aren’t tiny bits of chiles and vegetables. It is extremely hot, but with a lovely, fresh herbal flavor that puts in a quick appearance before the heat comes crashing down.

“A lot of our customers who want their food extra spicy get a side of this, and mix it into whatever they’ve ordered,” Christobal said, “so they can customize it just the way they like it.”

Smoke Shack Cafe

226 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 404-2178, smokeshackcafe.com

sandwich filled with brisket and melted cheese, cut in half triangles, beside scoop of potato salad
Habañero Melt. Photo courtesy of Smoke Shack Cafe.

The key to the Smoke Shack’s spiciest food, said owner and manager Melissa Lafontaine, is in its sauces. “It’s the real deal,” she said. “We are a scratch kitchen, so we reduce habañeros [one of the spiciest chiles in the world], then run them through the mill and use it in our sauces. For instance, our cornflake fried chicken isn’t very spicy on its own, but our sauces are, like our Habañero Honey.” She said that even she has trouble with her restaurant’s hottest sauces. “Me personally?” she said, “I can’t handle it. I’m good with heat up to the jalapeňo level, but the habañero is too much for me. But people love it.”

Hottest dish: Habañero Melt, $11.99

The Smoke Shack’s menu describes this as “Smoked brisket on grilled Texas toast with mayo, habañero bbq sauce, sautéed peppers and onion, and smoked Gouda cheese.” “It’s our No. 1 selling sandwich,” Melissa Lafontaine said.

Bangkok Thai Food

44 Nashua Road in Londonderry, 426-5162, bangkokthaifood.biz

The staff at Bangkok Thai Food wants to make it very clear that not all Thai food is hot.

“We have many things on our menu that aren’t hot at all,” said spokesperson An, translating for her mother, the owner and chef. “Most Thai dishes are a mixture of hot, sweet, salty and sour.” With that said, many of the dishes at Bangkok are hot, and can be made even hotter at a customer’s request.

“We use green Thai chiles,” An said. “That’s the authentic Bangkok style.” Her favorite dish to have extra-spicy is Noodle Coconut Tom Yum, a creamy coconut soup with noodles, shrimp paste and scallions.

Hottest dish: Green Curry, $15

Described on Bangkok Thai’s menu as a “choice of meat, eggplants, bamboo shoot, bell peppers and basil leaves in green curry with coconut milk,” the Green Curry comes with 15 choices of meat, including crispy pork, shrimp, duck, seafood, and ground chicken, and comes in “medium,” “hot” or “very hot” levels of intensity. “Mild” is not an option.

Thai Food Connection

1069 Elm St. in Manchester, 935-7257, thaifoodconnection.com

Reige, a server and bartender at Thai Food Connection, said they have customers along the entire spectrum of heat-tolerance.

“I don’t feel like we have any spice seekers,” she said, “just everyday people who want something different, then they keep coming back.” She said that she has noticed a change in recent years of area diners’ attitudes toward foods and cuisines that might have been intimidating even a few years ago.

stir fried veggies with side of rice on rectangular plate
Krapow. Photo courtesy of Thai Food Connection.

“I think it has to do with changing demographics,” she said. “The Manchester area has become a real melting pot. As this part of the state becomes more of a suburb of Boston, there’s been an uptick of different cultures. I think that being a college town helps, too.”

Hottest dish: Kua Gling (an occasional off-menu special)

Reige says it’s hard to pick out one particular spiciest dish at her restaurant.

“Everything can be made spiciest,” she said. “Probably, the hottest everyday dish that we make is krapow.” Thai Food Connection’s menu describes this as “stir-fried choice of ground chicken or tofu (substitute beef +$2, shrimp +$3 , crispy chicken +$3) with garlic, fresh chili, onion, bell pepper and Thai basil seasoned with hot basil sauce (fried egg on top +$2).” The base cost of the dish is $13.99. But the run-away hottest dish that the restaurant serves is Kua Gling, a dry southern Thai dish made with ground chicken, aromatics like lemon grass and lots of chiles.

Comics for all!

It’s comics season!

Saturday, May 4, is a double celebration for comic book and pop culture fans — it’s May the Fourth (the annual celebration of the Star Wars universe) and Free Comic Book Day, the annual celebration of all things comics-related. We take a look at local plans for this day as well as next weekend’s Kids Con New England on Saturday, May 11, in Concord — a comic book convention for the younger comic book fans. We also talk to a few artists about their work and get advice on how to get started drawing your own comics.

Return of Free Comic Book Day

These are the comic books you’re looking for

By Zachary Lewis
zlewis@hippopress.com

On Saturday, May 4, comic book stores across the globe will celebrate Free Comic Book Day to honor Marvel, DC, Dynamite and all things pop culture related to the medium. The free comic books that eager participants can acquire include titles from X-Men, Hellboy, Jonny Quest, Pokemon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spiderman, Archie Comics, Popeye, Doctor Who, Flash Gordon, and Star Wars, just to name a few.

Locally, Double Midnight Comics, which has stores in Manchester and Concord, and Jetpack Comics and Games in Rochester will be hosting elaborate shindigs for fans, Merrymac in Merrimack will host some artists and shops like Collectibles Unlimited in Concord and Pop Culture in Raymond, among others, will have selections from the Gold- and Silver-tiered free comics available for the holiday as well as lots of sales. Depending on where you are and what level of party you want, New Hampshire has your Free Comic Book Day fix covered.

Double Midnight Comics

Double Midnight Comics is ready to use their Willow Street location in Manchester at the Factory for Free Comic Book Day.

“They gave us free rein of the whole campus so we’re just going to have fun with it,” said Chris Proulx, co-owner of Double Midnight Comics along with his brother, Scott, and best friend from high school, Brett Parker.

“We’ve all been big comic book guys. Scott and I got into comics in the ’80s. Marvel had a G.I. Joe and a Transformers comic book that tied into the cartoon, which was tied into the toys, so we got sucked into that and eventually made our way into the Marvel Universe. I met Brett in high school and he was like, ‘You’ve got to read the X-Men,’ and I was like, ‘OK,’ and then became obsessed with the X-Men.”

Naturally all three are excited for the annual celebration that started on May 4, 2002.

“Over the years [it’s] turned into a big party … have a lot of fun, geek out over the day. Up in our region the fans are pretty blessed to have some awesome stores that do it big…. We like to have fun with it.”

Weekly events that occur on Saturday will still go on, “but they’ll kinda be shrunk down for the day.”

So which comic books are free? Can I get that Superman Action Comics First Edition behind adamantium-infused glass for free?

“I’ll have people go, ‘I can get that $3,000 comic book for free?’ No, no, no, they [comic book publishers] make specific books for the day meant to be something new readers can get into. A full list of the comics can be found on freecomicbookday.com. We usually have extras that we throw in,” Proulx said. “We get people that travel from out of state for this.”

Comic book storylines are a lot like Legos. Sure, there is the preset factory-made form, which is a lot of fun, but the ability each new comic book has to morph characters into different versions of themselves, such as a Batman in Victorian-era London, offers endless possibilities and is the perfect treat for the imagination and allows readers to really make the stories their own, and is one of the reasons why so many people become enamored with the limitlessness of the medium.

Fans are so enamored that people start lining up the day before.

“It’s our busiest day of the year. One of the fun things that happened over the years is people started camping out for it…. It’s a cool little community event that happens there. The first person in line gets a special prize. The first 10 people in line get prizes. There are prizes for being in line. We’re pretty generous with it because we know if you’re going to spend a day waiting, you don’t want to be like, ‘Here’s an extra comic book,’ like, it’s pretty substantial,” he said.

On top of the possibility of winning cool swag just for standing in line, there are more activities than you can shake a magic-imbued stick at. These include lightsaber training on the lawn, and cars from movies that could take you back into the future or away from running T-rexes along with other signature vehicles throughout the complex. There will also be droid racing, live music from the Clemenzi Crusaders, face painting, representation from New England Kids Con, and a mobile video game truck called Gamer Sanctuary as well as a costume contest. Participants can even learn to shoot as poorly as a Stormtrooper.

Free Comic Book Day would not be complete, though, without a cinematic universe’s allotment of comic book artists.

“They will have tables, some of them will be sketching, some of them will have comic books for sale, some of them will have art prints for sale. It varies by artist. Some of them will have free things to give away,” Proulx said. Artists scheduled include Misty Martell, Ed Smith, Erica Fog, Craig Holland and others. A full list of artists and vendors — there are more than 40 — can be found on their website.

Getting to dress up like your favorite character is another aspect that is a huge plus for fans, even if they are not competing for the glory of best cosplay.

“We do encourage people to come in costume. Kids, if they want to dress up, if you want to dress up your dog, just come have fun. Families coming together in costume, it’s really neat,” he said. There will be prizes as well, although walking around as the Mandalorian all day is already a win.

Another win is that the non-stop comic book action occurs all day, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.,and the labor involved is totally worth it for Double Midnight Comics.

“It’s our favorite day of the year. It’s a lot of work…. We love doing it, we love getting the community out together. Bringing another positive event to the city and we just love our new home here at the Factory because they get it and they let us have fun with the event,” he said.

Merrymac Games and Comics

Artists attending include Tabatha Jean D’Agata, Todd Dezago, Craig Rousseau, Jesse Lundberg, Mike Norton, Joseph Schmalke, Chrissie Zullo Uminga and Christopher Uminga.

“They’ll be here from 10 to 3 signing books, doing sketches,” Bob Shaw, manager of Merrymac Games, said. Apart from personal projects, some titles they have worked on include stories from Marvel, DC, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars, among others.

The store will be handing out comics and having a small sale, 20 percent off most things in the store besides Magic Products.

Jetpack Comics and Games

In Rochester, Jetpack Comics and Games will be blasting off with the celebration as well.

“We definitely do Free Comic Book day a little bit different than a lot of places. I know at one point we had the biggest one in the world because we spread it out all over town,”said Rich Brunelle, manager of the store. They, “try to make it bigger every year.”

“These days we end up having it all around town where we have a list online, a big map of all the businesses that are involved where you can take a trip to each one and get some additional free comics, which is a neat idea.” In comic book town, every establishment holds a possibility to find your next favorite comic, or even your first.

This will be the last year Jetpack Comics organizes the event for the whole town. The owner “wants to mix it up and try something different,” Brunelle said. They want to put more focus on bringing in artists and the other great aspects of FCBD, but they hope businesses around Rochester still decide to take part. With great power comes great responsibility.

Jetpack Comics. Photo by Stolen Soul Photography.

“It gives a good chance for all the local businesses to get some new eyes on them. It’s definitely an interesting way to do it because the town has definitely embraced it over the years. There are signs on the edge of town and every road leading to downtown warning folks a week ahead of time of Saturday, May 4, there’s going to be costumed heroes and villains in the streets. So everyone knows that that’s a big day in Rochester here. We usually bring in at least a few thousand people to downtown,” Brunelle said.

Their biggest year was when they had Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, signing together at the event. Although that record may get broken this year.

It all starts at 10 a.m. but there is a way to start sooner and bypass the inevitable line by opting for a VIP pass.

“In addition to getting you a big bag of stuff right off the bat, you also get to skip the lines. Those VIP customers get to come in an hour early,” Brunelle said. “It’s pretty cool for them because for a little bit extra cash you don’t have to wait in a big line, and our line is definitely pretty long on Free Comic Book Day, but we have it down to a science these days where even times when the line goes from the shop and wraps all the way around the block where it’s like hundreds of people we have a great system that moves them through the shop really fast and an awesome crew that knows what they’re doing so we get people through the line incredibly fast these days, it’s pretty awesome.”

A large amount of action goes down at the Governor’s Inn, where participants can interact with comic book artists and vendors, live music will be played, and the ever popular cosplay contest happens at 4 p.m.

“Over the years that’s become a huge thing for us,” Brunelle said.

First, second, and third place winners will be chosen from categories that range from 0-17 and 18 and older. “All the prizes are different denominations of Jetpack Comics gift cards and we have a judges choice and host choice as well,” he said.

The construct and build of the attire runs quite the gamut.

“We have everything from people that have spent thousands of dollars to get a movie-accurate costume to kids that have literally built theirs with stuff at home. We realized pretty early in this [that] it’s not quite fair … we try to break it up and have a whole bunch of categories so that everyone gets spotlighted, a bunch of prizes, and it’s so fun,” Brunelle said.

“We had an almost realistic Master Chief from Halo a couple of years ago. We had some great Thors, there’s always a bunch of awesome Harley Quinns, Deadpools that show up as well as characters from popular animes these days. There’s been some spectacular Demon Slayer cosplays the last couple years…. It’s always cool to see what people come up with because our folks down this way are quite creative. We get some interesting costumes every year,” he said.

Before the caped crusaders take the stage for the contest a band composed of Jetpack Comics interns called Spectre Moose will perform to welcome in the attendees and contestants. They’re also podcasters — the band members, that is.

“They do a show called the Geek Gossip Podcast and they are like superstars, they’re teenagers, they do everything,” Brunelle said. Another band will perform after the cosplay contest for the afterparty.

A common thread these comic book stores share is the sense of belonging and understanding. “We have a lot of people who come in that don’t have any people in their life that want to talk comics or movies or TV shows and so they come in here and they know they’ve got a community they can chat with. I probably read way too many comics but all my customers like recommendations and like to know what’s good and what they should be reading so I try to keep up on a ton of it,” Brunelle said.

An older cousin introduced him to comics, but it was a major event like FCBD that led Brunelle to that comic book life.

The Death of Superman was what got me into comic shops every single week. Back in the ’90s they tried to do all kinds of crazy events that would drag people in and that’s like one of the craziest ones of all time,” he said.

“We have like a mini-convention hall over there so we have a bunch of local guests as well as big-name guests that work on mainstream comics, and that ends up being a big focal point for everyone during the day … you get to meet some folks that are doing the comics you love,” he said.

“We have Paul Pellitier here this year. He’s well known for working with DC and Marvel … currently working on some of the new G.I. Joe stuff.” Others include Chris Campana, Gregory Bastianelli, Jeannine Acheson, Tom Sniegoski, Rich Woodall (who, “may be the hardest-working man in comics,” according to Brunelle), Vero Stewart, Jeremy Robinson, Mark Masztal and Jeff Kline. More information about these artists can be found on Jetpack’s website.

“This year is just the widest berth of different genres,” Brunelle said.

No matter which comic book party you attend, the organizers say, you’re going to have a good time.

“I honestly think this is the best year of Free Comic Book Day books in the history of the event…. People are pretty excited. It’s a great free day for the whole family and if you want to take a nice walk around town you can end up with a giant bag of free stuff, all kinds of comics to read,” Brunelle said.

Free Comic Book Day

Find a list of comics, some with previews of their FCBD book, additional locations, and more at freecomicbookday.com.

Collectibles Unlimited
25 South St. in Concord, collectiblesunlimited.biz, 228-3712
When: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The store will have the free comics to hand out with no need to purchase anything, although the store will be open for regular business.

Diversity Gaming
1328 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, diversitygaming.store, 606-1176
When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
They’re collaborating with the Hooksett public library by giving them free comics to hand out. The store itself will have a big mix of free comics, a storewide sale on 700 Funko! Pop figures for $5 and a Star Wars sale as well, according to Diversity Gaming.

Double Midnight Comics
252 Willow St. in Manchester; dmcomics.com, 669-9636(XMEN)
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
341 Loudon Road in Concord; dmcomics.com, 715-2683
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jetpack Comics and Games
37 N. Main St. in Rochester; 330-9636(XMEN), jetpackcomics.com
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
VIP passes range from $15 to $54.99

Merrymac Games and Comics
550 D.W. Highway in Merrimack, merrymacgc.com, 420-8161
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Pop Culture
66 Route 27 in Raymond, popculturenh.com, 244-1850
When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Free comics that are offered for Free Comic Book Day. There will be multiple sales on graphic novels, Pokemon cards, magic cards and more. All non-framed posters will be two for $25. All statues will be half-off, Board games will be 25 percent off, any comic books that are $10 or more will be 25 percent off and all cornhole sets (featuring the Hulk, Spiderman — “we have nerdy ones, all that stuff”) will be $50 off the listed price, according to Pop Culture.

For the younger fans

Kids Con brings in today’s readers, tomorrow’s creators

By John Fladd
jfladd@hippopress.com

Photo from Kids Con New England.

Emily Drouin is the creator, organizer, owner and promoter of Kids Con New England’s, which hosts a spring event in New Hampshire and a fall event in Maine.

This year’s Kids Con NE in Concord will feature a exhibitors, cosplayers, authors, artists and more.

“It’s a fun-filled one-day show,” Drouin said. “Parents know that this is a safe place and that all the material is family-appropriate.”

A dozen writers, illustrators and cartoonists will lead workshops like “Learn to Draw Robots,” “Sketch to Superhero Creation,” “Draw Anime Chibi-Style Characters,” “Superhero Mask-Making,” “Pokemon Crafts” and many others. Perhaps the biggest name among the guest authors and artists is William Patrick Murray, the creator of Marvel Comics’ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

Other Kids Con activities include “Jedi Training with Calm Passion,” a magic show and a rock concert, which is followed in turn by “Superhero Training.” (Drouin said that Jedi Training is the runaway favorite among children.) There are also storytimes and sing-alongs and children’s improv classes. Drouin’s favorite part of the day — as well as most parents’ — is a cosplay contest.

Cosplay — when a fan dresses up as their favorite character — is one of the highlights of adult comic conventions. For kids, it is a dress-up dream come true. Given the scope of children’s imaginations, costumes can run the gamut from your standard Captain Americas and princesses in pink to indescribable alien life forms or whole families dressed to a theme.

“I am in awe of the costumes in the Cosplay Contest,” Drouin said.

For children who get too wound up, there are supervised areas outside where they can run around and scream.

“That’s really popular after Jedi Training,” Drouin said.

In addition to all this, there will be tables set aside for table-top games, a trailer to play video games in, and the vendors drawing caricatures, painting faces and selling toys, children’s books, comic books, posters and memorabilia, and more.

Kids Con NH 2024
Where: Everett Arena, 15 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-2784
When: Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets: $15, $12 for seniors 65+ and military. Children under 5 get in free. Kids under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult guardian. Tickets can be purchased at the door or through Kids Con’s website.
More info: kidsconne.com

Telling a visual story

Ed Smith discusses his projects

Ed Smith is a comic book artist from Bedford who will be at Double Midnight Comics on Free Comic Book Day (Booth 27). He has worked on numerous titles including Tellos, Danger Team, a Giant Girl Adventure Series spin-off, and a project with his wife called Skies Over Gutenberg, among many, many others.

Is there a difference between working on commissioned work versus a personal project?

Ed Smith. Courtesy photo.

When you’re working on commission work usually it turns out that the client gives you free rein. You should always have your own individual set of standards so ideally doing commission work to someone else’s standard is only going to be slightly different than working on your own projects. There’s always that level of personal investment, you know — when you’re working on something near and dear to you it’s going to be a little bit different than if you’re working on something that’s near and dear to someone else. It really depends on the individual artist’s ethics. Mine personally, I find there really should not be a difference. I always do my best to involve myself in projects that I would want to be proud of in the future. I try to bring that same level of emotion to every project that I work on.

Do you have a specific color scheme you like to use?

Not particularly. Honestly it depends on the project. I try to use the colors that will work best for what the mood of the overall project is. You want to match colors that are in line with what it is that you’re working on. You don’t want to use drab and sad colors for something that’s supposed to be bright and cheery and make everybody smile. I do my best to kind of read the script or understand what the project is about and choose my colors accordingly.

How did you get into comics?

That’s a really good story. I grew up liking to draw. I grew up watching a lot of cartoons. I actually found my first comic book when I was a little guy. I found it when I was at school having breakfast one morning and ever since then I got more or less hooked because it was a Batman comic book. At the time I watched a lot of the Super Friends, so seeing Batman in a comic book just having adventures that were different than what I was seeing on the screen where he was surrounded by other superheroes, it just seemed a lot more adventurous to me. It was a lot more personal. I don’t know if I drew parallels from it or what have you, it was interesting to see Batman having his own individual adventures and it just inspired me and energized me to pick up my crayons and my pencils and whatever was around the house and just draw. My mom at the time kinda saw what I was doing and she would sit me down at the kitchen table and she would cut open paper grocery bags and we would use markers, industrial markers that my dad had brought home from work and she would show me how to draw things. The standard cube, turn the cube into a house, and then the house had the chimney with a curlicue of smoke, the three circles for Mickey Mouse’s ears, little flowers, things of that nature, she would teach me to draw them and I just kept going at it and over time it just developed into a little bit of skill. I just really kept at it. It was something that made me happy, drawing pictures, making everybody else smile while I’m drawing pictures. That’s really where it went.

Do you have any particular favorite screen adaptations of comic book stories?

Man, you know there are so many that I just can’t choose one…. Not because I’m trying to be wishy-washy and I realize that this article is going to go to print and different fandoms have different volatile reactions or supportive reactions to choices, but there are a lot of movies out there that you just wouldn’t believe were comic books and they are great cinematic movies. 300. 300 is a Frank Miller book that was based on old Greek legends and history. Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks, that was a really good graphic novel. There are just so many that people overlook as being true comic book movies that it’s hard to choose just one. I like what they’ve done with the Tom Holland Spiderman movies. They took old Steve Ditko and Stan Lee’s premise of Peter Parker being this high school nerd and they’ve made it really contemporary. They took it and really put him in today’s society…. A huge fan of Captain America, so I like what they did in the Captain America movies. I like Shazam as well and I think Zachary Levi does a great interpretation of a child being given some pretty great powers and having to deal with those…. I can’t put my finger on just one of them honestly.

What do you like about Free Comic Book Day?

People will show up for free books and they’ll be introduced to things they’ll grow to like and get attached to, and they really don’t understand that all of that harkens back to cave paintings. When you’re a comic book artist one of the things you strive for is to be able to tell the story without the word bubbles or the sound effects. You really want to be able to make a visual story that doesn’t need words but the words support the pictures. That goes back to when cavemen didn’t have a fixed language and they communicated on cave walls to record their history…. When you pay attention to comics, they’re pretty deep, they’re pretty in depth. There’s a lot of psychology that goes into really good comics. There’s a lot of visual representation and subtlety in storytelling that people just overlook. It’s great to watch little kids come in and unknowingly just become fans of something that’s a lot bigger than them and it’s actually a part of history and modern culture. — Zachary Lewis

Meet Ed
Ed Smith will be at Double Midnight Comics in Manchester (Comic Con Booth 27) on Free Comic Book Day. See dmcomics.com.

DIY comics

Marek Bennett explains how to make your own

By John Fladd
jfladd@hippopress.com

The thing about drawing comics, Marek Bennett said, is it’s more about leaving things out, rather than putting them in.

Bennett — a cartoonist, the author and illustrator of the Freeman Colby series of graphic novels, and art educator — frequently teaches cartooning workshops to adults and children. Working with children is usually more straightforward than it is with adults, who get self-conscious and intimidated, he said: “It’s much easier for adults to make comics if there are a few kids scattered around the room.”

“Older people end up using simpler pictures,” he said, often stick figures. “I have to remind them that even if a comic uses stick figures, it’s still a narrative.”

Children, on the other hand, feel less restricted about what they include in their comics. “[When I work with children] I start with a stick figure and ask the kids to suggest three details to add to it.” Because Bennett is often a novelty in a classroom full of children, many times they want him to draw himself. He will start with a stick figure. “Then when I ask them for three details, they always name the same three — a hat, a beard, and glasses.” That gives them a framework for their narrative.

The simplicity of the comic medium, he said, is what makes it so powerful and accessible.

“It allows an idea to be as clear as possible,” he said. “A sequence of images is exponentially more powerful than individual pictures. It’s more than the sum of its parts. By limiting the amount of detail, we open ourselves to a more intimate understanding of each other through our art work.”

One of the reasons comics are so well-suited for kids, Bennett said, is that there is such a low barrier to entry. “Unlike video games, sports, or musical instruments, kids and their parents don’t have to invest any money on something a kid won’t be interested in the next week.” If they have a brown paper bag and a crayon, they can make a comic.

Comics make sense to kids, he said. “All my life, I’ve drawn pictures. I would show them to adults or other kids, and they’d ask, ‘What happens next?’ So I’d draw a picture of what happened next, and then what happened after that. The next thing I knew, I’d have a complicated, sequential narrative. That’s a comic.”

The best way to start cartooning, Bennet said, is to put together a booklet and draw a series of boxes on the pages. “Start with a box at the beginning, and a box at the end, then work with them to fill in the details in the middle. Start with a simple character — a rabbit, or a stick figure, or whatever. I had a kid tell me once that he wanted the story to be about him and he said, ‘I want to be a dolphin!’ I asked him why, and suddenly he had a narrative.”

If all that is a little overwhelming for a particular kid, he said, break it down even further. “Use a sketchbook or a drawing pad and have them draw one picture per page.” Then, like the adults in Bennett’s life when he was a kid, guide them along with “What comes next?” questions. “They’ll end up with something like a flipbook. That’s still a story told with sequential pictures; it’s still a comic.”

Bennett said that when he works with groups of children, they will often start with eight-page mini comic books. With minimal guidance kids quickly start addressing some fairly sophisticated concepts.

“They’ll break into pairs or small groups,” he said, “and ask each other who their readers will be and what kind of story will those readers like. It’s empowering; they get to try ideas out on test readers and how to refine artwork and tailor it for the community.”

One of the powerful aspects of comics for kids as creators is the immediate feedback they get and a sense of achievement, Bennett said.

“They see themselves as part of a reading community. Making comics is an entry into graphic novels, which is an entry to reading anything.” If you told a child that they could write a 500-page graphic novel, he said, “they’d be completely intimidated. But if they draw a page a day, with six panels to a page, that’s 3,000 images to tell a story.”

Ultimately, Bennett said, comics are a way to know someone better. He tells a story about leading a cartooning workshop in the United Arab Emirates. The adults he worked with were confused at first; comic art is not a traditional part of their culture. As Bennett led them through the “What next? What next?” process, they became more and more enthusiastic. “One of them told me, ‘This is a way to understand somebody’s heart.’”

More Marek
Find out more about Bennett’s works and where he is headed to teach and talk comics at marekbennett.com.

More from the Vampiverse

Jeannine Acheson and Tom Sniegoski discuss their new work

Massachusetts-based Jeannine Acheson and Tom Sniegoski, the writing duo behind Vampirella: Dark Reflections from Dynamite Comics, which has a release date scheduled in June, discuss their process.

What comes first — the picture or the words?

Jeannine Acheson. Courtesy photo.

Jeannine Acheson: The ideas come first, the story comes first, I think in my head anyway. And we start by writing everything out. The plot, the characters, we start with that and it’s kind of a step-by-step process. Now we’re working on a graphic novel and we’re laying things out and that’s where the pictures come in, for me anyway. Although, I feel like you’re [Tom] more fluid in that.

Tom Sniegoski: When I think of an idea, a lot of the time, especially for comic ideas, imagery is what drives the process. It’s kind of like, ‘Oh, that would be really cool. This could be a good moment in this kind of story if you had this kind of thing.’ There’s a lot of that, but what Jeannine says, we do sit down with a notepad. In the earlier stages it’s just notes. It’s just ideas. It’s almost like a gigantic puzzle that slowly starts to get pieced together so you’re in your proper order by the time you get all your ideas, hopefully, you see the logical story progression and then from there it will go to the next stage … breakdowns, stuff like that.

Tom Sniegoski. Courtesy photo.

How did the collaboration for Dark Reflections, which is coming out in June, come about?

JA: That one was born from the Vampiverse, which we did for Dynamite in 2021 or 2022.

TS: Yeah, I think that’s 2022.

JA: And that is one of the stories from the many threads of the fabric that are the Vampirella stories in the Vampiverse, and this one focuses on a downtrodden Vampirella and Lilith, a daughter of Vampirella, of a Vampirella. It just kind of came up from there because we thought she was an interesting character [and] we wanted to explore what she had to say.

TS: The concept of the Vampiverse is the fact that the character, Vampirella, exists in many different realities and different forms so there’s like, we call them the threads, so every thread is a different story and a different Vampirella. So you could have a western Vampirella and a sci-fi Vampirella, an animated cartoon Vampirella, all these different stories. What it does is allows us to tell as many stories as we can think of with these different kinds of Vampirellas while keeping things fresh. It’s not the same character, she’s slightly different in all of these worlds. Dark Reflections is just another Vampirella in her world interacting with that character who is actually her daughter of a deceased Vampirella. It was fun to do. It allows us to do so much. We’re not completely rooted to continuity, a specific continuity. It allows us to play with that continuity if we wanted to, or ignore certain aspects of that continuity. It’s fun.

What draws you to a particular story?

TS: What draws Jeannine is that I say, ‘Hey, I got an idea.’

JA: Exactly, I can do that.

TS: ‘What is it this time?’ Honestly, you never know. A lot of the times, things just kind of click. You might see something in the news, you might read something in a newspaper, you might be walking around your kitchen and you trip and all of a sudden there’s just this germ of an idea that you then see if it’s worthy. You give it a poke, kick the tires and you start to expand on that idea. A lot of the times, Jeannine will get a text that just says, ‘got an idea,’ and I’ll give her a sentence and I gauge her reaction on the sentence whether we should probably continue to try to develop it or not.

JA: Sometimes it feels like things that come to fruition are things that keep coming up for us. They kinda won’t leave us alone. We have another comic coming out in July and that idea was born about four years ago and it just kept coming back to us and every time we’d be working on something else, this idea would just come back to us and we’d say, ‘Oh, remember that one that we talked about, that old lady living in the nursing home?’ and they just keep coming back and kind of keep expanding. We think about new facets to the character or different things that they could be involved in. The ideas get insistent, they have to be told I think.

TS: You know it’s a good one when it won’t leave you alone and you should pay attention to it. As a writer, here’s some writerly advice: If it keeps coming back it’s probably good and you should keep developing that idea.

Is there an IP or storyverse that you’d like to work on that you haven’t yet?

TS: The thing is, my dream character was Hellboy and I write Hellboy now, so I got that one out of the way.

JA: I don’t know if I have a dream one. Honestly, I think since I started writing with Tom my life has been a series of ‘yeses.’ There’s nothing that I’ve said no to with respect to writing. ‘You want to write Vampirella?’ Well, I’ve never written that before but sure, why not? We finished a novel together during the pandemic. For me, I’m very new to this whole world of comics and writing so I come along for the ride, I say yes to everything.

How does collaboration work between you two?

JA: Most of the time we work in Google Docs over Skype. A couple a days a week I go to his office on the South Shore but all the other times I’m here at my home office on the North Shore. We generally, I would say like 99 percent of the time, work on things together in real time. Occasionally Tom has work outside of our work and I have a little bit of stuff myself. Occasionally he’ll have to go to a meeting and I’ll say I’ll try laying out these few pages and finish up this scene. Sometimes it works OK, sometimes it has to be revised, but I’m still learning. Most of the time it’s literally a team effort. Somebody will write a sentence, somebody will tweak it, somebody will write another sentence, somebody will tweak. It’s very much in real time, writing together, almost all the time, everything.

TS: It’s interesting. I’d never worked that way before. I was solo for many, many, many, many years, so it’s very interesting to spend as much time working on so many different things with Jeannine. I’ve worked with Chris Golden, I’ve worked with Mike Mignola, I’ve worked with all kinds of people. Those relationships are kind of like, you discuss the project, you kinda know what you’re doing and everybody goes to their separate corner and does their own thing. Whereas working with Jeannine, and I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that she’s still learning a lot of this stuff since she’s so new to comics and book writing that we spend a lot of time talking about the process….

If someone stops by your booth on Free Comic Book Day, what can they expect to encounter?

TS: Jeannine will most likely be asleep.

JA: No, you’ll probably give them a hard time.

TS: Never.

JA: Honestly, this will be our third or fourth [FCBD] together at Jetpack Comics in Rochester. Hey Ralph! For me, It’s so exciting just to meet people that enjoy comics. It’s so cool. I think the first Free Comic Book Day we gave out, did we give out posters?

TS: Yeah, we had Vampirella, Vampiverse posters.

JA: Yeah, and that was so cool. It was so exciting to see people who were excited about Vampirella and loved the character and liked the new take we had to come up with. I think it’s exciting for me just to talk to all the people who are interested in comics. We have stuff for sale, but, you know.

TS: We bring like stock of stuff and people buy it, we autograph it and it’s fun. It’s very fun.

JA: It really is, it’s wild. I especially love seeing the families that come in. Parents with their younger kids or like grade-school kids, I think that’s fabulous. I think that’s so cool. Training the next generation. — Zachary Lewis

See Jeannine and Tom
Jeannine Acheson and Tom Sniegoski will be at Jetpack Comics’ event at the Ballroom at the Governor’s Inn in Rochester. See jetpackcomics.com.

Happy Planting

Gardening Advice from Local Green Thumbs Plus Garden Clubs & Plant Sales

Everyone’s thumb can be a little greener.

In this week’s issue, we offer tips for better gardening — or even just a better gardening mindset — from local experts. Whether this is your first spring putting seeds in the dirt or you’ve been tending to a yard full of plants for years, these experts have helpful advice.

Longtime gardener and gardening writer Henry Homeyer gives his advice for a successful vegetable garden this season. We asked some local garden club members for their tips for better gardening — want more from them? We also have a list of when and where to meet up with local garden clubs to get more hacks from longtime green thumbs. And whether you’re just starting with your gardening journey or expanding your garden every year, there’s no better place to get good advice and hardy plants than those clubs’ plant sales.

Ten tips for planning a successful garden

Plant what you love, plant what you know

By Henry Homeyer
listings@hippopress.com

Despite late snow storms that dumped deep snow over much of New England, spring is right around the corner. Let’s take a look at some keys to a successful year in the vegetable garden.

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Yes, I grow about 40 tomato plants each year, but most folks don’t want to can or to put up many pounds in the freezer. A well-tended small garden is better than a huge weedy one. Select plants that you love, and just plant a few. Don’t crowd them. You don’t have to start everything from seed — most garden centers have plants for sale in six-packs, and a good selection of varieties.

2. Don’t use any chemicals in the garden. Mother Nature doesn’t, and you shouldn’t either. A chemical fertilizer is largely made of salts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Too much of these salts can kill the microorganisms that work with the roots of your plants to feed them. A bag of 10-10-10 is 70 percent filler, and the content of this portion is not specified — it’s a “trade secret.”

This potato beetle will lay orange eggs under potato leaves. Remove them all! Photo by Henry Homeyer.

3. Compost is your best friend in the garden. Unlike chemical fertilizers, it provides most or all of the micronutrients needed by plants, things like magnesium, calcium and sulfur. And it contains living organisms, the bacteria and fungi that work with your plant roots to provide nutrients to your plants. Mycorrhizal fungi coat the roots of plants. They produce acids that dissolve minerals and share them with your plants. The plants pay the fungi with excess sugars they produce on sunny days.

4. Build up mounds of soil and compost to create raised beds, or build wood-sided ones. You can hoe soil from the walkways into your raised beds, and maybe buy a pickup truck load of compost to mix in and enrich your soil. Most landscapers will deliver compost. Raised beds provide nice loose soil and discourage kids and dogs from walking through them. And in a rainy summer like the last one, raised beds drain well,

5. Enrich your soil with organic fertilizers like Pro-Gro and Plant Tone. They are made from things like ground peanut hulls, soybean meal, seaweed and oyster shells, with a few naturally occurring minerals. They are broken down in the soil and released slowly — just a small amount is water-soluble. They are a big help in poor soils, but don’t overdo these either.

Raised beds are easier to weed and harvest. Photo by Henry Homeyer.

6. Make a habit of walking through your garden every day. Look for problems: Are your newly transplanted tomatoes looking limp? If so, they probably need water. Are there potato beetles? The Colorado potato bug can be a real problem. But if you watch for orange egg masses under the leaves and scrape them off, and pick larvae and beetles every day, you can control the problem in a home garden. One adult lays many eggs that can produce new adults in 30 days or so.

7. Don’t let weeds blossom and produce seeds. Ever. Make 10 minutes of weeding every day a part of your daily ritual, just like you brush your teeth every day. Use a good weeding tool — I really like the CobraHead Weeder because it easily gets under weeds and can be used to tease out long roots. Some weeds spread by root, so getting out entire roots is important. A scrap of root from many grasses will survive and produce new plants.

8. Water judiciously. Those flip-flop overhead watering devices may be good for a newly planted lawn, but they waste a lot of water in your vegetable garden. Water with watering can, or attach a watering wand to your hose. A good watering wand allows you to water around your plants, but not your walkways or empty places. Too busy to water, or off to the beach? Use a water timer and soaker hoses. They can do the job for you.

9. Why weed your walkways and around your tomatoes many times in a season if you can prevent it? I put down four to six layers of newspaper, then a layer of straw or mulch hay to keep it in place and help hold in moisture. Most weeds won’t grow though the newspaper, and earthworms will eat it up by the end of the season. Inks in newspapers now are soy-based, but I avoid the colored sections.

10. Don’t get discouraged, no matter what. Last summer we had lots of rain and not so much sunshine, and many vegetables did not perform well for me — or anybody. Your garden will do better in times of drought or persistent rain if the soil is rich in organic matter and biologically active. Regularly re-plant some things you know how to grow, perhaps lettuce, and rejoice in fresh salads. And remember, there is never a good reason to spray chemicals on your plants — after all, if it kills the Japanese beetles, it can’t be good for you. Good luck!

Henry eats something from his garden every day of the year by storing and freezing things from his not-so-small garden. Send him questions or comments by email at henry.homeyer@comast.net, by mail at PO Box 364, Cornish Flat, NH 03746. Please include SASE if you wish a response by mail. He will be writing just one article a month henceforth.

Plant sale season

Get greenery and advice

Looking for new perennials, annuals, herbs, vegetable seedlings and more? Head to a local plant sale, often held by local garden clubs. Not only can you find our-region-friendly plants; you can also find experts who can help you find success with that butterfly bush or early-producing tomato. And here’s a plant sale shopping tip: Show up early to have your pick of plants or show up near the end of the sale when remaining plants are often priced to move.

Know of a plant sale not mentioned here? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

Amherst Garden Club will host its plant sale on Saturday, May 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wilkins School (80 Boston Post Road in Amherst). According to their website, they will be highlighting native plants this year. They encourage participants to come and learn why these are important for our environment by visiting the many vendors who will be selling vegetables, herbs, hanging pots, houseplants, garden ornaments, used garden books and magazines, container pots and more, according to the same site. There will also be delicious home-baked items to eat or for gifting, according to the same site. See amherstgardenclub.org/plant_sale.

Bedford NH Garden Club will hold its plant sale Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bedford Village Common, 15 Bell Hill Road. See bedfordgardenclubnh.org.

Candia Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at Rockingham Lodge #76 (12 South Road in Candia). The sale will feature annuals, herbs and vegetables. Members dig up perennials from their yards. There is a raffle of garden-related and other items.

• The Friends of the Daland Memorial Library will hold a plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Daland Memorial Library, 5 N. Main St. in Mont Vernon.

• The Derry Garden Club has a plant sale Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Robert Frost Farm on Rockingham Road in Derry. “We’ll have anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 plants to sell,” said Diana Hill, club president. Their club puts a lot of focus on perennials, she said, “but we also do have members that start annuals and herb and vegetable plants as well. We sell trees.” See derrygardenclub.org.

• The Colonial Garden Club of Hollis will hold its plant sale on Saturday, May 11, at Lawrence Barn Field on Depot Road from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is their annual fundraiser and provides the funds for their monthly educational programs, community contributions, charitable contributions, scholarships, town plantings, seasonal decorations and more, according to hollisgardenclub.org.

• The Friends of the East Kingston Public Library will hold a book, bake and plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Kingston Public Library, 47 Maplevale Road in East Kingston. See eknh.org.

• The Goffstown Community Garden Club will hold its plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Town Commons (at the corner of Main and Elm streets in Goffsotwn).

Great Island Garden Club in New Castle will hold a plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from noon to 3 p.m. at New Castle Recreation Center, 301 Wentworth Road in New Castle. See greatislandgardenclub.org.

Calla Lilies. Photo by Carolyn Taylor of the Hooksett Garden Club.

Hooksett Garden Club plant sale will take place at the Hooksett Public Library, 31 Mount St. Mary’s Way in Hooksett, on Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. The event will feature annuals, perennials, vegetable plants, herbs, houseplants, a garden-related yard sale, and Ask A Master Gardener booth where you can find out all about the plants you are buying, a children’s table and raffle items from local businesses and crafters, according to hooksettnhgardenclub.org. Most plants are from Hooksett Garden Club members, the website said.

Hopkinton Garden Club’s 2024 spring plant sale takes place on Saturday, May 11, between 8 a.m. and noon at the Hopkinton Town Common, where club members will sell a wide variety of annuals and perennials, many grown in their own gardens, and includes flowers, vegetables, herbs, native plants and hanging baskets, and cash, check and credit card payments will be accepted, according to their website. The spring plant sale is the Hopkinton Garden Club’s major annual fundraiser. See hopkintongardenclub.org.

Massabesic Garden Club in Auburn will hold a plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Griffin Free Public Library (22 Hooksett Road in Auburn). See massabesicgc.org.

• The Merrimack Garden Club will hold its plant sale on Saturday, Aug. 3, beginning at 8 a.m. at Saint James United Methodist Church, 646 D.W. Highway in Merrimack. See merrimackgardenclub.org.

• The Milford Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Community House Lawn, 5 Union St. in Milford. The event will feature a variety of perennials as well as a raffle table, a bake table, other vendors and a performance by the MHS Jazz Band, according to milfordnhgardenclub.org.

Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, 18 Highlawn Road in Warner, will hold its annual plant sale on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The New Hampshire Herbal Network will also hold its annual Herb and Garden Day in the museum’s Powwow Field. See indianmuseum.org.

The Nashua NH Garden Club will hold its plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Nashua Historical Society, 5 Abbott St. in Nashua.

The Newfields Garden Club will hold its plant sale on Saturday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Town Hall, 65 Main St. in Newfields. Find them on Facebook.

Project Inspire 603, an organization that helps New Hampshire classrooms get school supplies, will hold a plant sale on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 88 Kelsey Mill Road in Northwood. Find them on Facebook.

Tailgate Transport and Rescue, a dog rescue nonprofit, will hold its second annual plant sale on Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Burger King parking lot at 737 D.W. Highway in Manchester.

• The Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester (669 Union St. in Manchester) will hold its annual plant sale on Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More expert advice

Garden club members weigh in

By John Fladd & Zachary Lewis
news@hippopress.com

Persian Shield. Photo by Carolyn Taylor of the Hooksett Garden Club.

“Don’t know who needs to hear this … but, you’re a good gardener. The plant should have tried harder.” — a post on the Pelham Garden Group Facebook page.

Or, as a Canterbury Garden Club presentation put it, “Don’t sweat it! Whatever happens in the garden … just don’t sweat it!”

For more advice on how to approach your garden — from general philosophy to specific plant tips — we asked area garden club members to weigh in.

From the Bedford NH Garden Club

Jeanene Procopis, who handles publicity for the Bedford Garden Club, said, “In our garden club we concentrate on perennials, planting perennials, and we try to plant native plants, plants that are native to this region rather than plants that wouldn’t be acclimated to our conditions here, so we try to push those native plants.”

And you can plant what’s pretty, or easy.

“We all enjoy annuals for their pop of color during the growing season,” Procopis said. “Perennials come back every year and they can be divided. They can be shared with friends or neighbors. They’re kind of a workhorse of a plant but they can provide a lot of beauty and enjoyment to a garden.”

When asked for garden tips, she said, “I’m not a master gardener…. Daylilies usually will grow in lots of conditions. They’re an extremely hearty plant but they need to be divided after a while because they will start growing within the pot they are planted in and start crowding together…. A lot of people have daylilies in their yard because they come back every year and they’re very low-maintenance. In the fall you need to cut back the dead leaves to get them ready for winter but in the spring they push up their leaves. Some are early bloomers, some are a little later, so they’re just a really hearty plant.”

As for her views on gardening overall: “For most people it’s a fun hobby. You learn by trial and error sometimes. You might have the wrong plant in the wrong place, but it’s a hobby of discovery, and for most people it’s extremely relaxing and rewarding because you get to see something grow and it’s kind of fun and beautiful.”

From the Concord Garden Club

Gena Moses, president of the Concord Garden Club, encourages gardeners to “have less lawn and plant more areas that are friendly to native species, that are more friendly to animals … plant for wildlife value, reduce your nighttime light pollution. Don’t use fertilizers or sprays.”

From the Derry Garden Club

Diana Hill, president of Derry Garden Club, responded to a request for a tip on gardening by saying, “You mean 2,000 gardening tips.” After narrowing that number down, the first thing Hill spoke about was jumping worms and how to mitigate them. These are “horrible, invasive worms … and they eat the understory of our forests, and we don’t want to spread the jumping worm, so when we get plants in the community … we bare-root the plants, we take all the dirt off, we wash them and put them in clean soil so we’re not spreading these worms…. We have these huge parties where we wash [roots] and get together … have lunch and drink wine and just scrub pots clean so we know we’re not spreading any invasive species.”

Derry Garden Club is also into urban pollinator gardens.

“Don’t clean up your gardens too early in the spring.” Hill said. “The pollinators can’t survive under the temperature of 50 degrees at night and the pollinators and bees burrow in leaf litter and dead plant litter, and if you clean it up too soon the bees and pollinators will have no place to go at night … so don’t clean up your gardens until it’s 50 degrees in the day and the night.”

Her final tip was about the perennial flowering plant anise hyssop; these, she said, “will feed the pollinators with pollen, of course, and their nectar, but birds also eat the seed heads at the end of the season, so it becomes an empty tube for the bees to live in, in the wintertime. So it hits all three seasons. Some varieties are native to New Hampshire. They propagate very easily, they self-seed, which is nice, you can fill in your garden quickly and you can also transplant them to other areas of your yard and they are full-sun and drought tolerant, so they’re basically a hands-off plant.”

From the Epping Garden Club

Eunice Miller mentioned one of her favorite tips is that so many people buy something that isn’t the right fit, and that it is important to get the right plant for the right location. If it needs sun, put it where the plant will get sun, and so on.

From the Hooksett Garden Club

Carolyn Taylor, publicity chair for the Hooksett Garden Club, offered a gardening tip for a tropical plant that can live in New Hampshire: “A few years ago my brother gave me some canna bulbs, rhizomes actually, and I got hooked. Although they are tropical plants not native to New England you see them in large planters in front of stores, restaurants, etc. … I put them in the ground as soon as the soil has reached 50 degrees and no danger of frost, usually in May.”

They need space because the bulbs will multiply, and “each plant should have three to five ‘eyes’ planted facing up.” Canna bulbs love the sun and water. “They pretty much need full sun because they are tropical and they need quite a bit of water,” Taylor said. “They take about three weeks to come up … and once they come up, will bloom all summer into the fall. You can keep them blooming by cutting off dead flowers.”

Birds are big, if tiny, fans of the plant, she said. “They’re very attractive to hummingbirds. They really love the fact that they’re open, they can get into them.”

From the Litchfield NH Garden & Plant Enthusiasts (a Facebook group)

“Mulch, mulch, mulch. And weed right after the rain. Start small and then expand. When in doubt, ask! There are lots of people who have years of local experience. AND look around. See what other people in your community are growing and when. Then you will know what does well in your area,” posted Stacy Lamountain.

“Start small and get to know your plants. When you see and experiment with them in each stage, you can better understand and predict what techniques they might like and what they might not. Then you can start to recognize their sisters and cousins and predict what they might like too. And finally, because you’ve gotten to know them well, it isn’t quite work anymore to care for them. It’s more like visiting a friend,” posted Kate Stevens.

From the Manchester NH Garden Club

“Spending some time in the fall putting your garden to bed will make your job much easier in the following spring.” — Fiona McKenna

From the Merrimack Garden Club

“If you start plants from seed indoors, harden them off by leaving them outside during the day and bringing them back inside at night for a week. This will help prevent the seedlings from getting shocked when they get in the ground.” — Jennifer Mayer-Cox

From the Nashua Garden Club

“Stop the back-breaking work of adding mulch to your gardens each spring. Instead, use ground covers to block out weeds and add attractive flowers to the bare spots in your perennial beds.” — Terry Robinson Lemack

“In the fall, when I bring in plants that have spent the summer outside, I am very careful to hose off the leaves and roots in hopes that I don’t bring an infestation of insects into my house.” — Joan Bonnette

From the Salem Friendship and Gardening Club

“Plant native flowering plants that will feed pollinators. Please don’t spray your dandelions!” — Lorie Ball

From the Tailgate Transport Rescue, which is holding its second annual plant sale

“When you buy a new plant, find out what it needs, so you can plant it in your yard where it will get the right amount of sunlight.” — Jennifer Abericio

From the Unitarian Universalist Church in Manchester, which holds an annual plant sale

“Dig up plants for transplanting in the early spring, just as they are starting to bud. When planting transplants, water the hole thoroughly before burying the new plant, then again, after it’s been buried; this will give the roots a chance to have contact with moist soil.” — Jean Stfanik

Fellow gardeners

The Burleigh Triangle Garden. “The Burleigh” is a small trianglar garden at the intersection of Ministerial and Bedford Center roads. Photo courtesy of Jeanene Procopis of the Bedford Garden Club.

Here are some of the area garden clubs. Know of one not mentioned here? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

Amherst Garden Club meets monthly from September through June at the Messiah Lutheran Church (303 Route 101 in Amherst) on the first Thursday of the month except in September, when they meet the first Thursday after Labor Day. The meetings typically include a featured speaker, according to their website, amherstgardenclub.org, with their business meetings beginning at 9:15 a.m. and followed by a featured speaker at 10:30 a.m.

• The Bow Garden Club typically meets on the second Monday of the months of April, May, June, September, October and November while a special “Progressive Dinner & Garden Tour” is held in mid-July for members and their guests, according to bowgardenclub.org. There is no August meeting and the club’s annual business meeting and holiday brunch is held on the second Saturday of December, according to the same website.

Candia Garden Club meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the meeting room of the Smyth Public Library (194 High St. in Candia)

Canterbury NH Garden Club meets every other month beginning in October and alternating weekday and Saturday mornings to accommodate a variety of schedules. Frequent communications are maintained through their email list. Contact canterburynhgardenclub@gmail.com.

The Concord Garden Club holds monthly meetings, typically on Thursdays, from September through May plus the CGC annual luncheon in early May. “We do member-focused events all year long,” said Gena Moses, President of the Concord Garden Club. One event that is open to the public happens “in conjunction with Concord Parks and Rec department called Habitat at your Home which is to try to help residents learn how to plant more sustainable gardens at their homes.” This event will be held at City Wide Community Center at 14 Canterbury Road in Concord on Wednesday, May 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. with tickets ranging from $10 to $20 and participants will need to register to attend. See concordgardenclubnh.com.

Derry Garden Club meets the first Friday of every month with most of the meetings held at the Boys & Girls Club (40 E. Derry Road in Derry); get in touch through their website, derrygardenclub.org, since they are not able to use the space in the summer months.

Dunbarton Garden Club will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the Daffodils of Dunbarton project with five different daffodil packages: General John Stark Blend, Molly Stark Mix, Caleb’s Courage, Scipio Page Blend and Dunn Cottage Blend, with sale information to be updated soon, according to dunbartongardenclub.org. The club meets once a month from April through December, typically on the second Monday of the month at the library/old town hall (1004 School St.) on the second floor, according to the website.

The Epping Garden Club has an annual pansy fundraiser in the spring after the Memorial Day parade, a pink petunia sale around the first week of June, and a Fall Color sale with mums, asters and ornamental cabbages from Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford at the end of August, for which the Epping Garden Club will take pre-paid orders. Email eppinggardenclub@gmail.com.

The Goffstown Garden Club meets March through December on the first Thursdays at the Odd Fellows Lodge, 42 Mountain Road, at 6:30 p.m. It’s a community garden club with plots for residents. Find them on Facebook.

The Colonial Garden Club of Hollis holds regular meetings on the first Tuesday of October, November, December, February, March, April and May at the Lawrence Barn at 9 a.m., according to hollisgardenclub.org.

• The Green Team of Londonderry meets on the third Thursday of each month from 6 to 7:45 p.m. at the Leach Public Library, 276 Mammoth Road in Londonderry. Find them on Facebook.

The Hooksett Garden Club holds monthly meetings at the Hooksett Public Library (31 Mount Saint Mary’s Way in Hooksett) on the fourth Wednesday of the month, February through October, with social time from 6 to 6:30 p.m., the meeting (often with a program) starting at 6:30 p.m. and then a business meeting at 7:30 p.m. See hooksettnhgardenclub.org.

The Hopkinton Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through May, according to hopkintongardenclub.org.

• The Kingston Garden Club meets in person on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Kingston Community Library, 2 Library Lane in Kingston. Find them on Facebook.

The Loudon Gardeners Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Loudon Community Building, 29 S. Village Road in Loudon, according to the Loudon Town Calendar. Find them on Facebook.

The Manchester NH Garden Club meets one Thursday a month (see manchesternhgardenclub.weebly.com for the upcoming dates) at Girls at Work, 200 Bedford St. in Manchester.

The Massabesic Garden Club in Auburn has monthly meetings on its schedule at massabesicgc.org, where you can find more about membership. The next meeting is Wednesday, May 8, at 6 p.m. and wraps up the 2023/2024 season.

The Merrimack Garden Club meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the St. James United Methodist Church, 646 D.W. Highway in Merrimack. See merrimackgardenclub.org.

• The Milford Garden Club meets on the second Monday of every month at 10:30 a.m. at the First Congregational Church Parish House, 10 Union St. in Milford. See milfordnhgardenclub.org.

The Nashua Garden Club meets the first Wednesday each month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 121 Manchester St. in Nashua and via Zoom. See sites.google.com/view/nashuanhgardenclub.

The Newfields Garden Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Paul Memorial Library, 76 Main St. in Newfields. Find them on Facebook.

Salem Friendship and Gardening Club meets on the third Monday of each month from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Kelley Library, 234 Main St. in Salem. See salemfriendshipandgardenclub.org.

Weare Garden Club meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Hand in Hand Senior Center and Thrift Shop, 33 N. Stark Highway in Weare. Find them on Facebook.

Windham Garden Club meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at Windham Town Hall, 4 N. Lowell Road in Windham. See windhamgardenclub.org.

Garden tours
Get ideas from other people’s gardens at area garden tours. Know of other tours? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

• See the Secret Gardens of New London in a tour of six gardens, held by the New London Garden Club on Thursday, June 20, from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. Tickets cost $25 in advance; see newlondongardenclub.org.
• The 35th annual Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth Tour will take place Friday, June 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The self-guided tour of eight private gardens and one public garden in the Little Harbor neighborhood will also include music, artists and more, according to southchurch-uu.org, the website of the South Church Unitarian Universalist Congregation, which is holding the event. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 on the day if available.
• The Palace Theatre will hold its annual Garden Tour of nine gardens (plus other stops) around Manchester on Saturday, June 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 on the day. See palacetheatre.org.
• The Bedford Garden Club will hold a “Follow the Blooms” garden tour of seven gardens in Bedford on Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets cost $25 when purchased in advance (see bedfordgardenclubnh.org) and $30 when purchased on the day from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bedford Village Common at 15 Bell Hill Road.

World of snacks

A snack run at four area international markets

“OK, these ones are great,” said Keith Sarasin, pulling a bag of Indian snack mix down from a shelf. “They’re made with black salt, which isn’t something that most Americans are really familiar with. It’s got sulphury back-notes that are a little freaky at first, but after they’ve tried it, most people get addicted to it.”

Chef Sarasin is the chef and owner of Aatma, an Indian-themed popup restaurant. He describes himself as “Indian-food obsessed.” We were at Patel Brothers, an Indian supermarket in Nashua, looking over an aisle of dozens of varieties of snack mixes. He explains that people in South Asia — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — are passionate about snack foods. As if to illustrate his point, for every aisle of produce or staple ingredients at Patel Brothers, there is another one devoted to a different type of snack food.

“These,” he said, pointing to a package of biscuits (cookies), “are what you would have with tea. If you’re Indian, you keep some of these around all the time to serve to guests. There is a saying in Hindi that translates to ‘The guest is a god.’” That’s how seriously they take their snacks.

Almost every culture around the world has snacks that the people eat on the street, or sitting with friends, drinking tea, beer, coffee, or tequila, gossiping and arguing about sports. More and more of these snacks are making their way to New Hampshire — in supermarkets, superettes or convenience stores.

So, let’s do some exploring.

The following snack foods represent a small fraction of what is available at four local international markets — one Indian, one Filipino, one Mexican and one East Asian. These stores, in turn, are a fraction of the international snack landscape around us. There are Bosnian, African, Middle Eastern, and Greek markets that we haven’t had the opportunity to get to.

The snacks have been sorted by the stores where they were purchased (with tasting notes provided by snackers at the Hippo office). Because these are all ready-to-eat snacks, each section of regional snacks is followed by a recipe for a traditional snack from that culture that you probably won’t find on a grocery store shelf.

outside of large storefront with green letters reading Patel Brothers, cloudy day
Patel Brothers. Photo by John Fladd.

Patel Brothers:

Masala mix & West Indies potato chips

Patel Brothers (292 Daniel Webster Highway, Unit 8, Nashua, patelbros.com, 888-8009) is a large supermarket that is part of a national chain of more than 50 stores, according to the website. This one sits in Willow Springs Plaza in Nashua, next to Home Depot. It is a full-service supermarket with produce, groceries and products from all areas of South Asia and it features an in-store bakery.

Gharana brand Chakri (Muruku)

Where it’s from: Indian snack, made in New Jersey
Description: A dry, crunchy churro-shaped cookie or cracker, wrapped in a spiral.
Tasting notes: “A deep-fried flavor with a spicy back-end.” “Unexpectedly spicy”

Lay’s West Indies Hot & Sweet Potato Chips

Where it’s from: Lay’s, the PepsiCo-produced chips you’re familiar with, has produced flavors for the Caribbean and South Asian market
Description: A ruffled potato chip with Caribbean flavors
Tasting notes: “I taste paprika; the heat grows as you eat.” “Very reminiscent of Old Bay Seasoning.” “Wow, this excites my taste buds with the sweet, then the spice!”

Swad brand Mamra Laddoo

Where it’s from: Indian snack, manufactured in New Jersey
Description: Hard, crunchy caramelized puffed rice balls
Tasting notes: “Very crunchy.” “A second cousin to caramel corn.”

Anand brand Jaggery Banana Pieces (Sarkaravaratty)

Where it’s from: South India
Description: Nuggets of dried bananas covered with sugar and spices
Tasting notes: “This would be good with tea.” “Slight banana flavor — mostly hidden under the jaggery and cardamom. I like this.” “It tastes a little like garam masala.”

Bombay Kitchen Mumbai Masala snack mix

Where it’s from: Central Indian snack, made in New York
Description: A snack mix made of chickpea crackers, peanuts, raisins, rice flakes, lentils, green peas and spices.
Tasting notes: “There is a wide variety of textures. The flavor is subtle at first, with an aftertaste of garam masala.” “There is a variety of very crunchy and not-so-crunchy textures, with a nice amount of spice.” “I was much softer than I had thought. Not bad, but you need a decent handful to get the true flavor.”

Haldiram’s Khatta Meetha snack mix

Where it’s from: India
Description: A snack mix made of chickpea crackers, peanuts, mango powder, lentils and spices
Tasting notes: “Sweet tasting, with many spices. It isn’t hot.” “It starts out kind of bland, but quickly becomes addictive, with a sweet, mild heat and a soft crunch.”

Snack to make at home: Slacker Vada

round fried fritters with holes in the middle on table with surrounding ingredients
Slacker Vada. Photo by John Fladd.

Vada, a fried fritter-like food, are popular street snacks in Southern India. Passengers on trains will reach out the windows of their carriages at stops along their journey and buy them from vendors at each train station. They are a perfect on-the-go street food — crunchy outside, comfort-foody inside, and easily eaten on the go.

Let’s be clear about this: This recipe is not authentic vada. An Indian auntie would have a lot to say about how not-authentic they are. A vada wallah (a vada aficionado) on the streets of Mangaluru would take a bite of one, then shake his head at the state of this weary world. But, these vada are tasty, deep-fried and easy to make at home. Once you have a vague idea of how good a vada is, you will want to seek out one that is more authentic and involves intimidating ingredients like asafetida (a spice that requires a whole other conversation).

  • 1 15-ounce can of lentils – I like Goya
  • ½ 15-ounce can of chickpeas (sometimes labeled as garbanzo beans)
  • 2 Tablespoon finely chopped cashews
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 hot green chiles, finely chopped – New Hampshire chiles are notoriously unreliable; your best bet is probably serrano or Fresno chiles, which have a good flavor and a reliably moderate level of heat
  • 2 Tablespoon rice flour, possibly more
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil for frying

Your best tip for Indian cooking — or any cooking — is to prepare all your ingredients and lay them out so you know where they are when you need them and don’t need to rummage through your cabinets or refrigerator looking for something that you forgot you were out of. Professionals call this mise en place; it’s just another phrase for being properly prepared. Do that with your vada ingredients.

Rinse the chickpeas and lentils in a strainer until they stop being foamy.

Blend the lentils and chickpeas in your blender until they look like peanut butter and smell like refried beans. If the mixture is too thick, add water, a spoonful at a time, until it gets to where you want it to be.

Transfer the puree to a bowl, and mix in the other ingredients. It should be just stiff enough to work with your hands. If it’s too sticky, add more rice flour, again a spoonful at a time, until you can hold it and shape it with your fingers.

Take enough of the mixture to roll into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Roll it, then poke your finger through the middle of it, and shape it into a miniature doughnut. Vada are doughnut-shaped for the same reason doughnuts are: to allow them to cook completely in hot oil before they get greasy. It also allows you to get a deep-fried crispiness on the increased surface area of the vada. Make two or three while your oil heats up.

Heat 4 to 6 inches of oil in a pot to 350°F. If you choose a small pot, the oil will come to temperature quickly and you won’t need as much of it. You will only be able to fry one or two vada at a time, though, and the temperature of the oil will drop more easily when you add the room-temperature vada to the pan. If you use a bigger pot you will have more oil, can fry more vada at a time, and will retain a good frying temperature.

Fry the vada like you would doughnuts — 2 or 3 minutes on each side — until they are crispy and the color of brown car upholstery. Drain them on paper towels.

Because these are doughnut-shaped, part of your brain expects them to be sweet, but they are entirely savory. There are bits of chewy coconut, but also brightness from the chilies, ginger and cilantro. The background flavor is undefinably savory but supports its co-stars. These are excellent hot from the fryer, or at room temperature, although they are at their crispiest while they are still hot. They go very well with chai or coffee, and with a chutney, preferably coconut chutney.

Make these, grow to love them, and then we’ll talk about asafetida.

Saigon Asian Market:

sweets and seaweed

Saigon Asian Market (476 Union St., Manchester, 935-9597) is a medium-sized supermarket with groceries and products from Vietnam, China, Taiwan and Thailand. It offers fresh produce and excellent fresh seafood.

Kaoriya Mochi Peanut Flavor

Where it’s from: Traditional Japanese snack, made in Thailand
Description: Soft pillowy rice mochi, with a sweet, peanut filling
Tasting notes: “Two distinct textures; it tastes like a peanut butter bun.” “Very chewy; peanut flavor is very prominent, but not like peanut butter.”

Ricky joy brand Strawberry Mellow Cone

Where it’s from: China
Description: Brightly colored, ice cream cone-shaped candy.
Tasting notes: “Fun filling inside.”

Mag Mag brand Thai Hote Madame Plum

Where it’s from: Thailand
Description: Spiced dry plum
Tasting notes: “Madame is beautifully sweet and sour.” “Not too spicy — a nice balance of sweet plum and heat. I’m voting this my favorite.”

Tao Kae Noi: Mala Flavor seaweed snack

Where it’s from: Thailand
Description: Dried, seasoned strips of seaweed.
Tasting notes: “It has some heat.” “The spice builds as you eat it. It’s very fishy.”

Koe-Kae Sriracha Chilli Sauce Flavour Coated Green Peas

Where it’s from: Thailand
Description: Freeze-dried peas, coated with a sweet sriracha flavoring
Tasting notes: “It has a good crunch and good heat in small doses.” “Excellent crunch! The heat builds then recedes nicely.” “Great crunch! Perfect amount of spice for a snack food.”

Teddy Bear Sweet & Sour Spicy Tamarind

Where it’s from: Thailand
Description: Dried tamarind fruit with added spice
Tasting notes: “This has a delicious sour tamarind flavor. There are large seeds.” “Interesting combination — I got the sweet, the sour, and the spicy (in that order), with a nice gummy texture.” “I was not prepared for the seeds, but otherwise, I loved it. Sweet and sour with an earthy taste.”

Snack to make at home: Kluay Thod

small fried bananas beside bowl of bananas and oranges, and a coconut
Kluay Thod. Photo by John Fladd.

These fried bananas are a specialty in Bangkok, where street cooks use small, finger-sized bananas. Those totally work in this recipe but can sometimes be a little hard to find. Half-inch rounds of a regular Cavendish banana will work just as well, as long as it’s properly ripe — yellow, with a lot of brown spots on it. If the convenience store you buy your morning coffee from has bananas up by the register, they will be just about perfect for this recipe, especially later in the week, when the bananas have seen too much of life and have given up hope. Think of this as helping them fulfill their destiny.

  • 10-12 finger-sized bananas, cut in half, or ½-inch rounds of 3 large, ripe ones
  • 1¼ cups (200 g) rice flour, plus more for dredging
  • 1½ cups (200 g) all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup (200 ml) water
  • 1 cup (200 ml) coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt – I like to use coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup (50 g) sesame seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup (50 g) finely minced coconut
  • vegetable oil for frying

Fill a pot with 4 to 6 inches of vegetable oil and set it to heating over medium heat. Keep an eye on it; you want it to eventually reach 350°F.

Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients, aside from the bananas, in a large bowl. It will make a thick batter.

Pour a smallish amount, maybe half a cup, of rice flour into a small bowl. This is for dredging. When you’re deep-frying something, wet batter doesn’t like to stick to wet or damp ingredients, so it’s a good idea to cover whatever you’re frying with something dry and powdery — fried chicken often calls for seasoned flour or cornstarch, for example. In this case, you’ve already got rice flour on the counter, so we’ll use that.

When your oil has come to temperature, dredge several pieces of banana in rice flour, then dunk them in batter. Even with the rice flour, the banana might balk at being completely covered; you’ll have to convince it.

Carefully drop the battered banana pieces into the oil and cook them until they are a rich brown color. You’ll know when they’re ready; their beauty will stagger you. Fry a few banana pieces at a time to keep the oil at a consistent temperature.

Drain them on several layers of paper towels.

You owe it to yourself to eat at least a couple of these hot and crispy right from the fryer. They are lightly sweet, with banana notes in the background, and a savory, sesame-forward flavor from the batter. There’s a comforting contrast between the soft banana and the crispy/chewy texture of the sesame coating.

True to their street food origins, you and whoever else is in the house with you will probably eat this standing in the kitchen. If there are any left, they will still be good for several hours, especially with a glass of Thai iced tea.

GFM Pinoy Food Mart:

ube and adobo

GFM Pinoy Food Mart (224 North Broadway, Salem, gfmpinoyfoods.com, 458-1957) is a very small, snack-heavy Filipino grocery store. There are some refrigerated and frozen foods from the Philippines, but most of the stock is dry goods.

Fritzie’s Ube Cheese Pandesal

Where it’s from: Filipino pastry, made in New Jersey
Description: A purple bun (ube is an Asian purple yam) with a mild cheese filling
Tasting notes: “This tastes a lot like a croissant.” “It reminds me of pan dulce slightly. I can’t really taste the cheese.” “It … has a nice taste, like a sweet bread.”

Jack ’n’ Jill brand Chicharron ni Mang Juan (vegetarian pork rinds), Sukang Paombong flavored

Where it’s from: Philippines
Description: Light golden-brown fried snack that is curled to look like pork rinds
Tasting notes: “Salty and savory with more depth of flavor than I was expecting.” “Mild and crunchy; they would be excellent with three or four beers.”

Boy Bawang Cornick: Adobo Flavor

Where it’s from: Philippines
Description: “Marinated Meat-Flavored Fried Corn”
Tasting notes: “Chickeny-tasting corn nuts.” “Crunchy puffed corn with a mild flavor.” “Fave! I love these. They are like Corn Nuts, but not tooth-breaky.”

Jack ’n’ Jill brand Chippy Barbecue Flavored Corn Chips

Where it’s from: The Philippines
Description: Barbecue-flavored corn chips the size and shape of Fritos
Tasting notes: “The taste is a mix between a Bugle and a Frito.” “It’s light on the barbecue flavor, but I love the corn chip for a nice change-up.” “Savory, meaty taste at the end.”

Jack ’n’ Jill brand V-Cut Potato Chips

Where it’s from: The Philippines
Description: Lightly smoky rippled potato chips
Tasting notes: “It reminds me of a barbecue sandwich in a chip form.” “I really enjoyed the barbecue flavor of this one. Not too strong; just perfect.”

Snack to make at home: Tambo-Tambo

bowl of light colored pudding topped with pieces of mango, on counter beside ingredients
Tambo-Tambo. Photo by John Fladd.

Tambo-Tambo is a coconut pudding with tapioca pearls and rice balls from the Philippines. Because the Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, each with its own culture, and because it is in the middle of several major trade routes, you never know what you’re going to get in a Filipino snack. The food culture of the Philippines has been impacted by East Asian, Indonesian, Spanish and even American influences. This particular snack leans heavily into three ingredients deeply rooted in the Filipino landscape: coconut, cassava (which tapioca is made from) and rice.

  • ½ cup (75 g) small tapioca pearls
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 cup (150 g) glutinous rice flour – it will probably be called Sweet White Rice Flour in your supermarket, but it’s the same thing
  • another ½ cup (125 ml) water
  • 1¾ cup (400 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
  • another ½ cup (125 ml) water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • diced fresh fruit – mangos are traditional, but I think fresh cherries would be fantastic

Soak the tapioca in a cup of water for half an hour, then rinse thoroughly.

Meanwhile, mix the rice flour with half a cup of water, then roll it into half-inch balls with wet fingers. (Your fingers should be wet. Giving the rice balls fingers would be disconcerting.) Cover them with a damp cloth until Game Time.

Mix the coconut milk, salt, sugar, and the last half cup of water in a small saucepan, then bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.

Crash the heat to low, then stir in the rice balls. Cook them for about 4 minutes, until they are cooked through and chewy. Stir pretty much continuously, to keep the rice balls from sticking to each other.

Bring the heat back up to high, then stir in the rinsed tapioca, and stir until the tapioca has been cooked, another 3 or 4 minutes. The tapioca will thicken the mixture noticeably.

Remove from heat, and let the pudding cool, maybe 20 minutes. Serve, garnished with fresh fruit.

This snack is full of contrasts — the coconut pudding is creamy, the rice balls are chewy and the tapioca is, err, tapioca-y. The coconut is sweet — perhaps even a little too sweet on its own — but it is balanced out by the mildness of the rice balls. This snack is great warm, but even better cold and refreshing. I can imagine standing in a market in Manila, desperately hot and completely overwhelmed, then grounding myself with a dish of tambo-tambo.

La Michoacana Market:

Takis and Zambos

La Michoacana Market (112 Pine St., Nashua, 882-0271) is a small neighborhood market with Mexican snacks and products. It serves a small selection of American-style hot food, some with a Mexican twist.

Bimbo brand Nito snack cakes

Where it’s from: Mexico
Description: Dry, chocolate-frosted and -filled snack cake
Tasting notes: “A strong cocoa flavor.” “The sweet bread enhances the sweetness of the chocolate icing; it isn’t too sweet.” “Nice and chocolatey.”

Takis Hot Nuts Fuego

Where it’s from: Mexico
Description: Peanuts with a spicy/sour coating
Tasting notes:“The spiciness is all in the electric red dust.” “Very acidic.” “All the spice of a Takis with a peanut finish.” “Shockingly spicy at first, but ends nicely. It makes you want more!”

Yummies brand Ceviche Flavored Zambos

Where it’s from: Honduras
Description: Ceviche-flavored plantain chips
Tasting notes: “Outstanding lime and salt flavors; the fishy background is distracting.” “This tastes sort of like a seaweed chip; it’s pretty good.”

Diana Brand Jalapeňos tortilla chip

Where it’s from: El Salvador
Description: Seasoned tortilla chips
Tasting notes: “Tiny triangles. Delicate corn flavor with mild heat.” “not as hot as I expected but tasty and easy going with a great touch of spice.” “I’m obsessed with these! They are perfect, and almost no flavoring sticks to your fingers.”

Bimbo brand Choco Bimbuňuelos

Where it’s from: Mexico
Description: The packaging describes it as “Sweet Crispy Wheels with Chocolate Flavored Coating”
Tasting notes: “Extra crunchy. The chocolate is very melty.” “These are very dangerous! You could eat a whole package if you weren’t careful. The chocolate is so creamy and the crisp is light.”

Snack to make at home: Pemoles

ring shaped biscuits on plate on table beside mug of coffee and 2 potted plants
Tambo-Tambo. Photo by John Fladd.

Mexico is another country that has had its food shaped by a huge number of influences — indigenous, Spanish and even French. Mexico has a complex and sophisticated baking tradition. There are Mexican cookies that would blow your mind. Pemoles are wreath-shaped cookies made with masa harina (corn flour) instead of wheat flour, and are flavored with coffee.

  • 2 cups (250 g) masa harina (corn flour)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt – again, I like to use coarse sea salt; it plants little salt bombs in the finished cookie
  • 1 Tablespoon finely ground coffee
  • 1¼ sticks (125 g) butter — authentic pemoles are made with lard, which tastes fantastic in baked goods but can be intimidating, so we’ll use butter instead; feel free to use the full-octane fat, though; you will not regret it
  • ½ cup (125 g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) coffee liqueur

Toast the masa harina in a dry skillet, stirring constantly, until it darkens to a golden-brown color — about the same color as a lion. Transfer it to a bowl to cool.

Add the salt and coffee to the roasted masa harina. Stir to combine.

Using your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they are pale yellow, light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and then, once the egg is incorporated, the coffee liqueur.

Gradually mix in the dry ingredients.

When the dough has come together, refrigerate it for half an hour.

OK, this is where things get a little weird. Every recipe for pemoles says that you should knead the dough until it is smooth before chilling it. This seems impossible. The pre-chilled mixture is much too soft to work with your hands. Additionally, because there isn’t any wheat in this recipe, there is no flour to produce gluten, the stuff that makes bread and other baked goods pliable. I’m sure that the Mexican nuns who invented pemoles could do it; I haven’t worked out a way to.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Pinch off a tablespoonful of the chilled dough and form it into a 6-inch-long snake. Apparently, rolling it is recommended — and that would probably work if you could manage to knead the dough — but I’ve found that squeezing it in my palms works better. Put your snake on the baking sheet and form it into a circle. You should be able to form about a dozen cookies.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. You won’t be able to tell by the color when they are done, but if you poke a pemole and it feels like a cookie that hasn’t firmed up yet, they are ready to take out of the oven.

Let the pemoles cool, then eat them.

These have a crumbly, sandy texture, much like a really good shortbread. This is something bakers call sablé. The roasted corn flavor is deeply satisfying — a little like a good cornbread — and the not-over-the-top coffee flavor gives you an emotional anchor to hang the “Ooh-I-like-this” part of your brain on. It goes without saying that these are a natural to have with coffee.

Exploring Pubs

A look at some of the gathering spots that offer their own unique character, entertainment and, of course, beer

What is a pub? With a name derived from “public house,” it’s mainly a community gathering place. At the best ones, as the song goes, “everybody knows your name” and there are plenty of reasons to be there. A proprietor at one of the six area pubs profiled in this story spoke of theirs as a respite from stress at work or home: “If either of those aren’t great, we’re that third place.”

Each has something that sets it apart and makes the place special — a signature dish, musical gathering or standout staff member. It all adds up to a vibe that can’t be replicated. Much of it is by design, particularly in Manchester. A venerable watering hole is careful to schedule events that don’t compete directly with other downtown spots, so everyone does well.

Another common thread is evolution, often disruptive, always necessary. A move to a new location, rising from a death blow delivered by the pandemic, switching things up with a new music night, expanding the spirits menu ahead of, not in response to, a boom, or cultivating a particular demographic that was previously neglected.

In the case of one venue getting ready open in May, disruptive evolution simply means taking a leap of faith, something each of these does every single day.

The Forum Pub: Friendly zone

When Area 23 opened mid-decade, it quickly became known as a hard place to find but definitely worth the effort. Set at the end of a winding road off State Street, decorated with offbeat bric-a-brac and offering a tastefully curated beer list along with craft ciders and a smart pub menu, it also welcomed the Concord music scene. More than a few performers got their start there, and jam sessions were a magnet for creatives of all stripes.

Last year, however, owner Kirk McNeil was forced to move, due to what he called “irreconcilable differences” with his landlord. In early October he began occupying a space that formerly was an Asian restaurant in Penacook’s Thirty Pines Plaza. With a vibe much different than the cavernous Area 23, McNeil gave it a new name, The Forum Pub.

Before deciding on the change, McNeil asked one of his regulars to identify Area 23’s “main feature,” he recalled while standing behind the bar in mid-March, during the Forum Pub’s third week of business. “He said, ‘you could have good discussions with people; it wasn’t just a lot of sports on TV, a lot of people getting frustrated about this thing or that thing. You could actually have discussions.’ I said, ‘I think you just named it.’”

That said, Forum Pub is a haven for civil discourse; a House Rules list at the end of the bar includes “No Politics.” This is aimed at anyone “who’s not listening but only talking,” McNeil said. “I’m happy to talk about policies … we can talk about whether or not you think this thing or that thing should happen. What makes it a better show? I just don’t want to talk about why this nimrod or that nincompoop should be running the show.”

The process of moving 3 1/2 miles down the street wasn’t easy.

“As we all know, New Hampshire doesn’t have a ton of available real estate right now,” McNeil noted, and regulatory hurdles were also challenging. What saved the day were his people. “The best part of this entire move has been our staff, because a bunch of cooks and bartenders and sound men and servers … became construction workers and decorators.”

Adjustments between the new and old location include live music. There’s a nicely lit stage, an expertly tweaked sound system, but less room means solo, duo and trio performances instead of raucous bands. Don Bartenstein hosts a weekly song circle in the center of the room, there’s a growing list of Wednesday night singer-songwriter nights, and Saturday open mic is back, but no one’s loading in big amps anymore.

One upside of relocating is that the kitchen is four times the size of the old one, increasing the number of menu options.

“We’re doing some pretty terrific food here; we don’t have anything on the menu that I don’t like,” McNeil said. Among the customer favorites is an item that was also popular at Area 23. “I can’t say enough good things about the gyro; we do our own lamb roast.”

McNeil’s daughter Anastasia, home from college, echoed her father’s sentiments. “My friend Raphael is Greek as the day is long,” she said. “He took one bite and ran to get the chef to tell him it was the best gyro he’s ever had stateside.”

The Forum Pub
15 Village St., Concord, 552-0137
Must-try: Lamb gyro.
Big fun: Saturday afternoon Acoustic Circle

The Local: Rebirth in Warner

Like a lot of places, The Local, a small but scrappy and vibrant restaurant/bar on Main Street in Warner, couldn’t survive the pandemic. Owner Bill Meadows packed things up in May 2021. “We got through it and back,” he said by phone in late March. “When everything opened back up, we had people, but we were just so burned out by then that it just wasn’t worth continuing.”

As its name implies, it was more than a watering hole, and the community felt its absence. Meadows took a corporate job on the Seacoast, where he was frequently reminded why The Local was special. Its staff felt more like family, not a branch in an org chart.

“It’s not like going into a generic restaurant and being waited on by somebody you’ve never seen before,” he said. “You’re seeing the same people as when you came in a month, two months ago. It’s not just the food, the beer, the music; actually, it’s the staff bringing people back.”

When an opportunity to reopen came, in the form of another Main Street restaurant coming available, Meadows jumped. He and the owner of The Foothills began talking, and on October 13, 2023, The Local’s sign, featuring an arm wreath with two hands gripping mugs in a toast, came out of retirement.

It’s a bigger place, Meadows beamed.

“It’s an actual restaurant,” he said. “We were running the old Local out of a vanilla commercial space as best we could, but there were always restrictions, mostly with refrigeration … we could barely bring in enough stuff to last until our next delivery.”

Woman at bar pouring beer from tap
Amanda at The Local. Photo by Michael Witthaus.

Now there are more food specials, like a daily eggroll and burger, along with a doubling of beer taps, which Meadows has filled with all-local offerings.

“Our favorite thing to do is work with independents, breweries I go directly to for beer,” he said. “No. 1, it’s a great story, and No. 2, it’s not stuff people are going to find other places.”

Live music resumed recently, with April Cushman, Charlie Chronopoulos, Ryan Williamson and others appearing every Thursday night, courtesy of NH Music Collective’s talent service.

“It’s been really handy because booking was … it wasn’t difficult, but it was time-consuming,” Meadows said, so NHMC’s approach was welcome. “They book us great acts, and we don’t really have to do anything, so it works out.”

Along with that, Meadows leads a weekly trivia night on Wednesdays like he’s hosting a house party, surrounded as he is by mostly familiar faces.

“Our complete customer base came back when we reopened,” he said, adding that The Foothills’ old crowd still comes in.

Nine-to-five life compelled Meadows to rethink how he’d run The Local anew.

“I learned in a couple of years working for other people [about] things I used to do as a manager, not even knowing how toxic they were and how they affected other people, until I was that other person,” he said. “I came in with a completely different mindset as far as how to run a restaurant from a management standpoint; more how not to do it and trying to get away from that.”

The Local
15 Main St., Warner, 456-3333
Must-try: Eggroll of the day
Big fun: Wednesday trivia

The Barley House: New notes

As befits New Hampshire’s Capital City, Concord’s Barley House is packed with a mixture of locals and out-of-towners during the work week. On a recent Wednesday just past six o’clock, the bar included two men who earlier in the day were at the Statehouse talking over beers and burgers. Nearby, a couple from Cleveland who were attending an academic book conference at the Grappone Center considered a bowl of the pub’s signature Guinness Beef Stew.

“Definitely all walks of life,” said Nikki Miller, a longtime bartender at the North Main Street mainstay. Every Friday night, though, is locals’ time, she said. “A group of people in the community, they just take over the bar; they love it here. There’s also a ton of bar regulars, middle-aged people, and I’d say we do have some younger folk.”

It’s a less raucous vibe than in past years, she continued, meaning before the pandemic. “We’re not open late anymore,” she said. “People typically aren’t coming late to the Barley House, or dare I say, going out late anymore in Concord at all. It’s a changed place.”

The Barley House is very much an Irish pub. An ample supply of Redbreast, Green Spot and Jameson is always on hand, and St. Patrick’s Day is the North Star of their annual calendar. This year’s came on Sunday, a day they’ve been closed in the past. That changed this year, but Miller and her team weren’t sure what to expect.

To their relief, “it was a great day,” she said. “We didn’t have any troublemakers anywhere. Everyone was having a good time, eating great food. We had Irish step dancers, and the Irish session players for three hours. Then we had a DJ in our downstairs bar; I think a good time was had by all.”

A weekly Tuesday night gathering of Irish musicians, led by Eugene Durkee, was around before the pandemic. “Right now, we have about eight men and women that come in on a rotating basis,” Miller said. “They’re playing Celtic music, and it really just brings an awesome vibe to our dining space.”

Recently, regular live music, which ended many years ago, returned to the Barley House. Acoustic performers began appearing downstairs on Fridays and Saturdays.

“We all feel now that the world has returned to its new normal, so we decided to be creative in bringing people back,” Miller said. “Making it a place where you want to go in the community again … I think bringing music back was just the way to do it.”

Food-wise, the pub’s burgers are a constant favorite.

“I always tell my customers we have a top five burger list, which is not helpful to anyone trying to make a decision,” Miller said. Another recent addition is a personal deep-dish pizza with allegedly addictive qualities. “I don’t think anyone expected it to take off the way it did … it’s this funny little thing; people are like, ‘do you have it? I need it. I’m here for the pizza.’”

Still and all, a tight-knit staff on a first-name basis with so many of its customers is what sets the venerable downtown pub apart for Miller. “We say it’s not a Barley House, but it’s a Barley Home.”

The Barley House
132 N. Main St., Concord, 228-6363
Must-try: Guinness beef stew
Big fun: Tuesday Irish Session

Strange Brew Tavern: Peaceful coexistence

How does a business endure, let alone a pub? The National Restaurant Association reports an 80 percent failure rate within five years of opening. One local beat the odds. On April 6, Strange Brew Tavern marked its 25th anniversary. For pub owner Mitch Sawaya, however, the biggest milestone was making it to the end of Year 1.

He started in 1999 in a building that had stood empty for eight years, living on the third floor while he slowly built it out. Early days were quiet, but certain moments gave him hope, like when area restaurant workers stopped by after their shifts for a bite.

“I knew if we were doing something that attracted them we had a chance of making it, because they’re kind of harsh critics,” Sawaya said in a recent phone interview.

Fast forward to 2000. Strange Brew survived and, judging by a line snaking around the block on Market Street to mark the moment, was thriving. Sawaya could exhale a bit. “I thought, ‘You know what? I think we’re going to do OK, we’ll be here for a while.’ That was a big one; it was the first time I really felt comfortable or confident.”

As for lasting two and half decades, Sawaya worked to set Strange Brew apart from other Manchester bars, beginning with a big beer list.

“I had 18 draft lines when I opened, which everybody thought was ridiculous,” he said. With the craft beer boom years off, “I couldn’t fill them, but I refused at that point to put domestics on tap; I still do.”

chalkboard sign on table, reading join us in celebrating 25 years, bottle of liquor in background
Strange Brew. Photo by Michael Witthaus.

Sawaya also vowed to make his pub the go-to place for blues and R&B fans, partly because he’s a fan. A favorite memory is booking Dennis Brennan; he’d followed the Boston guitarist since his days in The Martells. “What was even more odd is he was with some guys that I knew really well, and he told them that he remembered me,” he said. “I was blown away.”

Another reason for leaning into the genre, which includes a Howard Randall-hosted blues jam every Sunday and live acts every Friday and Saturday, is that Sawaya believes staying in his lane helps the overall downtown scene. Early on, he did a press interview that said as much. The next day the owners of the now-defunct Black Brimmer stopped by to thank him.

“They said, ‘That’s the best thing we’ve ever heard,’ which was great,” he said. “We made a point not to book the same bands or do the same things on the same night. They’d have Mama Kicks every Wednesday, so we just steered away from that sort of thing. I think it was good for everybody. There were lines to get into all those places.”

These days, Jordan Quinn, along with Scott Armstrong, hosts a music open mic on Wednesdays. “Everybody loves her; I think she’s been the most successful person with it,” Sawaya said, noting that there’s a similar Thursday comedy gathering. “It’s grown significantly; it’s really open mic, anybody can get up on stage, and occasionally a couple of the big guys from Boston will come down to test out material.”

Some of the best recollections are from the many New Hampshire primaries he’s seen. “I always tell the story about John Kerry,” he said. “I had a Tufts banner hanging in the corner because that’s where I went to college, and he saw it. His son and his daughter went to Tufts, and he asked the significance of the banner. They told him the owner had gone there, so he grabbed me and bought us a beer…. We spent 45 minutes talking about growing up in Massachusetts.”

Another time, Drew Barrymore had dinner at Strange Brew, but Sawaya couldn’t be coaxed to ask for an autograph. He did meet Chris Matthews when the MSNBC host did a bunch of shows there, along with Tom Brokaw and Boston Globe columnist turned television pundit Mike Barnacle, who gave his burgers a television shout-out. “Those are huge things,” he said. “All these people were coming out of the woodwork for the elections.”

Asked about the future, Sawaya said, “I intend to keep going for a while,” noting that recently he’s put a lot of focus on food offerings; the Jambalaya and Guinness Meatballs are customer favorites.

Musically, he’s tried a few new things, like recently bringing in the youthful River Sang Wild for a night.

“I’ll always have entertainment, multiple nights a week,” Sawaya said. “I’m going to keep playing around to see what works. I have a son who will be 18 in July, and he’s not interested in being part of the business. I’ve got to figure that out. I’d like to be around for quite a few more years.”

Strange Brew Tavern
88 Market St., Manchester, 666-4292
Must-try: Jimmy “The Greek” burger.
Big fun: One Big Soul Sunday blues jam

Wild Rover: Hometown handoff

Manchester’s bar and restaurant community is very collegial. A good example of this is the way Jesse Twarjan purchased the Wild Rover, the landmark Irish pub on Kosciuszko Street. A musician and entrepreneur who manages a few downtown residential properties, among other things, the “Manch-ghanistan born and raised” Twarjan has a long history here.

In a recent phone interview he talked about bumping into Bonfire owner Patrick Mills outside his Elm Street restaurant. “I made a passing comment like, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll call Bob for a shift or two at the Rover,’” he recalled, referring to pub owner Robert Scribner. “I believe Patrick’s words were, ‘He might sell it to you.’ That’s how the whole thing started.”

The deal was friendly and might not have happened otherwise.

“It wasn’t necessarily something that Bob was looking to advertise for sale,” Twarjan said. “It’s a place that requires the right kind of person, an owner-operator type of situation where people want to come in and see familiar faces, that type of thing.”

Twarjan took over the pub, which has been in business since 1990, on St. Patrick’s Day. With an outdoor liquor license in flux, everything happened inside, but crowds still showed up for what’s always their biggest day of the year. “We were at capacity all day,” he said. “It was a great vibe.”

With that essential celebration out of the way, an official grand opening is in the works, though the new owner is quiet on the details. He hopes it will happen before the end of April. To prepare for it, there will be new coats of paint, as he works on a stepped-up liquor offering and a reshuffling of the beer list.

Notso Costley Productions will manage live music, though Twarjan is ready to jump in when needed.

outside of pub entrance, large windows,  painted facade with brick on above stories, brick sidewalk, rainy evening, with hanging sign reading The Wild Rover
The Wild Rover. Photo by Michael Witthaus.

“We have them as a focal point every weekend, and they always have a rotating cast of extremely talented players,” he said. “My musician past leads me to have a fairly wide network of what I would consider to be extraordinarily talented people. They know if you’re going to come in here you’d better play as well as me or I’ll do it myself.”

Former chef Jeff Volker has been recruited to help with revamping the menu. Twarjan, who’s an alum of culinary-centric Johnson & Wales University, has big plans.

“We’re really going to lean hard into some of that Irish flair and fare,” he said, adding that Volker will strive to make the Wild Rover “the best place in town for fish and chips or shepherd’s pie…. We’ll be consolidating and doing it correctly. That comes down to quality over quantity, specifically with the kitchen.”

That said, the Rover won’t be going head-to-head with the downtown’s fine dining places. Twarjan’s thoughts go back to the way he acquired the bar.

“We need to be more collaborative instead of competitive in terms of making sure that there’s enough of a demographic out there for all of us to enjoy,” he said. “We’re definitely trying to fill some gaps in the food and make sure that we’re doing quality pub fare to a very high degree.”

Wild Rover
21 Kosciuszko St., Manchester, 669-7722
Must-try: Reuben sandwich
Big fun: open mic night

Pembroke City Limits: Born in a barn

Even though he can’t play a note, Rob Azevedo has an absolute passion for music. Seemingly his every waking hour is focused on it, whether he’s hosting his Granite State of Mind radio show every Friday night, blogging about a new local act he’s excited about, or gathering a bunch of his friends to do a Tom Petty or Stones tribute concert at the Shaskeen or Rex Theatre in Manchester.

Lately Azevedo has been hosting shows in his barn, adjacent to the house in Pembroke where he moved a few years back. They’re intimate affairs, with typically fewer than 100 people in attendance. Most are people he already knows, but a few new faces always show up, which got him thinking.

Which led to a new venture, his wildest and most ambitious yet.

Pembroke City Limits will present live events, everything from concerts to book signings and poetry readings, five days a week. Azevedo is putting the finishing touches on a space on Pembroke Village’s Main Street, originally an 1800s general store that most recently sold antiques. He’s been eyeing the spot for over a year.

man standing in large room that's being renovated, pointing to building plans taped to the wall
Rob Azevedo at Pembroke City Limits. Photo by Michael Witthaus.

“It was either going to be this place or it wasn’t going to happen,” he said in late March. Granite State of Mind will broadcast live every Friday, and initially acoustic acts will provide the music.

“We have four residents upstairs and we want to see how the sound is going to work,” Azevedo said, adding that all the pieces are coming together. “Rough plumbing is done, that’s huge; fire and electrical are updated; the next thing is drywall, and then get the kitchen and bar together. We’re hoping to be open by mid-May.”

During a walk-through, Azevedo pointed out the charming space’s many features, like hardwood floors, exposed brick and lots of ambient light, while discussing what it will look like when finished. A stage and seating area will be on the right. A bar serving a selection of area craft beer and wine will sit to the left.

Rather than operate a kitchen, he asked Kelly Sue LeBlanc’s Sleazy Vegan for help.

“I don’t know anything about food or cooking, but I love food trucks,” he said, “so I found one of the best food trucks around.”

Also on the team are Paulie Stone, a musician who’ll assist with that side of things, and Azevedo’s business partner, Eric Klesper. The new proprietor has big dreams for his little village, hoping it mirrors the growth he saw in Newmarket when the mills there were renovated. He’s grateful for an understanding wife.

“She knows I lost my mind sometime in the early ’90s, but I don’t feel overwhelmed,” he said. “I’ve been ready for a number of years to do this … I feel no anxiety about it. I ask my wife, why am I not crapping my pants? She says, ‘Because you’re ready.’”

Pembroke City Limits
134 Main St., Pembroke, 264-1757
Must-try: Sleazy Vegan Grilled Sleaze
Big fun: Americana Wednesdays

More Pubs

Here are a few more places where you feel like everybody knows your name. Know of a pub not mentioned here? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

Flying Goose
40 Andover Road, New London 526-6899
Known for: Thursday night music series with best of New England’s folk scene
Must-try: Space Pony IPA

Holy Grail
64 Main St., Epping , 679-9559
Known for: Repurposed church with a heavenly beer list
Must-try: Bangers & Colcannon

Kathleen’s Irish Pub
91 Lake St., Bristol, 744-6336
Known for: It’s right there in the name — order a Jameson
Must-try: All-Day Irish Breakfast with real black pudding

McGarvey’s
1097 Elm St., Manchester 627-2721
Known for: Being Elm Street’s longest running bar
Must-try: Hot dog loaded with mac & cheese, bacon crumbles and pulled pork

Patrick’s
18 Weirs Road, Gilford, 293-0841
Known for: Wednesdays with singer-guitarist Don “Sev” Severance
Must-try: Seafood chowder

Peddler’s Daughter
48 Main St., Nashua, 821-7535
Known for: Lots of local bands on the weekends
Must-try: Cottage Pie is the real deal

Penuche’s Ale House
6 Pleasant St., Concord, 228-9833
Known for: The Concord music scene meets here most weekends
Must-try: Any local craft beer

Penuche’s Ale House
4 Canal St., Nashua 595-9831
Known for: Rustic, friendly atmosphere
Must-try: A cold beverage on their outside deck

The Pint Publik House
1111 Elm St., Manchester 206-5463
Known for: Serving Jamaican food with a friendly vibe
Must-try: Jerk pork or chicken

Pipe Dream Brewing
40 Harvey Road, Londonderry, 404-0751
Known for: Monthly Flights and Flow yoga beer night
Must-try: A beer flight of your favorite style, IPA, stout, take your pick

Press Room
77 Daniel St., Portsmouth, 431-5186
Known for: Buzzworthy live music
Must-try: Maple-forward Damn You Robert Frost cocktail

Shaskeen Pub
909 Elm St., Manchester, 625-0246
Known for: Backroom offering music most nights, comedy on Wednesday
Must-try: Proper Scotch Egg, made fresh once a week

Shopper’s Pub & Eatery
18 Lake Ave., Manchester, 232-5252
32-5252
Known for: Sports forward vibe, great game day stop
Must-try: Beehive Burger

Stark Brewing Co.
500 Commercial St., Manchester, 625-4444
Known for: Craft brew veteran with a big space to unwind in
Must-try: Drunken Tips, marinated in Tasha’s Red Ale

Stone Church
5 Granite St., Newmarket, 659-7700
Known for: Seacoast music hub with nonstop live entertainment
Must-try: La Bamba Rice Bowl

Wally’s Pub
144 Ashworth Ave., Hampton, 926-6954
Known for: Beach bar with frequent big-name concerts
Must-try: Famous Beach Pizza, a culinary choose your adventure

Play Ball

The NH Fisher Cats celebrate a new season and 20 years of baseball

By Zachary Lewis
zlewis@hippopress.com

On Tuesday, April 9, at 6:35 p.m. the New Hampshire Fisher Cats will celebrate their 20th opening day in Manchester. Twenty years of baseball in the Queen City means 20 years of home runs, hot dogs and memories.

“We hope that the 20th-anniversary season really shows how much we are committed to our fans and our community,” said Stephanie O’Quinn, Executive Director of Corporate Sponsorships and Ticket Sales. “We’ll continue to be that community gathering place … [to] provide family-friendly entertainment at an affordable price — that’s something that we take a lot of pride in as an organization and we will never let that go by the wayside.”

Andrew Marais, Senior Manager of Marketing and Promotion, agreed.

“The biggest thank-you we can give is to our community. That’s an honor to be here for 20 years. Blue Jays too,” Marais said. The Fisher Cats are the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Chris Jared, the Manager of Media Relations and Broadcasting and the new voice of the Fisher Cats, expanded on that theme.

“You want to dig into the bag of what you’ve done to the community and what’s worked in the past and then you also want to look at things like what can we do to keep this engaging and keep people on a fresh page,” Jared said.

Michael Neis, General Manager, said, “Every year we try to look for one of those unique ways that we can really give back to the fans … and know that when you come out to the ballpark, certainly you know you’re going to have a good time, but there’s also some new things that you can try and take in, in a little bit different way, so we’re excited about this.”

“We have new ownership this year,” Neis said. Diamond Baseball Holdings purchased the team in December 2023, according to a press release, which also stated that all staff will remain “in place under the existing leadership of CEO Rick Brenner, and General Manager Michael Neis.” Former owner Tom Silvia has stayed on in an advisory role.

“They [DBH] have been extremely supportive of our mission here in Manchester and New Hampshire as a whole,” Neis said.

Lights, Camera, Baseball!

So what are some of the new things around the ballpark that you will be able to try and take in?

“Two weeks ago we finished our brand new field lighting project, which is really exciting,” Neis said. “We can now do light shows, cue to music, have different colors on each pole. So there’s a lot that we can do, whether it’s pregame intros, home runs, when we win — because we’re going to win every game, right. We can do a lot of really fun things … to give it that big-league experience. That’s something that fans walking in immediately will have a chance to get to see.”

Changes implemented toward the end of last season include new areas to sit and watch the game above the bullpens. Some changes have been geared toward the players as well.

“In addition to everything that we do for the fans and the community, our job is also to provide that environment for these players too,” Neis said. Updates have included “completely renovating both the home and visiting clubhouse,” Neis said. “We did open up our brand new stand-alone batting tunnel and weight room area. Not only are we meeting MLB compliance in those areas; we have what we feel is a best-in-class facility that really rivals anything we can see at this level or above, quite frankly.”

The fan connection

When the Fisher Cats are on the road, or if you cannot make it to the ballpark, there will be a way to stay connected to the team.

“We’re not partnered with WGIR anymore. We now have an audio stream that we can set up from home and road games and then fans can still watch on the Bally Live App or on Milb.tv,” Jared said. Fans can also listen to the game live on nhfishercats.com under the ‘listen live’ tab.

“It’s a much more intimate environment in minor-league baseball,” O’Quinn remarked. “I think that’s a very key element in the experience that we get to provide.”

“We hear all the time about kids who came to their first Fisher Cats game at 6 years old and now they’re die-hard Toronto Blue Jays fans … never stepped a foot out of New Hampshire but they live, eat, sleep, breathe the Toronto Blue Jays because one player decided to sign an autograph on the ball and now they’re a fan for life and not only a fan of the Blue Jays but a fan of baseball for life,” O’Quinn said.

“From a fan engagement perspective our team last year was phenomenal with meeting people,” Marais said. “Staying after the game to sign autographs or before the game … the team that is coming in I am confident will bring that same energy.”

Cesar Martin, who is returning as the team’s manager for the fourth straight season, said “the support that we get from the fans, I think that’s something that makes myself really happy and feels like I’m home…” The players feel the same way. “They’re excited, we’re excited…” Martin said.

“Whether you’re a bigger kid or the littlest of tykes, there’s something for you,” Marais said. “For example, when kids read five books they get two tickets to a Fisher Cats game, courtesy of our sponsors. [There is the] Oral Health Challenge with Delta Dental, when you brush and floss for seven days a week, you get two tickets courtesy of Delta Dental.”

Fireworks, giveaways and promotions will be back with exciting new additions too. General Manager Neis also revealed that “the New England Honda Dealers Bat Dog … Casey will be joining us for the first time this year. We’re really excited about her. Just really another very cool addition to the experience.”

O’Quinn added, “Paw-parazzi [is] welcome. That’s ‘P’ ‘A’ ‘W.’”

A Field Guide to Fisher Cats Mascots

Fungo

Official Fisher Cats Mascot

Description: According to the Mascot Hall of Fame, Fungo was born in the woodlands of New Hampshire but spent much of his youth attending Phish concerts. As the founder of the Fisher Cats’ Kids Club he hopes to promote wildlife education, sportsmanship, good manners and the card game Go Fish.

Enthusiasms: Fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee, Swedish Fish, the movies The Fisher King and A Fish Called Wanda.

Slider

Backup Mascot

Description: Originally from Dunedin, Florida, according to the Mascot Hall of Fame, Slider is Fungo’s favorite cousin. He is young, athletic and frantically enthusiastic about the Fisher Cats. His goal is to add excitement and energy to each Fisher Cats home game.

Enthusiasms: His trademark moves are flexing his muscles, giving high-fives and showing off his athleticism.

Rowdy Red and Bubba Blue

Sumo Guys

Professional History: They come from nowhere between innings, fight furiously on the infield, then vanish as mysteriously as they appeared.

Enthusiasms: Waving to fans, inflicting carnage on each other.

Casey

New England Honda Dealers Bat Dog

Professional History: When Benny, the Fisher Cats’ previous bat dog, retired to work as a therapy dog for veterans and first responders, Casey completed her training in New Jersey, then moved up to the minors. This is her first full season with the Fisher Cats.

Enthusiasms: Meeting small fans, bats, balls and belly rubs.

On the field

Jared expressed his thanks to the crew that sets up the game for the fans and the players.

“There have been game-day workers that have worked with us … I’ve talked to guys that have been here 15, 17 [years], some that have been here for as long as the Fisher Cats have…. Those people make things entirely possible from a game-day perspective of what to expect.”

More than 150 Fisher Cats have gone into the major league, according to the December press release.

“We always welcome the new crop of players,” Neis said. We need to work really well with them, [so] that when players come to New Hampshire they have everything they need. … There’s nothing more exciting than an eventual superstar that you got to see here in New Hampshire, and we’ve certainly had more than our fair share over the years.”

Where do these players come from? From all over, but the Toronto Blue Jays have their high-A team, the Vancouver Canadians, in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the triple-A team with the Bisons in Buffalo, New York. Their single-A team is the Dunedin Blue Jays and they are in Florida. Last year the Vancouver Canadians bested the Everett, Washington, AquaSoxs, a Seattle Mariners affiliate, to win their league championship.

“The talent jump from the single-A level to come to double-A is the largest jump. Triple A is essentially an extension of the major-league team,” Jared said. When players do move up from single-A, or high-A, they tend not to move alone. “Statistically they’ll keep coaches sometimes with guys. It is great to see when you have a team that, they’re in the lower ranks than you and they win a championship, sometimes those guys move in bunches and the chemistry is already there for them when they slide right in here in New Hampshire, they’re on the same page with each other.”

On the current roster, Manager Cesar Martin said that “a couple of new pitchers are coming from Vancouver.” The entire field will be well staffed too. “The most exciting part is we are going to have a really good defensive team and we have a lot of players that can put the ball in play…”

Fisher Cats fans will also have opportunities to catch major leaguers on the field.

“Last year we had the Blue Jays’ No. 1 prospect in Ricky Tiedemann … [major-leaguers sometimes on] the visiting teams that come in, like the New York Yankees having Spencer Jones,” Marais said. “The product on the field is very good baseball and very competitive, to the point where a player could be playing here tomorrow and [then] be playing in Toronto, or Fenway.”

Tuesday, April 9, is only a line drive away and the Fisher Cats hope all the hard work pays off.

“It is really exciting and rewarding for us as a staff and organization,” O’Quinn said. “We just want to be able to share that with our fans and our community and hope that they perceive it the way we present it.”

Players to watch

layer, they do all they can to get them on the team. Here are a few of the Fisher Cats to keep an eye on this season.

Josh Kasevich: The Blue Jays selected shortstop Josh Kasevich, a native of Palo Alto, California, out of Oregon with the 60th overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft. He spent 2023 in high-A Vancouver, where he helped the Canadiens win the Northwest League title and finished with the third-best batting average on the team at .284, according to the Fisher Cats. MLB.com lists Kasevich as Tornto’s 11th-best prospect for 2024. Kasevich worked on improving his bat speed and path in the off-season, along with getting stronger and faster, and hopes to continue his sharp eye of the zone, according to the Fisher Cats.

Adam Macko: Originally from Slovakia, with a brief stint in Ireland before moving to Alberta, Canada, this southpaw (left-handed pitcher) ranks 16th amongst fellow Toronto prospects according to Baseball America, while MLB.com slots Macko ninth, according to the Fisher Cats.

Alan Roden: Toronto called the outfielder’s name as the 98th overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft from Creighton University, according to the Fisher Cats. Originally from Middleton, Wisconsin, Roden spent his off-season in Florida to focus on improving his swing by building strength and increasing explosiveness, according to the Fisher Cats. After spending the first three and a half months of last season with high-A Vancouver, Roden received his double-A promotion to the Fisher Cats in Manchester and reached base safely in his first nine games, According to the Fisher Cats. Baseball America ranks Roden as Toronto’s ninth-most-promising prospect and MLB.com slots him in spot No. 7.

Phil Clarke: A catcher from Franklin, Tennessee, Clarke received his draft selection in the ninth round of the 2019 MLB draft out of Vanderbilt after his sophomore year concluded with a national championship in Omaha, according to the Fisher Cats. Clarke spent two seasons with the Fisher Cats and his third is set for 2024, and he received honors from MiLB.com at the conclusion of last season, making the site’s Organizational All-Star list, according to the Fisher Cats, and was also named best defensive catcher amongst Toronto prospects by Baseball America, who cited his fundamentals and natural skill as the reasoning behind the decision.

Save the date

Here are some of the special events planned at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Waggin’ Wednesdays: On Wednesdays when the Fisher Cats are not playing a home game, four-legged fans are invited (on-leash) to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in downtown Manchester. A waiver must be filled out prior to bringing your dog into the ballpark.

Foodie Fridays: Experience specialty food items at the ballpark every Friday. The first Foodie Friday, on April 12, will celebrate all things chili, with chili dogs, chili burgers and chili fries.

Copa de la Diversión: For the games on Thursday, April 25, and Thursday, June 20, the team will rebrand as Gatos Feroces de New Hampshire, with specialty uniforms (get a peek at all the specialty jerseys at milb.com/new-hampshire/tickets/specialty-jerseys). Gatos Feroces merch is available for purchase on the team’s website.

Princesses at the Park: The first of four specialty brunches at the park will be on Sunday, April 28, with a Princess Brunch to be held before the 1:35 p.m. game. Tickets to the brunch cost $30.85 and include a ticket to the game.

Manchester Chicken Tenders: On Saturday, May 11, the Fisher Cats will celebrate one of the defining moments in American history: the 1974 invention of the chicken tender at Manchester’s Puritan Restaurant. The team will temporarily rebrand as the Manchester Chicken Tenders. Chicken Tenders merch is available for purchase on the team’s website.

Cats-Con: On Saturday, May 25, The Fisher Cats’ annual Cats-Con game will celebrate their favorite movies, comic books, heroes, villains, and much more, featuring characters from Double Midnight Comics.

Blue Heeler Appreciation Brunch: The second specialty brunch of the season will take place on Sunday, May 26, before the 1:35 p.m. game. Tickets to the brunch cost $30.85 and include a ticket to the game.

Father’s Day Celebration: To honor Fisher Cats dad fans, the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a limited-edition Fisher Cats bucket hat on June 16.

Super Bros. Brunch: The third specialty brunch of the season will take place on Sunday, June 23, before the 1:35 p.m. game. Tickets to the brunch cost $30.85 and include a ticket to the game.

Game Show Night: On Friday, July 11, the whole game will be dedicated to famous game shows.

Star Wars Night with Atlas Fireworks: Star Wars Night strikes back on Saturday, July 12. By popular demand, the iconic theme night will return with Star Wars characters, music, specialty on-field jerseys and more.

A Pure Night of Imagination: The Fisher Cats promise a scrumdiddlyumptious night dedicated to everybody’s favorite fictional candy maker on Friday, July 26.

Sitcom Night: On Thursday, Aug. 8, the Fisher Cats will dedicate their game to classic sitcoms.

• ’90s Night with Atlas Fireworks: Put your hair in a scrunchie and practice your macarena. On Saturday, August 10, the Fisher Cats will celebrate all things ’90s. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a clear fanny pack. Beanie Babies get in free.

Hockey Night in New Hampshire with Atlas Fireworks: The Fisher Cats will celebrate New Hampshire hockey on Saturday, Aug. 24, with new jerseys, new hats, a new giveaway and a celebrity appearance from Max the Monarch. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Monarchs-vs.-Fisher Cats bobblehead.

Piggy Tea Party: The final specialty brunch of the season will be held at the park on Sunday, Aug. 25, with a Piggy Tea Party Brunch to be held before the 1:35 p.m. game. Tickets to the brunch cost $30.85 and include a ticket to the game.

Nashua Silver Knights

Want more baseball? Nashua is home to the Silver Knights, a summer collegiate team of New England players at Division I, II and III levels, who split their time between Holman Stadium in Nashua (67 Amherst St. in Nashua) and Centennial Field in Burlington, Vermont. They play in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

General Manager Cam Cook says most of his players are working their way up the baseball ladder.

“A lot of people have heard of the Cape Cod League,” Cook said. “A lot of our guys are freshmen and sophomores who play with us for a year or two, then go to the Cape Cod League.”

Cook says that this is shaping up into a good season.

“It’s looking good,” he says. “We’re as busy as we’ve ever been. We’ve got great sponsors, and we’re planning some great theme nights.” Some of these theme nights include a Princess in the Park night, when fans, especially young ones, are encouraged to dress as their favorite princesses; a celebration of National Hot Dog Day; a visit from the Boogie Bros traveling mascot show, and a baseball card give-away.

The biggest game of the season will be the Knights’ July 25 exhibition game against the War Dogs, a team made up of active-duty and reserve military players.

“From a pure baseball point of view, it’s really interesting to see a freshman pitcher from Vanderbilt go up against an active-duty Marine,” Cook said. “It’s like an AI simulation, and we get to see it in real time.” The Knights have invited local veterans’ groups and VFWs to the game, to pump up interest in the game.

“We’ve already sold out our suites,” Cook said. It will be an unusual home game, he thinks, because most of the fans will be rooting for the visitors. “I’ve already started preparing the team,” he says, “warning them, ‘You’re probably going to get booed.”

This yearly exhibition game always honors the military in general, but this year it will have a special focus on the Air Force. “We’re trying to arrange a military fly-over, and a helicopter to deliver the First Pitch Ball,” Cook said. He noted that a point of particular interest is Silver Knight Player No. 7, pitcher Frankie Melendez, who is an ROTC cadet at Stonehill College. “He’ll be playing against soldiers he might run into in the service in a few years.”

The Nashua Silver Knights’ season begins on May 24 with a home game against the Vermont Lake Monsters. For more information, tickets and the team’s season schedule, visit their website at nashuasilverknights.com. —John Fladd

Fan food

An essential part of attending a baseball game is the food. It’s even in the song: “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack….” Stephanuie Vangjel is the Operations Manager for Professional Sports Catering, the company that provides snacks to Fisher Cats fans. It’s her job to make sure everyone in the stadium has access to baseball food during home games. That includes classics like hot dogs, fried dough and chicken fingers for the audience in the bleachers, but also lobster rolls and steak tips for the fans in the luxury suites.

“I’m making myself hungry,” Vangjel says, describing the food.

Feeding Delta Dental Stadium means more than handing out hot dogs. Vangjel’s staff is in charge of running concessions during home games but also providing service to the suites and running the Brewhouse Restaurant — the Fisher Cats’ onsite restaurant — as well as handling outside catering jobs.

Vangjel says her team is especially proud of their promotional food specials.

“We put together special packages like our Ballpark Buffet, a barbecue package, and a comfort food package [which includes burgers, chicken sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans]. We set up nacho bars and fajita bars. On Video Game Night, we’re planning an ‘Italian Plumbers’-themed menu.” “Italian Plumbers,” she explains, to avoid any trademark infringement with Nintendo.

The enthusiasm for this season’s ballpark food extends to the Fisher Cats’ front office.

“A highlight this year is we are introducing what we call ‘Foodie Fridays,’” says General Manager Michael Neiss. “That’s really taking that day of the week, taking that game, whether there’s a theme or not, and providing unique food [and] beverage options that you wouldn’t be able to get on a normal night.” Foodie Fridays will kick off the season on April 5 with an all-chili theme — chili dogs, chili burgers and chili fries — according to Stephanie Vangjel.

Andrew Marais, Senior Manager of Marketing and Promotions for the Fisher Cats, says management is excited about the Manchester Chicken Tenders returning to the field, referring to a Fisher Cats tribute to Manchester’s iconic food, when the team will dress in specially themed uniforms.

“The first [Chicken Tenders] game will be on May 11 — that will be your original Chicken Tender on-field uniform jersey — and then on July 27 we turn up the heat with Buffalo Tenders. So, brand new Buffalo Tender jerseys, very very cool. I believe they’re on our website too and you can purchase them in the team store.”

Hungry fans will also be able to eat brunch at the ballpark. The Fisher Cats will host four themed brunches this season, to correspond with special theme days. There will be a “Princess” brunch on April 28, a “Blue Heeler Appreciation” brunch in May, a “Super Bros” brunch in June and a “Piggy Tea Party” brunch in August. Each brunch ticket includes admission to the brunch and a ticket to the game following it. Brunch tickets are available through the Fisher Cats’ website (milb.com/new-hampshire). —John Fladd

Best of 2024

We’re all winners!

From the spots voted best pizza place to those of us who can go eat that pizza, everybody involved in Hippo’s Best of readers’ poll 2024 is getting a win from this issue.

In this year’s poll we asked you to weigh in with your favorite doughnut, hiking trail, lunch spot and brewery. We also asked for your thoughts on ketchup, music while you work and picnics. We even asked you who, in New Hampshire, you’d like to extend a thank you to (and thank you to the reader who said “Hippo for a great paper”).

And after all that voting in February, now we present you with, generally, the top five winners in each category — though sometimes we have supersized it and let a few more reader faves join the winners court. And we’ve sprinkled some specific reader responses throughout, because they’re fun. Looking for a place where they make your coffee perfect every time or a great hair stylist? Here are Hippo readers’ favorites.

Link to Sections


The Fine Print

This survey is for entertainment purposes only and all results are final.

The results of Hippo’s readers’ poll are based on readers’ answers to a poll conducted online in February. Readers typed in the names of people and locations they voted for. In situations where the vote is tied or otherwise unclear, Hippo editorial staff makes an effort to determine the will of the greatest number of voters. Hippo reserves the right to disqualify individual votes, ballots and/or entries when they are incomplete or unclear, do not meet the letter or the spirit of the question asked or otherwise do not meet the requirements to make them a usable vote.

Hippo’s editorial staff makes the ultimate determination of the winners in the categories. Hippo’s advertisers play no role in the determination of the winners. All results are final.

The Best of 2024 is a celebration of all things local and is meant to serve as a snapshot of the people and places in southern New Hampshire. Large national and international chains are, for the most part, not included in the count. Information presented here is gathered from sources including the location’s website and social media pages. Double check with the spots before heading out to make sure times, locations and menu items haven’t changed.

Questions, comments, concerns? Did we get an address or phone number wrong? Do you have an idea for a new category? Let us know. Contact editor Amy Diaz at adiaz@hippopress. com. Corrections will appear on the first page of the news section in future issues. Is your favorite category missing? Categories change regularly, with some categories taking a sabbatical and new categories introduced, so please send your suggestions for a category for next year. And, again, all results are seriously final. Hey, there’s always next year.


Arts

Best Performing Arts Venue

  • Best of the best: The Palace Theatres 80 Hanover St. in Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org
  • Tupelo Music Hall 10 A St. in Derry, 437-5100, tupelomusichall.com
  • Capitol Center for the Arts 44 S. Main St. in Concord, 225-1111, ccanh.com

Nashua Center for the Arts 201 Main St. in Nashua, 800-657-8774, nashuacenterforthearts.com
Bringing nationally touring musicians, live comedy, theatre, children’s performances, and more to Downtown Nashua! Come experience a great show!

  • BankNH Pavilion 72 Meadowbrook Lane in Gilford, 293-4700, banknhpavilion.com

Best Theatrical Production

  • Best of the best: A Christmas Carol at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) ran Nov. 24 to Dec. 23, 2023.
  • Ballet Misha’s The Nutcracker at the Dana Center (100 Saint Anselm Dr. in Manchester, 641-7700, tickets.anselm.edu) ran Dec. 16 and Dec. 17, 2023.
  • Kinky Boots at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) ran Oct. 13 through Nov. 5, 2023.
  • Dancing Queens at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) ran Jan. 19 through Feb. 11, 2024.
  • The Wizard of Oz at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester, 668-5588, palacetheatre.org) ran Sept. 8 through Sept. 24, 2023.

Best Local Place to Buy Art

  • Best of the best: League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Annual Craftsmen’s Fair, which will take place this year Saturday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 11, at Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury. See nhcrafts.org/annual-craftsmens-fair.
  • Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St. in Manchester, 669-6144, currier.org, Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • Mosaic Art Collective 66 Hanover St., Unit 201, in Manchester; 512-6209, mosaicartcollective.com, Wednesday Through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • Concord Arts Market, a market with dates May through December. The first 2024 market is scheduled for the first Friday in May — Friday, May 3, at Bicentennial Square in downtown Concord. A market is also slated once a month in Rollins Park in Concord from June through September, as well as during Market Days in downtown Concord (June 20-22), according to concordartsmarket.net.
  • Manchester Craft Market, Mall of New Hampshire, 1500 S. Willow St. in Manchester, 606-1351, manchestercraftmarket.com, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Best Publicly Viewable Mural

  • Best of the best: Cat Alley off Elm Street between Manchester and Merrimack streets in Manchester, featuring kitties of various shapes and sizes.
  • Hanover Street in Manchester titled “Greetings from Manchester” by Hooksett resident and artist James Chase and commissioned by Red Oak Apartments, according to manchesterinformation.com.
  • Derry Downtown 1½ East Broadway in Derry on the side of Cask and Vine, showcasing a timeline of Derry, according to nhrtc.org.
  • Derry Rail Trail in Derry. Robert Frost homage with trees and lines of verse painted on the asphalt-paved road, according to nhrtc.org.
  • Mural by artist Keith Trahan on the building by Lamont-Hanley Park at the corner of Bridge and Elm streets in Manchester.

Entertainment

Best Bookstore

  • Best of the best: Gibson’s Bookstore 40 S. Main St. in Concord, gibsonsbookstore.com, 224-0562
  • Bookery 844 Elm St. in Manchester, bookerymht.com, 836-6600
  • Balin Books 375 Amherst St. in Nashua, balinbooks.com, 417-7981
  • Toadstool Bookshop 12 Depot Sq. in Peterborough, toadbooks.com, 924-3543
  • Water Street Bookstore 125 Water St. in Exeter, waterstreetbooks.com, 778-9731

Best Bowling Alley

  • Best of the best: Lakeside Lanes 2171 Candia Road in Manchester, lakesidelanes.com, 627-7722
  • Merrimack 10 Pin 698 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, merrimacktenpin.com, 429-0989
  • King Lanes 751 Mast Road in Goffstown, kinglanes.com, 623-9515
  • Leda Lanes 340 Amherst St. in Nashua, ledalanes.com, 889-4884
  • Yankee Lanes 216 Maple St. in Manchester, manchester.yankeelanesentertainment.com, 625-9656

Best Comic Book Shop

Best of the best: Double Midnight Comics 252 Willow St. in Manchester, dmcomics.com, 669-9636
Double Midnight Comics 341 Loudon Road in Concord, dmcomics.com, 715-2683
 Southern NH’s premiere source for the latest and greatest comics and games!

  • Merrymac Games & Comics 550 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, merrymacgc.com, 420-8161
  • Pop Culture Card Comics and Collectibles 66 Route 27 in Raymond, popculturenh.com, 244-1850
  • Jetpack Comics 37 N. Main St. in Rochester, jetpackcomics.com, 330-XMEN (9636)

Best Mini Golf

  • Best of the best: Mel’s Funway 454 Charles Bancroft Hwy. in Litchfield, melsfunwaypark.com, 424-229. Opens in April.
  • Chuckster’s Ice Cream & Miniature Golf 53 Hackett Hill Road in Hooksett, chucksters-hooksett.com, 210-1415. Opens Saturday, April 13.
  • Chuckster’s Family Fun Park 9 Bailey Road in Chichester, chuckstersnh.com, 798-3555. Opens Saturday, April 6.
  • Captain’s Cove Adventure Golf 814 Lafayette Road in Hampton, smallgolf.com, 926-5011. Opens Saturday, April 20.
  • Mini Links at LaBelle Winery 14 Route 111 in Derry, labellewinery.com, 672-9898. Slated to open April 1.

Best Place to Learn How to Make Something Cool

  • Best of the best: Studio 550 Arts Center (550 Elm St. in Manchester, 550arts.com, 232-5597) Learn to sculpt clay, stain some glass, or make 2D artforms like watercolor, acrylics or pastels.

Manchester Craft Market (Mall of New Hampshire, 1500 S. Willow St. in Manchester, manchestercraftmarket.com, 606-1351) Learn how to use alcohol ink, wire-wrap gemstones or mold polymer clay. If you can craft it there is probably a workshop for it here.

  • You’re Fired (25 S. River Road in Bedford, yourefirednh.com, 641-3473) A walk-in-friendly establishment where you can create and paint your own pottery.
  • Cooking School at Tuscan Market (9 Via Toscana in Salem, tuscanbrands.com, 912-5467) Create the perfect spaghetti sauce and learn which wines to pair with it. A myriad of Italian-style cooking courses are available.
  • The Canvas Roadshow (25 S. River Road in Bedford, thecanvasroadshow.com, 913-9217) Offers classes and events for painting, glass art, wood staining and more.

Best Place to Totally Geek Out

  • Best of the best: Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road in Londonderry, aviationmuseumofnh.org, 669-4820)
  • Boards and Brews (941 Elm St. in Manchester, boardsandbrewsnh.com, 232-5184) Play almost any board game that has ever been created while drinking beer and sharing food with friends.
  • Granite State Comicon (700 Elm St. in Manchester, granitecon.com, 669-9636) Slated for Saturday, Sept. 21, and Sunday, Sept. 22. Head to this Con to meet comic book artists and authors, game creators, actors and more, while enjoying costume contests and parties. Tickets are already on sale, including for weekend passes and VIP packages that include early entry and a goodie bag.
  • Pop Culture (66 Route 27 in Raymond, popculturenh.com, 244-1850) Your one-stop shop for all things 40k, Magic The Gathering, RPGs, comic books and much more.
  • Awesome Cards, Collectibles & Games (123 Nashua Road in Londonderry, awesomeccg.com, 404-6996) Anything from Pokemon card games to Dungeons & Dragons, if you can play it on a tabletop, you can find it here.
  • Diversity Gaming (1328 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, diversitygaming.store, 606-1176) Set up your favorite board game with friends in one of four private rooms or use free tables where everyone is invited to roll the dice.
  • Midgard (55 Crystal Ave. in Derry, midgardhobbiesandgames.com, 260-6180) Come for the tournaments and any type of game your Midgardian heart could desire.

Best Place to Make New Friends

  • Best of the best: The Collective Studios 4 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, thecollective-studios.com, 216-2345
  • The Nest Family Cafe 25 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, thenestfamilycafe.com, 404-3512
  • Feathered Friend Brewing Co. 231 S. Main St. in Concord, featheredfriendbrewing.com, 715-2347

Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
Join us for Live music 6 nights a week (every night in the summer). Check our website to see who’s playing tonight

  • The Hop Knot 1000 Elm St. in Manchester, hopknotnh.com, 232-3731

Independent Shop Where You’d Have a Win-the-Lotto Shopping Spree

  • Best of the best: Gondwana & Divine Clothing Co. 13 N. Main St. in Concord, gondwanaclothing.com, 228-1101
  • Junction 71 707 Milford Road in Merrimack, junction71.wixsite.com/mysite, 213-5201
  • League of NH Craftsmen’s gallery 36 N. Main St. in Concord, concord.nhcrafts.org, 228-8171
  • Manchester Craft Market Mall of New Hampshire, 1500 S. Willow St. in Manchester; 606-1351, manchestercraftmarket.com
  • The Terracotta Room 1361 Elm St., Suite 102, in Manchester, theterracottaroom.com, 935-8738

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Nightlife

Best Restaurant, Brewery or Bar for Live Music

  • Best of the best: The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • The Derryfield Restaurant 625 Mammoth Road in Manchester, thederryfield.com, 623-2880
  • The Shaskeen Pub and Restaurant 909 Elm St. in Manchester, shaskeenirishpub.com, 625-0246
  • Backyard Brewery and Kitchen 1211 S. Mammoth Road in Manchester, backyardbrewerynh.com, 623-3545
  • Strange Brew Tavern 88 Market St. in Manchester, strangebrewtavern.net, 666-4292

Best Live Music Venue

  • Best of the best: Tupelo Music Hall 10 A St. in Derry, tupelomusichall.com, 437-5100
  • BankNH Pavilion 72 Meadowbrook Lane in Gilford, banknhpavilion.com, 293-4700
  • The Rex Theatre 23 Amherst St. in Manchester, palacetheatre.org/venues/rex-theatre, 668-5588
  • The BNH Stage 16 S. Main St. in Concord, ccanh.com/bank-nh-stage, 225-1111
  • Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom 169 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, casinoballroom.com, 929-4100

Best Bar with an Outdoor Deck

  • Best of the best: The Derryfield Restaurant 625 Mammoth Road in Manchester, thederryfield.com, 623-2880
  • The Backyard Brewery 1211 S. Mammoth Road in Manchester, backyardbrewerynh.com, 623-3545
  • The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill: 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • Bernie’s Beach Bar: 73 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, berniesnh.com, 926-5050
  • KC’s Rib Shack: 837 Second St. in Manchester, ribshack.net, 627-7427

Best Bar or Pub

  • Best of the best: The Shaskeen Pub and Restaurant 909 Elm St. in Manchester, shaskeenirishpub.com, 625-0246
  • The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill: 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • Backyard Brewery and Kitchen: 1211 S. Mammoth Road in Manchester, backyardbrewerynh.com, 623-3545
  • Industry East: 28 Hanover St. in Manchester, industryeastbar.com, 232-6940
  • The Hop Knot: 1000 Elm St. in Manchester, hopknotnh.com, 232-3731

Best Weekly Bar Event

  • Best of the best: Trivia with Heather at The Farm Bar and Grille (1181 Elm St. in Manchester, farmbargrille.com, 641-3276) takes place Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday open mic at KC’s Rib Shack (837 Second St. in Manchester, ribshack.net, 627-7427) is hosted by Paul & Nate with a featured artist from 7 to 8 p.m. and open mic from 8 to 10 p.m.
  • Trivia at The Hop Knot (1000 Elm St. in Manchester, hopknotnh.com, 232-3731) runs Thursdays at 7 p.m. with Broderick Lang.
  • Trivia at Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road in Manchester, chunkys.com, 206-3888) runs Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and is 21+. Each week usually has a theme based on a movie or genre of movies or a TV show or music. About once a month on Sunday, there is an all-ages family-friendly trivia night at 6 p.m.
  • Music Bingo at Backyard Brewery and Kitchen (1211 S. Mammoth Road in Manchester, backyardbrewerynh.com, 623-3545) runs Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Best Spot for Some Friendly Competition

  • Best of the best: The Rugged Axe 377 S. Willow St. in Manchester, theruggedaxe.com, 232-7846
  • Block Party Social 51 Zapora Dr. in Hooksett, blockpartysocial.com, 263-5408
  • RelAxe Throwing NH 157 Gay St. in Manchester, relaxethrowing.com, 782-3061
  • Axel’s Throw House 4 Bud Way, Unit 2, in Nashua, axelsthrowhouse.com, 212-1778
  • Granite State Escape 795 Elm St. in Manchester, escapenh.com, 935-7455

Best Spot for a Cheap Date

  • Best of the best: The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • The Farm Bar and Grille 1181 Elm St. in Manchester, farmbargrille.com, 641-3276
  • The Hop Knot 1000 Elm St. in Manchester, hopknotnh.com, 232-3731
  • Chunky’s Cinema Pub 707 Huse Road in Manchester, chunkys.com, 206-3888
  • The Gyro Spot 1073 Elm St. in Manchester, thegyrospot.com, 218-3869
  • Diz’s Cafe 860 Elm St. in Manchester, dizscafe.com, 606-2532
  • Penuche’s Ale House 16 Bicentennial Sq. in Concord, facebook.com/penuches.concord, 228-9833

Best Spot for a Group Outing

  • Best of the best: Tupelo Music Hall 10 A St. in Derry, tupelomusichall.com, 437-5100
  • The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • Boards & Brews 941 Elm St. in Manchester, boardsandbrewsnh.com, 232-5184
  • Axel’s Throw House 4 Bud Way, Unit 2, in Nashua, axelsthrowhouse.com, 212-1778
  • Canobie Lake Park 85 N. Policy St. in Salem, canobie.com, 893-3506
  • Game Changer Sports Bar and Grill 4 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, gamechangersportsbar.com, 216-1396
  • The Rugged Axe 377 S. Willow St. in Manchester, theruggedaxe.com, 232-7846
  • Fisher Cats at Delta Dental Stadium 1 Line Dr. in Manchester, milb.com/new-hampshire/tickets, 641-2005. The season begins April 4.

Best Place to Meet a Blind Date

  • Best of the best: The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • The Farm Bar and Grille 1181 Elm St. in Manchester, farmbargrille.com, 641-3276
  • The Hop Knot 1000 Elm St. in Manchester, hopknotnh.com, 232-3731
  • Penuche’s Ale House 16 Bicentennial Sq. in Concord, facebook.com/penuches.concord, 228-9833
  • Stella Blu 70 E. Pearl St. in Nashua, stellablu-nh.com, 578-5557

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Restaurant

Best Restaurant

  • Best of the best: Puritan Backroom 245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, puritanbackroom.com, 669-6890 for the restaurant.
  • Copper Door 15 Leavy Dr. in Bedford, copperdoor.com, 488-2677
  • The Tuckaway Tavern and Butchery 58 Route 27 in Raymond, tuckaway.com, 224-2431
  • Revival Kitchen & Bar 11 Depot St. in Concord, revivalkitchennh.com, 715-5723
  • Cotton 75 Arms St. in Manchester, cottonfood.com, 622-5488

Best New Eatery

  • Best of the best: Stash Box 866 Elm St. in Manchester, stashboxnh.com, 606-8109. Opened October 2023.
  • STREET: 76 N. Main St. in Concord, streetfood360.com, 333-2125. Opened October 2023
  • Fotia Greek Taverna 401 S. Willow St. in Manchester, fotiagreektaverna.com, 461-3007. Opened September 2023.
  • Buba Kitchen 148 N. Main St. in Concord, bubanoodle.com, 219-0064. Opened December 2023.
  • Friendly Red’s 111 W. Broadway in Derry, friendlyredstavern.net, 404-6606. Opened July 2023.

Best Fine Dining Restaurant

  • Best of the best: Hanover Street Chop House 149 Hanover St. in Manchester, hanoverstreetchophouse.com, 644-2467
  • Buckley’s Great Steaks 438 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, buckleysgreatsteaks.com, 424-0995
  • Bedford Village Inn 2 Olde Bedford Way in Bedford, bedfordvillageinn.com, 472-2001
  • Revival Kitchen and Bar 11 Depot St. in Concord, revivalkitchennh.com, 715-5723
  • Cotton 75 Arms St. in Manchester, cottonfood.com, 622-5488

Best Restaurant from which to get Takeout

  • Best of the best: Puritan Backroom 245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, puritanbackroom.com, 669-6890 for the restaurant.
  • Troy’s Fresh Kitchen 4 Orchard View Dr., No. 6, in Londonderry, troysfreshkitchen.com, 965-3411
  • Charlie’s of Goffstown 1B Pinard St. in Manchester, charliesgoffstown.com, 606-1835
  • Goldenrod Restaurant 1681 Candia Road in Manchester, goldenrodrestaurant.com, 623-9469
  • Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com


Best Date Night Restaurant

  • Best of the best: Cotton 75 Arms St. in Manchester, cottonfood.com, 622-5488
  • Revival Kitchen and Bar 11 Depot St. in Concord, revivalkitchennh.com, 715-5723
  • Copper Door 15 Leavy Dr. in Bedford, copperdoor.com, 488-2677
  • The Foundry 50 Commercial St. in Manchester, foundrynh.com, 836-1925
  • Villaggio Ristorante Italiano 677 Hooksett Road in Manchester, villaggionh.com, 627-2424

Restaurant that Brings the Heat

  • Best of the best: Destination India Restaurant and Bar 14A E. Broadway in Derry, destinationindianh.com, 552-3469
  • Daw Kun Thai 93 S. Maple St., No. 4, in Manchester, dawkunthai.com, 232-0699
  • Curry Leaf 6 Pleasant St. in Concord, curryleafus.com, 715-5746
  • A Lot of Thai 360 Daniel Webster Hwy., Unit 121, in Merrimack, alotofthainh.com, 429-8888
  • Kashmir Indian Cuisine 396 S. Broadway in Salem, kashmirindianfood.com, 898-3455
  • Kathmandu Spice 379 S. Willow St. in Manchester, ktmspice.com, 782-3911

Best Food Truck

  • Best of the best: Up in Your Grill Find them in the front parking lot, 526 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, upinyourgrill.com, 493-3191
  • The Sleazy Vegan Usually at the Tideline Public House, 15 Newmarket Road in Durham, thesleazyvegan.com, 233-5078
  • Teenie Weenies Often at Able Ebenezer Brewing Co., 31 Columbia Circle in Merrimack (find them on Facebook, 403-2336)
  • B’s Tacos May through October they’re at the BP Gas Station, 2 Mohawk Dr. in Londonderry, nhtacotruck.com, 622-8200
  • Messy Mike’s Barbecue and Catering 161 Rockingham Road in Derry, messymikesbbq.com, 781-710-7832

Restaurant with the Best Outdoor Seating

  • Best of the best: The Crown Tavern 99 Hanover St. in Manchester, thecrownonhanover.com, 218-3132
  • Backyard Brewery and Kitchen 1211 S. Mammoth Road in Manchester, backyardbrewerynh.com, 623-3545
  • The Derryfield Restaurant 625 Mammoth Road in Manchester, thederryfield.com, 623-2880
  • Tuscan Kitchen Salem 19 Via Toscana in Salem, tuscanbrands.com/tuscan-kitchen, 952-4875
  • Cheers Grille & Bar 17 Depot St., No. 1, in Concord, cheersnh.com, 228-0180

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Delicious Dishes

Best Barbecue

  • Best of the best: KC’s Rib Shack 837 Second St. in Manchester, 627-7427, ribshack.net
  • Smoke Haus 278 Route 101 in Amherst, 249-5734, smokehausbbq.com
  • Smoke Show Barbecue 231 S. Main St. in Concord, 227-6399, smokeshowbbq.com
  • Goody Coles Smokehouse 374 Route 125 in Brentwood, 679-8898, goodycoles.com
  • Smoke Shack Cafe 226 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 404-2178, smokeshackcafe.com

Best Breakfast

Best of the best: Tucker’s 95 S. River Road in Bedford, 413-6503; 80 South St. in Concord, 413-5884; 238 Indian Brook Road in Dover, 413-5470; 1328 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, 206-5757; 360 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 413-6477; 207 Main St. in New London, 413-5528; tuckersnh.com
Serving breakfast and lunch every day with a menu that includes organic, local and gluten free options for all to enjoy.

  • Maryann’s Diner 29 East Broadway in Derry, 434-5785; 4 Cobbetts Pond Road in Windham, 965-3066; 3 Veterans Memorial Parkway in Salem, 893-9877; 1 Craftsman Lane in Amherst, 577-8955; maryannsdiner.com
  • Janie’s Uncommon Cafe 123 Nashua Road in Londonderry, 432-3100, janiescafe.com
  • Riverhouse Cafe 167 Union Sq. in Milford, 249-5556, damngoodgrub.com

Chez Vachon 136 Kelley St. in Manchester, 625-9660, chezvachon.com
Get what you deserve! Comfort food and French Canadian Favorites. Breakfast served all day.

  • Troy’s Fresh Kitchen 4 Orchard View Dr., No. 6, in Londonderry, 965-3411, troysfreshkitchen.com

Best Brunch

  • Best of the best: The Foundry 50 Commercial St. in Manchester, 836-1925, foundrynh.com
  • Tucker’s 95 S. River Road in Bedford, 413-6503; 80 South St. in Concord, 413-5884; 238 Indian Brook Road in Dover, 413-5470; 1328 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, 206-5757; 360 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 413-6477; 207 Main St. in New London, 413-5528; tuckersnh.com
  • The Friendly Toast 4 Main St. in Bedford, 836-8907 (also has a location in Portsmouth); thefriendlytoast.com
  • Firefly 22 Concord St. in Manchester, fireflynh.com, 935-9740
  • Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com
  • Prime at Sky Meadow 6 Mountain Laurels Dr. in Nashua, 888-9000, skymeadow.com

Best Burgers

  • Best of the best: Papa Joe’s Humble Kitchen 237 South St. in Milford, papajoeshumblekitchen.com, 672-9130
  • The Barley House 132 N. Main St. in Concord, 228-6363, thebarleyhouse.com
  • The Tuckaway Tavern & Butchery 58 Route 27 in Raymond, 244-2431, thetuckaway.com
  • River Road Tavern 193 S. River Road in Bedford, 206-5837, riverroadtavernbedford.com
  • T-Bones Great American Eatery 25 S. River Road in Bedford, 641-6100; 404 S. Main St. in Concord, 715-1999; 39 Crystal Ave. in Derry, 434-3200; 77 Lowell Road in Hudson, 882-6677; 311 South Broadway in Salem, 893-3444; 1182 Union Ave. in Laconia, 528-7800; t-bones.com
  • Vibes Gourmet Burgers 25 S. Main St. in Concord, 856-8671, vibes-burgers.com

Best Burrito

  • Best of the best: California Burritos Mexican Grill: 655 S. Willow St., Suite 103, in Manchester, 722-2084; 2 Cellu Drive in Nashua, 417-6151; 101 Factory St. in Nashua, 718-8745; 35 Lowell Road in Hudson, 402-2130; californiaburritosnh.com
  • La Carreta Mexican Restaurant 139 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Nashua, 891-0055; 1875 S. Willow St. in Manchester, 623-7705; 545 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 628-6899; 44 Nashua Road in Londonderry, 965-3477; 35 Manchester Road, Suite 5A in Derry, 421-0091; 172 Hanover St. in Portsmouth, 427-8319; lacarretamex.com
  • Dos Amigos 26 N. Main St. in Concord, 410-4161, dosamigosburritos.com
  • Los Reyes Street Tacos & More 127 Rockingham Road, Unit 15, in Derry, 845-8327, losreyesstreettacos.com
  • Puerto Vallarta Mexican Grill (865 Second St. in Manchester, 935-9182)and Nuevo Vallarta Mexican Restaurant (791 Second St. in Manchester, 782-8762), vallartamexicannh.com

Best Chicken Tenders

  • Best of the best: Puritan Backroom Restaurant 245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 669-6890, puritanbackroom.com
  • Goldenrod Restaurant 1681 Candia Road in Manchester, 623-9469, goldenrodrestaurant.com
  • Charlie’s of Goffstown 1B Pinard St. in Manchester, 606-1835, charliesgoffstown.com
  • T-Bones Great American Eatery 25 S. River Road in Bedford, 641-6100; 404 S. Main St. in Concord, 715-1999; 39 Crystal Ave. in Derry, 434-3200; 77 Lowell Road in Hudson, 882-6677; 311 South Broadway in Salem, 893-3444; 1182 Union Ave. in Laconia, 528-7800; t-bones.com
  • Smoke Shack Cafe 226 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 404-2178, smokeshackcafe.com

Best Fish & Chips

  • Best of the best: Lobster Boat 453 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 424-5221; 273 Derry Road in Litchfield, 882-4988; lobsterboatrestaurant.com
  • The Peddler’s Daughter 48 Main St. in Nashua, 821-7535, thepeddlersdaughter.com
  • Goldenrod Restaurant 1681 Candia Road in Manchester, 623-9469, goldenrodrestaurant.com
  • The Beach Plum 3 Brickyard Square in Epping, 679-3200; 8 S. Village Drive in Salem, 458-7266; 2800 Lafayette Road in Portsmouth, 433-3339; 16 Ocean Blvd., North Hampton, 964-7451; thebeachplum.net
  • Petey’s Summertime Seafood 1323 Ocean Blvd. in Rye, 433-1937, peteys.com

Best Grilled Cheese

  • Best of the best: Patz Deli & Catering 900 Elm St., Suite 102, in Manchester, 644-7289
  • Cheese Louise 76 Congress St. in Portsmouth, 427-8615, eatcheeselouise.com
  • Copper Door 15 Leavy Dr. in Bedford, 488-2677, copperdoor.com
  • Prime Time 119 Hanover St. in Manchester, find them on Facebook or Instagram
  • Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com

Where the French Fries Are So Good They Could Be a Whole Meal

  • Best of the best: Goldenrod Restaurant 1681 Candia Road in Manchester, 623-9469, goldenrodrestaurant.com
  • The Farm Bar & Grille 1181 Elm St. in Manchester, 641-3276, farmbargrille.com
  • Puritan Backroom Restaurant 245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 669-6890, puritanbackroom.com
  • River Road Tavern 193 S. River Road in Bedford, 206-5837, riverroadtavernbedford.com
  • Smoke Shack Cafe 226 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 404-2178, smokeshackcafe.com

Best Mac & Cheese

  • Best of the best: Mr. Mac’s 497 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 606-1760, mr-macs.com
  • The Tuckaway Tavern & Butchery 58 Route 27 in Raymond, 244-2431, thetuckaway.com
  • Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive through only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com
  • Smoke Shack Cafe 226 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 404-2178, smokeshackcafe.com
  • Diz’s Cafe 860 Elm St. in Manchester, 606-2532, dizscafe.com

Best Menu of Pasta Dishes

  • Best of the best: Villaggio Ristorante Italiano 677 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 627-2424, villaggionh.com
  • Fratello’s Italian Grill 155 Dow St. in Manchester, 624-2022, fratellos.com
  • Angelina’s Ristorante Italiano 11 Depot St. in Concord, 228-3313, angelinasrestaurant.com
  • Luccianos 4 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, 432-2442, luccianoscafe.com
  • Giorgio’s Ristorante & Bar 524 Nashua St. in Milford, 673-3939; 270 Granite St. in Manchester, 232-3323; 707 Milford Road in Merrimack, 883-7333; giorgios.com

Best Pizza

Best of the best: 900 Degrees 50 Dow St. in Manchester, 641-0900, 900degrees.com
Voted Best Pizza for 17 years! Inspired by the mouthwatering, wood fired pizza native to Naples, Italy. Join us for gourmet pizza, pasta, and salads.

  • Alley Cat Pizzeria 486 Chestnut St. in Manchester, 669-4533, alleycatpizzerianh.com
  • Vintage Pizza 241 Candia Road in Manchester, 518-7800, vintagepizzanh.com
  • Sour Joe’s Pizzeria 5 Pleasant St. Ext. in Concord, 856-7427, sourjoespizzeria.com
  • Elm House of Pizza 102 Elm St. in Manchester, 232-5522, elmhop.com

Best Specialty Pizza

  • Best of the best: “The House Pie” at Elm House of Pizza 102 Elm St. in Manchester, 232-5522, elmhop.com — “house made tomato sauce, cup and char pepperoni, Italian sausage, dollops of ricotta, three cheese blend, hot honey drizzle.”
  • Bella Cosa” at 900 Degrees 50 Dow St. in Manchester, 641-0900, 900degrees.com — “Roasted garlic cream sauce, Grana Padano, mozzarella, baby spinach, caramelized red onions, rosemary ham, prosciutto, and EVOO.”
  • Saltimbocca” at 900 Degrees 50 Dow St. in Manchester, 641-0900, 900degrees.com — “Roasted garlic cream sauce topped with fresh mozzarella, fontina, roasted chicken, tomatoes, caramelized red onion, prosciutto, torn sage and EVOO.”
  • Meat Lovers” at The Pizza Man Bar & Grill 850 E. Industrial Park Dr., Suite 3, in Manchester, 623-5550; 254 W. River Road in Hooksett, 626-7499; thepizzamandelivers.com — “pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, meatball, ham & extra cheese.”
  • Eagle Square” at Sour Joe’s Pizzaria 5 Pleasant St. Ext. in Concord, 856-7427, sourjoespizzeria.com — “Crushed tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, ricotta dollops, hot honey.”

Best Sandwich

  • Best of the best: “Patz melt” at Patz Deli & Catering 900 Elm St., Suite 102, in Manchester, 644-7289 — “Black Angus burger, grilled rye bread, American cheese, brown sugar carmelized onions and garlic pepper aioli”
  • Roast Beef Sub at Bentley’s Roast Beef 134 Route 101A, in Amherst, bentleysroastbeef.com, 883-2020 — “4 oz. freshly thin-sliced USDA Choice Midwestern beef on a toasted sesame roll.”
  • Caprese Panini” at The Green Beautiful 168 Wilson St. in Manchester, 606-1026, greenbeautifulcafe.com — “seasonal pesto, tomato, cashew mozzarella and balsamic reduction served on sourdough.”
  • Sabich” at Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com — “grilled lightly breaded eggplant, hummus, hard boiled egg, crunchy cukes, Roma tomatoes, amba sauce, tahini drizzle & schug (cilantro hot sauce) pressed on ciabatta or fresh pita.”
  • Chipotle Steak Grilled Cheese” at Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com — “cheddar, Swiss & American cheese with braised beef short rib, chipotle mayo, applewood smoked bacon & Roma tomatoes pressed on ciabatta bread.”
  • The Wellington” at Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com — “braised beef short rib, roasted mushroom, caramelized onion, demi jus, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, Swiss, & Boursin spread pressed on ciabatta.”

Best Subs

  • Best of the best: Nadeau’s Subs 776 Mast Road, Manchester, 623-9315; 110 Cahill Ave., Manchester, 669-7827; 673 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 644-8888; nadeaussubs.com (there is also a location in Exeter)
  • USA Subs 66 Crystal Ave., Derry, 437-1550, usasubs.com
  • Patz Deli & Catering 900 Elm St., Suite 102, 644-7289
  • Bill Cahill’s Super Subs 8 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, 882-7710, find them on Facebook @billcahills
  • Great American Subs 44 Nashua Road, Unit 3, Londonderry, 434-9900, greatamericansubsnh.com

Best Tacos

  • Best of the best: Los Reyes Street Tacos & More 127 Rockingham Road, Unit 15, in Derry, 845-8327, losreyesstreettacos.com
  • La Carreta 139 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Nashua; 891-0055, 1875 S. Willow St. in Manchester, 623-7705; 545 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 628-6899; 44 Nashua Road in Londonderry, 965-3477; 35 Manchester Road, Suite 5A, in Derry, 421-0091; 172 Hanover St. in Portsmouth, 427-8319; lacarretamex.com
  • Taco Time Cocina & Cantina Mexicana 11 Wilton Road in Milford, 554-1424, tacotimenh.com
  • Puerto Vallarta Mexican Grill (865 Second St. in Manchester, 935-9182)and Nuevo Vallarta Mexican Restaurant (791 Second St. in Manchester, 782-8762) vallartamexicannh.com
  • Hermanos Cocina Mexicana 11 Hills Ave. in Concord, 224-5669, hermanosmexican.com

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Sweets & Treats

Best Bakery

  • Best of the best: Bearded Baking Co. 819 Union St. in Manchester, beardedbaking.com, 647-7150
  • Buckley’s Bakery & Cafe 436 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 262-5929; 9 Market Place in Hollis, 465-5522; buckleysbakerycafe.com
  • Crosby Bakery 51 E. Pearl St. in Nashua, crosbybakerynh.com, 882-1851
  • Frederick’s Pastries 109 Route 101A in Amherst, 882-7725; 25 S. River Road in Bedford, 647-2253; pastry.net
  • Klemm’s Bakery: 29 Indian Rock Road in Windham, klemmsbakery.com, 437-8810

Best Blueberry Muffins

  • Best of the best: Troy’s Fresh Kitchen & Juice Bar 4 Orchard View Dr., No. 6, in Londonderry, troysfreshkitchen.com, 965-3411
  • Buckley’s Bakery & Cafe 436 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 262-5929; 9 Market Place in Hollis, 465-5522; buckleysbakerycafe.com
  • The Crust and Crumb Baking Co. 126 N. Main St. in Concord, thecrustandcrumb.com, 219-0763
  • Patz Deli 900 Elm St., Suite 102, in Manchester, 644-7289, find them on Facebook
  • The Bridge Cafe on Elm 1117 Elm St. in Manchester, thebridgecafe.net, 647-9991
  • Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com

Best Candy or Chocolate Shop

Best of the best: Granite State Candy Shoppe 13 Warren St. in Concord, 225-2591; 832 Elm St. in Manchester, 218-3885; granitestatecandyshoppe.com
Locally sourced Ingredients. Premium chocolates From New Hampshire.

  • Van Otis Chocolates 341 Elm St. in Manchester, vanotis.com, 627-1611
  • Nelson’s Candy and Music 65 Main St. in Wilton, nelsonscandymusic.com, 654-5030
  • Loon Chocolate Center Entrance, 195 McGregor St., No. 121, in Manchester, loonchocolate.com, 932-8887
  • Dancing Lion Chocolate 917 Elm St. in Manchester, dancinglion.us, 625-4043

Best Cookies

  • Best of the best: Bearded Baking Co. 819 Union St. in Manchester, beardedbaking.com, 647-7150
  • Black Forest Cafe & Bakery 212 Route 101 in Amherst, blackforestcafeandbakery.com, 672-0500
  • The Crust and Crumb Baking Co. 126 N. Main St. in Concord, thecrustandcrumb.com, 219-0763
  • Buckley’s Bakery & Cafe 436 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 262-5929; 9 Market Place in Hollis, 465-5522; buckleysbakerycafe.com
  • Charlie’s of Goffstown 1B Pinard St. in Manchester, charliesgoffstown.com, 606-1835
  • Lighthouse Local 21 Kilton Road in Bedford, lighthouse-local.com, 716-6983

Prettiest Cupcakes

  • Best of the Best: Queen City Cupcakes & Gift Shop 816 Elm St. in Manchester, qccupcakes.com, 624-4999
  • Carina’s Cakes 14B East Broadway in Derry, facebook.com/Carinas.Cakes, 425-9620
  • Frederick’s Pastries 109 Route 101A in Amherst, 882-7725; 25 S. River Road in Bedford, 647-2253; pastry.net
  • Cupcakes 101 132 Bedford Center Road in Bedford, cupcakes101.net, 488-5962
  • Bearded Baking Co. 819 Union St. in Manchester, beardedbaking.com, 647-7150

Best Doughnuts

  • Best of the best: New Hampshire Doughnut Co. 410 S. River Road in Bedford, 782-8968; 2 Capital Plaza in Concord, 715-5097; nhdoughnutco.com
  • Klemm’s Bakery 29 Indian Rock Road in Windham, klemmsbakery.com, 437-8810
  • Crosby Bakery Inc. 51 E. Pearl St. in Nashua, crosbybakerynh.com, 882-1851
  • Brothers Donuts & Deli Shop 426 Central St. in Franklin, facebook.com/brothersdonuts, 934-6678
  • The Bakeshop On Kelley Street 171 Kelley St. in Manchester, thebakeshoponkelleystreet.com, 624-3500

Best Ice Cream

  • Best of the best: Puritan Backroom Restaurant 245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, puritanbackroom.com, 669-6890
  • Moo’s Place Homemade Ice Cream 27 Crystal Avenue in Derry; 15 Ermer Road in Salem, 898-0199, moosplace.com, 425-0100
  • Hayward’s Ice Cream 7 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Nashua, 888-4663; 364 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 424-5915; haywardsicecream.com
  • Goldenrod Restaurant: 1681 Candia Road in Manchester, goldenrodrestaurant.com, 623-9469
  • The Inside Scoop: 260 Wallace Road in Bedford, theinsidescoopnh.com, 471-7009

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Drinks

Best Breakfast or Brunch Cocktails

  • Best of the best: The Friendly Toast 4 Main St. in Bedford, 836-8907; 113 Congress St. in Portsmouth, 246-5285; thefriendlytoast.com

Firefly 22 Concord St. in Manchester, fireflynh.com, 935-974

  • Tucker’s 95 S. River Road in Bedford, 413-6503; 80 South St. in Concord, 413-5884; 238 Indian Brook Road in Dover, 413-5470; 1328 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, 206-5757; 360 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 413-6477; 207 Main St. in New London, 413-5528; tuckersnh.com
  • Copper Door 15 Leavy Dr. in Bedford, copperdoor.com, 488-2677
  • The Foundry 50 Commercial St. in Manchester, foundrynh.com, 836-1925

Best Beer Selection at a Retail Shop

  • Best of the best: Bert’s Better Beers 545 Hooksett Road in Manchester, bertsnh.com, 413-5992
  • The Packie 88 W. River Road in Hooksett, 518-8069; 581 Second St. in Manchester, 232-1236; thepackienh.com
  • The Beer Store 433 Amherst St. in Nashua, 889-2242; 291 South Broadway in Salem, 458-1440; thebeerstorenh.com
  • East Derry General Store 50 E. Derry Road in Derry, eastderrygeneralstore.com, 432-5302
  • Lazy Dog Beer Shoppe 27 Buttrick Road in Londonderry, lazydogbeer.com, 434-2500

Best New Hampshire Brewery

  • Best of the best: 603 Brewery & Beer Hall 42 Main St. in Londonderry, 603brewery.com, 404-6123
  • Backyard Brewery and Kitchen 1211 S. Mammoth Road in Manchester, backyardbrewerynh.com, 623-3545
  • Pipe Dream Brewing 49 Harvey Road, Unit 4, in Londonderry, pipedreambrewingnh.com, 404-0751
  • Spy Glass Brewing Co. 306 Innovative Way in Nashua, spyglassbrewing.com, 546-2965
  • Concord Craft Brewing Co. 117 Storrs St. in Concord, concordcraftbrewing.com, 856-7625

Best New Hampshire Winery

  • Best of the best: LaBelle Winery 345 Route 101 in Amherst, 672-9898; 14 Route 111 in Derry, 672-9898; labellewinery.com
  • Zorvino Vineyards 226 Main St. in Sandown, zorvino.com, 887-8463
  • Fulchino Vineyard 187 Pine Hill Road in Hollis, fulchinovineyard.com, 438-5984
  • Flag Hill Distillery & Winery 297 N. River Road in Lee, flaghill.com, 659-2949
  • Sweet Baby Vineyard: 260 Stage Road in Hampstead, sweetbabyvineyard.com, 347-1738

Best Cocktail

  • Best of the best: Mudslide at Puritan Backroom Restaurant (245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, puritanbackroom.com, 669-6890) This drink is made with Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua coffee liqueur and vodka and is offered in flavor variations.
  • C.R.E.A.M. at Industry East (28 Hanover St. in Manchester, industryeastbar.com, 232-6940) This drink is made with Mi Campo tequila, ancho verde, cucumber, lemon and jalapeño.
  • Espresso Martini at Giorgio’s Ristorante & Bar (524 Nashua St. in Milford, 673-3939; 270 Granite St. in Manchester, 232-3323; 707 Milford Road in Merrimack, 883-7333; giorgios.com) This drink is made with fresh-brewed espresso and it carries a froth on top.
  • Blood Orange Cosmo at Copper Door (15 Leavy Dr. in Bedford, copperdoor.com, 488-2677) This drink is made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, blood orange liqueur, cranberry juice and fresh squeezed lime.
  • Margarita at Hermanos Cocina Mexicana (11 Hills Ave. in Concord, hermanosmexican.com, 224-5669) The standard margarita is made with Lunazul tequila, triple sec and a house fresh-squeezed sour mix.

Best Margaritas

  • Best of the best: La Carreta Mexican Restaurant (139 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Nashua, 891-0055; 1875 S. Willow St. in Manchester, 623-7705; 545 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 628-6899; 44 Nashua Road in Londonderry, 965-3477; 35 Manchester Road, Suite 5A, in Derry, 421-0091; 172 Hanover St. in Portsmouth, 427-8319; lacarretamex.com) The margarita menu at La Carreta features multiple “signature margaritas” such as the Sangria-Rita, Berry Rita and Pineapple En Fuego.
  • Hermanos Cocina Mexicana (11 Hills Ave. in Concord, hermanosmexican.com, 224-5669) The standard margarita is made with Lunazul tequila, triple sec and a house fresh-squeezed sour mix.The menu also features multiple varieties and a build-your-own offering with their extensive tequila menu.
  • Puerto Vallarta Mexican Grill (865 Second St. in Manchester, 935-9182)and Nuevo Vallarta Mexican Restaurant (791 Second St. in Manchester, 782-8762; vallartamexicannh.com) offer the same Margaritas Especials menu featuring Wildbery Margarita, Vallarta Margarita, Hot Rita and a cucumber margarita.
  • Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry, tupelomusichall.com, 437-5100) The Tupelo offers a classic margarita with tequila, triple sec and sour mix.
  • Taco Time Cocina & Cantina Mexicana (1 Wilton Road in Milford, tacotimenh.com, 554-1424) The house margarita is available in strawberry, watermelon, pomegranate, mango, peach, and orange flavors.
  • Amigos Mexican Cantina (20 South St. in Milford, amigosmilford.com, 673-1500) Their margarita is made with Lunazul Reposado tequila, triple sec and Jamaican Lime Juice.

Restaurant with the Most Inventive Cocktails

  • Best of the best: Industry East (28 Hanover St., in Manchester, industryeastbar.com, 232-6940) Offerings include the Caribbean Kilt (Scotch, amaretto, orange, lime, orgeat and bitters, with a rum float) and Granny Panties (dark rum, Zucca, creme de violette, pineapple, lemon and grapefruit, with celery bitters).
  • Stash Box (866 Elm St. in Manchester, stashboxnh.com, 606-8109) Drinks include Religion and Politics (Barr Hill Gin or Peloton Mezcal, ancho, lemon, honey, orange, carrot, and pepper tincture) and Stay Classy (a smoked cocktail with Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum and bitters).
  • Prime at Sky Meadow (6 Mountain Laurels Dr. in Nashua, skymeadow.com, 888-9000) The menu includes Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail (Plantation Rum, velvet falernum, freshly squeezed lime juice and Cointreau) and a Gin Basil Smash(gin, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, basil syrup and fresh basil).
  • The Hop Knot (1000 Elm St. in Manchester, hopknotnh.com, 232-3731) Offerings include the Nova (blueberry vodka, house-made blueberry syrup and lemon) and a Zero-Proof Margarita (agave, lime and alcohol-free tequila).
  • Greenleaf (54 Nashua St. in Milford, greenleafmilford.com, 213-5447) The selection includes There’s Something About Rosemary(Uncle Nearest 1884, rosemary red wine reduction and orange bitters) and Fizzy Lifting Drink (prosecco, creme de violette and lemon).

Bar Where They Make You Feel Relaxed as Soon as You Sit Down

  • Best of the best: The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • The Hop Knot 1000 Elm St. in Manchester, hopknotnh.com, 232-3731
  • Industry East 28 Hanover St., in Manchester, industryeastbar.com, 232-6940
  • The Shaskeen Pub and Restaurant 909 Elm St. in Manchester, shaskeenirishpub.com, 625-0246
  • Stash Box 866 Elm St. in Manchester, stashboxnh.com, 606-8109

Where They Make Your Coffee Perfect Every Time

  • Best of the best: Flight Coffee Co. 209 Route 101 in Bedford, flightcoffeeco.com, 836-6228
  • Brother’s Cortado 3 Bicentennial Square, Odd Fellows Avenue in Concord, brotherscortado.com, 856-7924
  • Revelstoke Coffee 100 N. Main St. in Concord, revelstokecoffee.com, 715-5821
  • Hometown Coffee Roasters 80 Old Granite St. in Manchester, hometownroasters.com, 703-2321
  • Aroma Joe’s locations include 2 S. Beech St. in Manchester, 518-5409; 527 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 782-7173; 13 Manchester Road in Derry, 552-3581; 71 Calef Hwy. in Lee, 749-7700; 478 W. Main St. in Tilton, 729-0030; 3 Chambers Dr. in Hooksett, 932-2890; 135 Loudon Road in Concord, 715-8109; 214 Fisherville Road in Concord, 565-5497; 171 N. Broadway in Salem, 458-6335; 401 Main St., Suite 112, in Salem, 458-2770; 140 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 459-8702; 2 Paul’s Way in Amherst, 402-1195; 1912 Dover Road in Epsom, 736-0505, and others; aromajoes.com.

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Work Life

Best Spot for a Quick but Tasty Lunch

  • Best of the best: Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com
  • Patz Deli & Catering 900 Elm St., Suite 102, in Manchester, 644-7289
  • Troy’s Fresh Kitchen 4 Orchard View Dr., No. 6, in Londonderry, troysfreshkitchen.com, 965-3411
  • The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • The Bridge Cafe on Elm 1117 Elm St. in Manchester, thebridgecafe.net, 647-9991

Best Place to Order Lunch for the Office when the Boss is Buying

  • Best of the best: Pressed Cafe 216 S. River Road in Bedford, 606-2746; 108 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, 718-1250; 3 Cotton Road in Nashua (drive-thru only); 1 Artisan Dr. in Salem, 458-5922; pressedcafe.com
  • Troy’s Fresh Kitchen 4 Orchard View Drive, No. 6, in Londonderry, troysfreshkitchen.com, 965-3411
  • Puritan Backroom 245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, puritanbackroom.com, 669-6890 for the restaurant.
  • The Bridge Cafe on Elm 1117 Elm St. in Manchester, thebridgecafe.net, 647-9991
  • The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210

Best Happy Hour

  • Best of the best: The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, stumbleinnnh.com, 432-3210
  • The Farm Bar and Grille 1181 Elm St. in Manchester, farmbargrille.com, 641-3276
  • Feathered Friend Brewing 231 S. Main St. in Concord, featheredfriendbrewing.com, 715-2347
  • Tandy’s Pub & Grille 1 Eagle Sq. in Concord, tandyspub.com, 856-7614
  • Backyard Brewery and Kitchen 1211 S. Mammoth Road in Manchester, backyardbrewerynh.com, 623-3545
  • Hare of the Dawg 3 East Broadway in Derry, hareofthedawgnh.com, 552-3883

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Happenings

Best Food Festival

  • Best of the best: Glendi at Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral (650 Hanover St. in Manchester, stgeorgenh.org, 622-9113) is slated for Friday, Sept. 13, through Sunday, Sept. 15.
  • Taco Tour in Downtown Manchester (tacotourmanchester.com, 792-4107) is Thursday, May 2, from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Hampton Beach Seafood Festival (on Route 1A in Hampton, seafoodfestivalnh.com, 926-8718) will take place Friday, Sept. 6, through Sunday, Sept. 8, from noon to 9 p.m.
  • Bacon & Beer Festival at Anheuser-Busch Brewery (Outdoor Fields, 221 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, nhbaconbeer.com) will take place Saturday, June 1, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • NH Poutine Fest from the Franco-American Centre and held at Anheuser-Busch Biergarten (221 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, nhpoutinefest.com) will take place Saturday, Oct. 12. Sign up for the newsletter to get information about ticket sales.

Best Farmers Market

  • Best of the best: Concord Farmers Market takes place Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to noon, on Capitol Street next to the Statehouse Lawn, starting May 4 and running through Oct. 26, according to concordfarmersmarket.com.
  • Derry Homegrown Farm & Artisan Market takes place at 1 West Broadway in Derry on Wednesdays, 3 to 7 p.m., beginning June 5, according to derryhomegrown.org.
  • Salem NH Farmers Market is open year-round, with the winter market open Sundays, November through April, from 10 a.m through 1 p.m. at the LaBelle Winery, 14 Route 111 in Derry, and the summer market open Sundays, May through October, 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. at the Mall at Rockingham Park, according to salemnhfarmersmarket.org.
  • Candia Farmers Market runs every third Saturday, June 15 through Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at 55 High St. in Candia, according to candiafarmersmarket.org.
  • Church St. Farmers Market is at 9 Church St. in Deerfield and is open two Saturdays a month June through October (only once in September), 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting June 8, according to churchstmarket.com.

Event That Puts the “Fun” in Fundraiser

  • Best of the best: Glendi at Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral (650 Hanover St. in Manchester, stgeorgenh.org, 622-9113) is slated for Friday, Sept. 13, through Sunday, Sept. 15.
  • Castle in the Clouds Gala (455 Old Mountain Road in Moultonborough, castleintheclouds.org, 476-5900) on Friday, July 12.
  • Special Olympics Penguin Plunge (Hampton Beach State Park in Hampton, fundraising.sonh.org/event/penguin-plunge, 624-1250) Next year’s high school plunge will be on Saturday, Feb. 8, and the Penguin Plunge will be on Sunday, Feb. 9.
  • Aviation Museum Car Show ( 27 Navigator Road in Londonderry, aviationmuseumofnh.org, 669-4820) is Saturday, July 13.
  • Wags to Whiskers Festival to benefit the Humane Society For Greater Nashua (hsfn.org, 889-2275). Saturday, September 21, at the Anheuser-Busch brewery at 221 Daniel Webster Hwy in Merrimack. See the Humane Society’s website for details.
  • NH Renaissance Faire Martin Road in Fremont, nhrenfaire.com, Saturday, May 11, Sunday, May 12, Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19.

Best Community Event

  • Best of the best: Market Days Festival on Main Street in Concord will run Thursday, June 20, through Saturday, June 22, according to marketdaysfestival.com.
  • Glendi at Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral (650 Hanover St. in Manchester, stgeorgenh.org, 622-9113) is slated for Friday, Sept. 13, through Sunday, Sept. 15.
  • Winter Holiday Stroll in downtown Nashua takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving; see downtownnashua.org.
  • Milford Pumpkin Festival takes place on and at locations near the Oval in downtown Milford and will be held Friday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 13, according to milfordpumpkinfestival.org.
  • Goffstown’s Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off and Regatta will take place on Main Street in Goffstown on Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 20, according to goffstownmainstreet.org.

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Family Fun

Best Place to Take Your Kids

  • Best of the best: Aviation Museum of New Hampshire 27 Navigator Road in Londonderry, aviationmuseumofnh.org, 669-4820
  • The Nest Family Cafe 25 Orchard View Dr., Unit 1, in Londonderry, thenestfamilycafe.com, 404-2139
  • Fun Spot 579 Endicott St. North, in Laconia, funspotnh.com, 366-4377
  • Fun City 553 Mast Road in Goffstown, funcitygoffstown.com, 606-8807
  • Canobie Lake Park 85 N. Policy St. in Salem, canobie.com, 893-3506
  • Nova Trampoline Park 300 Main St., Suite 402, in Nashua, novanashua.com, 825-4131

Best Outdoor Spot to Let Kids Get Out Their Energy

  • Best of the best: Benson Park 19 Kimball Hill Road in Hudson, hudsonnh.gov/bensonpark, 886-6018
  • Livingston Park 156 Hooksett Road in Manchester, manchesternh.gov/Departments/Parks-and-Recreation/Parks-Trails-and-Facilities/Parks/Livingston-Park, 624-6444
  • Hampton Beach in Hampton, hamptonbeach.org
  • Mel’s Funway Park 454 Charles Bancroft Hwy. in Litchfield, melsfunwaypark.com, 424-2292
  • White Park 1 White St. in Concord, concordnh.gov/facilities/facility/details/White-Park-21, 225-8690

Best Spot for All-Ages Family Fun

  • Best of the best: Canobie Lake Park 85 N. Policy St. in Salem, canobie.com, 893-3506
  • Aviation Museum of New Hampshire 27 Navigator Road in Londonderry, aviationmuseumofnh.org, 669-4820
  • The Nest Family Cafe 25 Orchard View Dr., Unit 1, in Londonderry, thenestfamilycafe.com, 404-2139
  • Fun Spot 579 Endicott St. North in Laconia, funspotnh.com, 366-4377
  • Mel’s Funway Park 454 Charles Bancroft Hwy. in Litchfield, melsfunwaypark.com, 424-2292
  • Hampton Beach in Hampton, hamptonbeach.org

Best Restaurant for the Whole Family

  • Best of the best: Puritan Backroom 245 Hooksett Road in Manchester, puritanbackroom.com, 669-6890 for the restaurant.
  • T-Bones Great American Eatery 39 Crystal Avenue in Derry, t-bones.com, 434-3200
  • The Nest Family Cafe 25 Orchard View Dr., Unit 1, in Londonderry, thenestfamilycafe.com, 404-2139
  • T-Bones Great American Eatery 25 S. River Road in Bedford, t-bones.com, 641-6100
  • The Common Man Merrimack 304 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, thecman.com, 429-3463

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Pets

Best Doggie Day Care

  • Best of the best: All Dogs Gym & Inn 505 Sheffield Road, Manchester, 669-4644, alldogsgym.com

American K9 Country 336 Route 101, Amherst, 672-8448, americank9country.com

  • Chewie’s Playland 472 Amherst St., No. 24, Nashua, 921-1875; 217 W. Hollis St., Nashua, 921-0745; chewiesplayland.com
  • Superdogs Daycare 637 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 424-1515, superdogsdaycare.com
  • Pawquet’s Play & Stay 302 Rockingham Road, Londonderry, 216-1147, pawquetsplaystay.com

Best Dog Groomers

  • Best of the best: Sarah’s Paw Spa 16 Manning St., Derry, 512-4539, find them on Facebook @sarahspawspa
  • D’Tails Dog Grooming 178 Route 101 in Bedford, 703-6288, find them on Facebook
  • Wag Grooming Salon & Spa 15 Ermer Road in Salem, 898-0924, wagplace.com
  • Grooming at Tiffany’s 127 Rockingham Road, Derry, 432-8000, groomingattiffanys.com
  • Woofmeow 19 Manchester Road, Suite A, Derry, 965-3218, woofmeownh.com

Best Pet Retail Store

  • Best of the best: Woofmeow 19 Manchester Road, Suite A, Derry, 965-3218, woofmeownh.com
  • Pets Choice 454 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 424-7297, petschoicenh.com
  • The Wholistic Pet 341 Route 101, Bedford, 472-2273, thewholisticpet.com
  • Sandy’s Pet Food Center 141 Old Turnpike Road, Concord, 225-1177, sandyspetfood.com
  • State Line Pet Supply 137 Plaistow Road, Plaistow, 382-6873, statelinepetsupply.com

Best Place to Let Your Dog Off Leash

  • Best of the best: Hudson Dog Park inside Benson Park, 19 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, 886-6000, hudsonnh.gov
  • Derry Dog Park Fordway and Transfer Lane, Derry, 432-6136, derrynh.org
  • Hooksett Dog Park 101 Merrimack St., Hooksett, 485-8471, hooksett.org. This park is open daily from 6 a.m. to dusk.
  • Nashua Dog Park One Groton Road (Route 111A) in Nashua, nashuadog.org (where you can find information about membership)
  • Bear Brook Canine Camp a fenced area designed for private, pre-booked play in Allenstown; book a time at sniffspot.com
  • Raymond Dog Bark Park in Riverside Park (98 Sundeen Parkway in Raymond), raymondnh.gov/riversidepark

Best On-Leash Dog Outing

  • Best of the best: Benson Park 19 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, hudsonnh.gov/bensonpark
  • Mine Falls Park Whipple Street, Nashua, 589-3370, nashuanh.gov
  • Lake Massabesic Trail a 3.7-mile loop with parking in the Massabesic Center parking lot (though dogs are not allowed on any Audubon trails), according to alltrails.com
  • Benedictine Park on Wallace Road in Bedford, featuring 27.4 acres of active and passive recreational land and walking trails that are just under a mile, according to bedfordnh.myrec.com
  • New Boston Rail Trail a 4-mile rail trail with a trail head at Lang Station (Gregg Mill Road in New Boston); see nbrailtrail.com
  • Windham Rail Trail windhamrailtrail.org, 4.1 miles of trail

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Beauty & Wellness

Best Barber

  • Best of the best: Homegrown Barber Co. 18 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, homegrownbarber.com, 818-8989
  • Lucky’s Barbershop 50 S. State St. in Concord, luckysbarbershop.biz, 715-5470
  • Polished Man Barbershop & Lounge 707 Milford Road, No. 3A, in Merrimack, thepolishedman.com, 718-8427
  • Polished Man Barbershop & Lounge 178 Route 101 in Bedford, thepolishedman.com, 233-7991
  • Dude’s Barbershop 1328 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, dudesbarbershop.com, 626-0533


Best Salon

  • Best of the best: Blank Canvas Salon 1F Commons Dr. in Londonderry, find them on Facebook, 818-4294
  • Pellé Medical Spa 159 Frontage Road in Manchester, pellemedicalspa.com, 627-7000
  • Salon Bogar 25 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, salonbogar.com, 434-2424
  • Color Trends Hair Salon 25 Merritt Parkway in Nashua, colortrendshairsalon.com, 880-7504
  • Topknot Salon and Spa 1 Nashua St. in Milford, topknotnh.com, 212-6863

Best Spa

Best of the best: Renew MediSpa 23B Crystal Avenue in Derry, renewmedispa.com, 931-4345
Redefine The Way You Age To Look and Feel Your Best. Advanced Anti-Aging Technology Combined with Experienced Care

  • Chill Spa 1224 Hanover St. in Manchester, chillspa.com, 622-3722
  • Pellé Medical Spa 159 Frontage Road in Manchester, pellemedicalspa.com, 627-7000
  • Innovations Salon and Spa 228 Naticook Road in Merrimack, innovationsnh.com, 880-7499
  • Serendipity Day Spa and Float Studio 23 Sheep Davis Road in Pembroke, serendipitydayspa.shop, 229-0400

Where They Do a Good Brow

  • Best of the best: Renew MediSpa 23B Crystal Avenue in Derry, renewmedispa.com, 931-4345
  • Pellé Medical Spa 159 Frontage Road in Manchester, pellmedicalspa.com, 627-7000
  • Art of Eyebrows 449 Amherst St. in Nashua, 888-2186; 1500 S. Willow St., Mall of New Hampshire, in Manchester, 624-1414; Pheasant Lane Mall, 310 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Nashua, 864-8679; 1 Mall Road in Salem, 898-2444; Art of Beauty, 291 S. Broadway, Suite 3A, in Salem, 898-1212; artofeyebrows.com
  • Beauty Works 123 Nashua Road in Londonderry, beautyworksnh.com, 275-8672
  • Kriss Cosmetics 145 S. Main St. in Manchester, krisscosmetics.com, 624-2333

Where They Make Your Nails Look Fabulous

  • Best of the best: Glossy Nails 1 S. River Road in Bedford, 935-8383; 655 S. Willow St. in Manchester; glossynails.net
  • Exotic 9 Nails 30 Crystal Avenue, Suite 6, in Derry, exotic9nails.com, 425-7731
  • Chill Spa 1224 Hanover St. in Manchester, chillspa.com, 622-3722
  • 9 Nails and Spa Salon 7 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 9nailsandspasalon.com, 216-1668
  • Beautiful Nails 1525 S Willow St., Suite 2, in Manchester, 232-4700, find them on Facebook

Best Tattoo Shop

  • Best of the best: New Inkland Tattoo Co. 1358 Elm St. in Manchester, 518-7493, find them on Facebook
  • Tattoo Angus 179 Elm St., Unit C, in Manchester, tattooangus.com, 935-9398
  • Underworld Tattoo Co. 282 Main St. in Salem, 458-7739, find them on Instagram or Facebook
  • Capital City Tattoo 8 N. Main St. in Concord, capcitytat.com, 224-2600
  • Wayne’s Tattoo World 6 West Broadway in Derry, waynestattooworld.com, 432-4828

Best Workout Space

  • Best of the best: Collective Studios 4 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, thecollective-studios.com, 216-2345
  • Executive Health and Sports Center 1 Highlander Way in Manchester, ehsc.com, 668-4753)
  • Dynamic Strength & Conditioning 115 Northeastern Blvd. in Nashua, dynamicsc.com, 882-2348
  • The Workout Club 18 Orchard View Dr., Unit 2, in Londonderry, theworkoutclub.com/londonderry, 434-6565 (there are also locations at 16 Pelham Road in Salem and 35 Hamel Dr. in Manchester)

Hampshire Hills Athletic Club 50 Emerson Road in Milford, hampshirehills.com, 673-8123

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Shopping

Best Place to Buy Jewelry

  • Best of the best: Bellman’s 1650 Elm St. in Manchester, bellmans.com, 625-4653
  • Princess Jewelers 55 Crystal Ave., Unit 5, in Derry, princessnh.com, 247-3773
  • Day’s Jewelers 66 March Ave. in Manchester, 641-0034; 567 Amherst St. in Nashua, 595-2780; daysjewelers.com
  • Jonathan’s Jewelers 460 Route 101 in Bedford, jonathansjewelers.com, 471-2828
  • Richters Jewelry & Design Studio 4 Orchard View Dr., No. 16, in Londonderry, richtersjewelry.com, 437-2655

Best Independent Shop to Buy Clothes or Shoes

  • Best of the best: Alec’s Shoes 1617 Southwood Dr. in Nashua, alecs-shoes.com, 882-6811

Gondwana and Divine Clothing 13 N. Main St. in Concord, gondwanaclothing.com, 228-1101

  • Alapage 25 S. River Road in Bedford, alapageboutique.com, 625-5601
  • Joe King’s Shoes 45 N. Main St. in Concord, joekings.com, 225-6012
  • George’s Apparel 675 Elm St. in Manchester, georgesapparel.com, 622-5441

Best Secondhand Store

  • Best of the best: Corey’s Closet 1329 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, coreyscloset.org, 722-2712
  • M&C Clothing and Gifts 135 Route 101A in Amherst, mcclothingandgifts.com, 886-6727
  • Kelly’s Kloset in Hooksett, kellysklosetllc.com
  • Lilise Designer Resale 7 N. Main St. in Concord, liliseresale.com, 715-2009
  • Outfitters Thrift Store 394 Second St. in Manchester, fitnh.org/outfitters, 641-6691

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Outdoors

Best Farm for Pick Your Own

  • Best of the best: Sunnycrest 59 High Range Road in Londonderry, sunnycrestfarmnh.com, 432-9652
  • Mack’s Apples 230 Mammoth Road in Londonderry, 432-3456, macksapples.com
  • Lull Farm 65 Broad St. in Hollis, 465-7079, livefreeandfarm.com

Brookdale Fruit Farm 41 Broad St. in Hollis, 465-2240, brookdalefruitfarm.com
Celebrating 177 years! Seasonal PYO: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, 19 varieties of apples and pumpkins. Check our website for the latest picking options.

  • J&F Farms 108 Chester Road in Derry, 437-0535, jandffarms.net

Best City Park

  • Best of the best: White Park 1 White St. in Concord, 225-8690, concordnh.gov
  • Livingston Park 244 Hooksett Road in Manchester, 624-6444, manchesternh.gov/parks
  • Benson’s Park 19 Kimball Hall Road in Hudson, 886-6000, hudsonnh.gov/bensonpark
  • Greeley Park Concord Street in Nashua, 589-3370, nashuanh.gov
  • Mine Falls Park Whipple Street in Nashua, 589-3370, nashuanh.gov

Best State Park

  • Best of the best: Pawtuckaway State Park 128 Mountain Road in Nottingham, 895-3031, nhstateparks.org
  • Bear Brook State Park 61 Deerfield Road in Allenstown, 485-9869, nhstateparks.org
  • Odiorne Point 570 Ocean Blvd. in Rye, 436-7406, nhstateparks.org
  • Wellington State Park 614 W. Shore Road in Bristol, 744-2197, nhstateparks.org
  • Hampton Beach 160 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, 227-8722, nhstateparks.org

Best Bike Trail

  • Best of the best: Derry Rail Trail traillink.org, 3.6 miles of paved trail
  • Londonderry Rail Trail, londonderrytrails.org, 4.5 miles of trail
  • Windham Rail Trail windhamrailtrail.org, 4.1 miles of trail
  • Goffstown Rail Trail Goffstown, goffstownrailtrail.org, 5.5 miles of trail
  • Nashua Rail Trail Nashua, 12.5 miles of paved trail

Best Hike in Southern New Hampshire

  • Best of the best: Mount Monadnock 169 Poole Road in Jaffrey, 532-8862, nhstateparks.org
  • Mt. Major in Alton, nhstateparks.org
  • Pawtuckaway State Park 128 Mountain Road in Nottingham, 895-3031, nhstateparks.org
  • Pack Monadnock in Miller State Park, 13 Miller Park Road in Peterborough, 924-3672, nhstateparks.org
  • Mine Falls Park Whipple Street in Nashua, nashuanh.gov, 589-3370

Best Spot for a Long Run

  • Best of the best: Mine Falls Park Whipple Street in Nashua, nashuanh.gov, 589-3370
  • Goffstown Rail Trail in Goffstown, goffstownrailtrail.org, 5.5 miles of trail
  • Londonderry Rail Trail londonderrytrails.org, 4.5 miles of trail
  • Windham Rail Trail windhamrailtrail.org, 4.1 miles of trail
  • Massabesic Lake area Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail, 27.3 miles of trail from Auburn to Manchester, nhstateparks.org

Best Lake to Canoe or Kayak in

  • Best of the best: Lake Massabesic Off Londonderry Turnpike in Manchester, manchesternh.gov, 642-6482
  • Pawtuckaway Lake Pawtuckaway State Park, 7 Pawtuckaway Road in Nottingham, 895-3031, nhstateparks.org
  • Newfound Lake Wellington State Park, 614 W. Shore Road in Bristol, 744–2197, nhstateparks.org
  • Lake Winnipesaukee in Belknap and Carroll counties intheLakes Region, lakewinnipesaukee.net, which says it is the largest lake in New Hampshire
  • Squam Lake located in Grafton, Carroll and Belknap counties, lakesregion.org/squam-lake

Best Ski Hill

  • Best of the best: Pats Peak Ski Area 686 Flanders Road in Henniker, 428-3245, patspeak.com,
  • Loon Mountain 60 Loon Mountain Road in Lincoln, 745-8111, loonmtn.com
  • Gunstock 719 Cherry Valley Road in Gilford, 293-4341, gunstock.com
  • McIntyre Ski Area 50 Chalet Way in Manchester, mcintyreskiarea.com
  • Cannon Mountain Ski Resort 260 Tramway Drive in Franconia, 823-8800, cannonmt.com

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Personalities

Most Inventive Chef

  • Best of the best: Chris Viaud at Greenleaf 54 Nashua St. in Milford, 213-5447, greenleafmilford.com
  • Bobby Marcotte at The Tuckaway Tavern and Butchery 58 Route 27 in Raymond, 244-2431, thetuckaway.com
  • Corey Fletcher at Revival Kitchen & Bar 11 Depot St. in Concord, 715-5723, revivalkitchennh.com
  • Scott Ouelette at Canoe Restaurant and Tavern 232 Whittier Hwy. in Center Harbor, canoecenterharbor.com
  • Shawn Harris at Prime at Sky Meadow Country Club, 6 Mountain Laurels Dr. in Nashua, 888-9000, skymeadow.com

Restaurant with the Friendliest Staff

  • Best of the best: The Stumble Inn Bar & Grill 20 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 432-3210, stumbleinnnh.com
  • Prime at Sky Meadow Country Club, 6 Mountain Laurels Dr. in Nashua, 888-9000, skymeadow.com
  • The Nest Family Cafe 25 Orchard View Dr., Unit 1, in Londonderry, 404-2139, thenestfamilycafe.com
  • Troy’s Fresh Kitchen 4 Orchard View Dr., No. 6, in Londonderry, 965-3411, troysfreshkitchen.com
  • Smoke Shack Cafe 226 Rockingham Road in Londonderry, 404-2178, smokeshackcafe.com

Butt-kicking-est Fitness Instructor (in the Good Way)

  • Best of the best: Biliana Mihaylova is currently an independent instructor in Concord. You can message her via instagram.com/pop.kween.
  • Claudia Michel of The Collective Studios Apple Tree Shopping Center, 4 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, 216-2345; 125 S. River Road in Bedford, 782-3321; thecollective-studios.com
  • Leah Heath of The Collective Studios Apple Tree Shopping Center, 4 Orchard View Dr. in Londonderry, 216-2345; 125 S. River Road in Bedford, 782-3321; thecollective-studios.com
  • Tricia Hoyt at Journey Fitness 333 27 Buttrick Road, No. 6, in Londonderry, 247-9334, journeyfitness333.com/Londonderry
  • Ashley Oberg at Barre Life 944 Elm St., No. 23, in Manchester, barrelifenh.com

Best Barber

  • Best of the best: Traci Evans at Tooky Village Barbershop 12 Maple St., Unit 1, in Contoocook; 746-2170, tookyvillagebarbershop.net
  • Benny D’Ambrosio at The Polished Man Barbershop & Lounge 707 Milford Road, Unit 3A, in Merrimack, 718-8427, thepolishedman.com
  • Juliet Lord at Clean Cut Jewels Barbershop 604 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack, 657-6376, cleancutjewels.com
  • Erica Juneau at Juneau The Barber 1802 Elm St. in Manchester; find Juneau the Barber on Facebook, 490-2421) Josh Craggy at Lucky’s Barbershop and Shave Parlor 50 S. State St. in Concord, 715-5470, luckysbarbershop.biz

Best Hair Stylist

  • Best of the best: Jessica Moll at Lightened & Lifted 22 Greeley St., Suite 10, in Merrimack, lightenednlifted.glossgenius.com
  • Mariana Bortolossi at Mari Lossi Hair Studio 40 S. River Road, Unit 63, in Bedford, 782-3908, marilossihairstudio.com
  • Aaron Losier at Hairpocalypse 904 Hanover St. in Manchester, 627-4301, hairpocalypse.com
  • Tashia Landry at Studio 22 1191 Hooksett Road in Hooksett, 703-7418, vagaro.com/hairbytashia
  • Amanda Noonan at Topknot Salon 1 Nashua St. in Milford, 213-6863, topknotnh.com

Friendliest Dentist

  • Best of the best: Danielle London of London Family Orthodontics 502 Riverway Place in Bedford, 622-2100, londonfamilyorthodontics.com

Dr. Elizabeth Spindel and Dr. Victoria Spindel Rubin at Spindel General and Cosmetic Dentistry 862 Union St. in Manchester, 669-9049, elizabethspindel.com
Thank you for voting us the friendliest dental office in NH for 16 years in a row!

  • Leonard M. Attisano, D.M.D. 700 Lake Ave. in Manchester, 668-0227, leonardattisanodmd.com
  • Dr. Nicholas C. Rizos at the Office of Dr. Nicholas C. Rizos, D.M.D. 103 Riverway Place in Bedford, 669-4384, drnickdmd.com
  • Charles Pipilas, D.D.S. 280 Main St., Suite 311, in Nashua, 881-8280

Friendliest Mechanic

  • Best of the best: Chris McNeil in Concord St. Motors 15 Concord St. in Nashua, 882-8642, find them on Facebook
  • Bill Morin at Morin’s Service Station 1091 Valley St., Manchester, 624-4427, morinsservicestation.com
  • Sean Roaf at In Tune Automotive 4 Lafayette Road in Hampton Falls, 926-6910, intuneauto.net
  • Jason Ux at Proficient Automotive 546 Mast Road in Goffstown, 361-4514
  • Pete Koster at Second Car Center 181 Rockingham Road in Derry, 432-4200, secondcarcenter.com

Best Local Musical Act

  • Best of the best: Jennifer Mitchell The next events on her calendar are JMitch Karaoke on Friday, March 29, at 7 p.m. at Penacook American Legion Post 31; Good Vibes Music Bingo on Monday, April 1, at 6 p.m. at Salona in Manchester and Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. at Backyard Grill Burgers & Wings in Manchester, and then Jennifer Mitchell Solo Acoustic on Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at Hill Top Pizza in Epsom, according to jennifermitchellmusic.com.
  • Justin Jordan According to his Facebook page, you can next find Justin on Thursday, March 28, at the Copper Door in Salem from 7 to 10 p.m. and on Friday, March 29, at Luna Bistro in Salem from 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Nicole Knox Murphy See her Saturday, March 30, at the Bristol House of Pizza in Bristol from 6 to 8 p.m., according to nkmsings4u.com.
  • Small Town Stranded Catch the band Saturday, March 30, from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Derryfield in Manchester, where they will return on Friday, May 10, from 8 to 11 p.m., according to their Facebook page.
  • Ramez Gurung A regular at area restaurants; see his Facebook page, facebook.com/ramezmataz, for updates on his shows.

Best Local Comedian

  • Best of the best: Bob Marley Bob Marley lives in Maine and regularly performs in New Hampshire — he’ll next be here Thursday, April 11, through Sunday, April 14, during a run of five shows at the Palace Theatres in Manchester. See bmarley.com.
  • Juston McKinney McKinney lives in New Hampshire, according to justonmckinney.com, where you can find his schedule packed with New Hampshire and New England shows. Up next is a performance at the Park Theatre in Jaffrey on Friday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. He’ll return to New Hampshire for a show at the Colonial Theatre in Laconia on Saturday, May 25, at 8 p.m.
  • Paul Landwehr Check out Landwehr’s Instagram for new comedy clips. He’s scheduled to be at the Rex Theatre in Manchester on Friday, April 5, at the 7:30 p.m. comedy show and the Saturday, July 20, Tupelo Night of Comedy at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry at 8 p.m.
  • Matt Barry See Barry Saturday, March 30, at Main Street Grill & Bar in Hillsborough; Thursday, April 4, at the Stone Church in Newmarket and Saturday, May 4, at Chunky’s in Manchester, according to mattbarrycomedy.com.
  • Queen City Improv This Manchester-based comedy troupe performs regularly, with upcoming shows at Stark Brewing in Manchester on Monday, April 1 (the first of several first-Monday-of-the-month shows slated at Stark Brewing) and Chunky’s in Manchester on Friday, April 19, according to queencityimprov.com, where you can also find information about their upcoming six-week improv intensive starting April 3.
  • Jimmy Dunn Dunn is now Frasier’s Jimmy Dunn, landing a role on the Paramount+ reboot of the sitcom. He is a fixture of the Hampton Beach Comedy Festival, slated for Aug. 14 through Aug. 18, according to jimmydunn.com.

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Living Here

Coolest Historic Site or Monument You Can Visit for Free

  • Best of the best: New Hampshire Statehouse (107 N. Main St. in Concord, gencourt.state.nh.us) Self-guided tours are generally available between 8:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., when you may also be able to get a docent-led tour if one is available. For groups of 10 or more, see the website for information on booking a tour.
  • Robert Frost Farm Historic Site (122 Rockingham Road in Derry 432-3091, robertfrostfarm.org) opens the New Hampshire home of Robert Frost to visitors from May to October. Admission costs $4 for adult New Hampshire residents and is free for residents who are 65+ or under 17. The grounds and trails around the house and barn are open from dusk to dawn all year, according to nhstateparks.org.
  • Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park (139 St. Gaudens Road in Cornish, 675-2175, nps.gov/saga) is a 190-acre park featuring the preserved home, gardens, studios and works of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (who stayed there during the summers from 1885 to 1897). The park grounds, outdoor monuments and sculptures, gardens and wooded trails are free to visit and open to the public year round, from dusk to dawn. The visitors center and museum buildings are open, with guided tours available, from Memorial Day weekend to Oct. 31. Admission is free for children age 15 and under and for all visitors on Entrance Fee-Free Days (which for 2024 are June 19, Aug. 4 and Sept. 28). Regular admission for adults costs $10.
  • Stark Park (550 River Road in Manchester, starkpark.com) is a 30-acre tract that was once the site of the Stark family farm in Manchester’s North End. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Look for a concert series in July and August and see the website for information on sculptures in the park and the Walk in the Woods map.
  • Madison Boulder (in Madison Boulder Natural Area, 473 Boulder Road in Madison, nhstateparks.org) “is a huge granite rock measuring 83 feet in length, 23 feet in height above the ground, 37 feet in width, and weighs upwards of 5,000 tons” that was deposited on the site by a glacier, according to the state parks site.
  • The Old Man of the Mountain (Franconia Notch State Park, Exit 34B off Interstate-93, Franconia, oldmannh.org) Get a sense of what was at Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza, which recreates the Old Man profile.
  • Memorial Arch of Tilton, which is actually on Elm Street in Northfield, was erected in 1882 by Charles Tilton, is made mostly of granite and was modeled on the Arch of Titus in Rome, according to an archives document available at nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com.

Attraction Worth Visiting Again and Again

  • Best of the best: Aviation Museum of New Hampshire 27 Navigator Road in Londonderry, aviationmuseumofnh.org, 669-4820
  • Canobie Lake Park 85 N. Policy St. in Salem, 893-3506, canobie.com
  • Flume Gorge (852 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Lincoln, nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks flume-gorge) is a natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty.
  • Mount Washington (1598 Mt Washington Auto Road in Sargent’s Purchase, nhstateparks.org/find-parks-trails/mt-washington-state-park) is the highest peak in the northeastern U.S.
  • Currier Museum of Art 150 Ash St. in Manchester, 669-6144, currier.org
  • Castle in the Clouds 455 Old Mountain Road in Moultonborough, 476-5900, castleintheclouds.org
  • Strawbery Banke Museum 4 Hancock St. in Portsmouth, 433-1100, strawberybanke.org

NH Organization You’d Give $1 million to if You Won the Lottery

  • Best of the best: Aviation Museum of New Hampshire 27 Navigator Road in Londonderry, 669-4820, aviationmuseumofnh.org
  • The New Hampshire Food Bank a program of Catholic Charities NH, 700 E. Industrial Park Dr. in Manchester, 669-9725, nhfoodbank.org
  • Manchester Animal Shelter 490 Dunbarton Road in Manchester, 628-3544, manchesteranimalshelter.org
  • CASA of New Hampshire 138 Coolidge Ave. in Manchester, 626-4600, casanh.org
  • Animal Rescue League of NH 545 Route 101 in Bedford, 472-3647, rescueleague.org

NH Person, Place or Thing You Want to Say Thank You To

  • Most thanked: Gov. Chris Sununu, who will finish his fourth term as governor in January 2025
  • Readers’ moms and/or dads
  • Justin Spencer of the band Recycled Percussion and the TV show Chaos & Kindness
  • Jeff Rapsis, executive director of the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, who also performs live music to accompany screenings of silent films (see silentfilmlivemusic.blogspot.com) (and is a Hippo associate publisher)
  • All first responders
  • Journey 333 — “Tricia and Janice at Journey Fitness 333 in Londonderry, N.H., for helping me gain my confidence back and being the sweetest people!” said one reader
  • The Old Man of the Mountain — “Thank you for looking over us for so long. Rest in Peace!!!” said one reader
  • Tupelo Music Hall — “for keeping music alive,” said one reader
  • Fritz Wetherbee, who appears on WMUR’s New Hampshire Chronicle

Your Favorite New Hampshire Fun Fact

Most favorite: That our motto is “Live Free or Die”

  • New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any coastal U.S. state
  • We (still, mostly) have the first-in-the-nation presidential primary
  • The one-time existence of the Old Man in the Mountain (RIP)
  • We have no sales or income tax
  • Chicken tenders were invented here
  • First man in space Alan Shepard was from New Hampshire (born in Derry)
  • Elm Street in Manchester is the longest dead-end street in the U.S.
  • New Hampshire had the first free tax-supported public library in the nation (as explained by peterboroughtownlibrary.org).
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was created in New Hampshire (in Dover, where there are public markers about the Turtles’ creation including a manhole cover, dover.nh.gov).

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Things We Forgot to Ask About

Best NH Food Product

Laurel Hill Jams and Jellies (laurelhilljams.com) offers a wide variety of flavors: fruit (such as strawberry rhubarb, Marvelous Multiberry, Raspberry Lavender), Summit Wines (Rosé, Pinotage, Moscato), tea (Earl Grey, chamomile) and spirits (Captain Banana’s Jam, Screwdriver Jelly). In 2023, Rachel Mack and Sara Steffensmeier took over from founder Sue Stretch. See the website for all the offerings.

Best Children’s Birthday Party Business That Comes to You

Party Palace features more than 45 costumed characters and offers live character entertainment at a variety of occasions including business events and children’s parties, where the mission is to empower children “through fun and engaging activities,” according to the business’s website, apartypalace.com

Best Dance Studio

Dimensions in Dance (84 Myrtle St. in Manchester; dimensionsindance.com, 668-4196) offers camps and classes for the youngest dancers (“Twos in Tutus”) through adult. Dimensions is also the home of Ballet Misha, a dance company that presents productions such as the run of The Nutcracker that was performed at the Dana Center in December.

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99 Awesome Things to do This Spring

Compiled by Amy Diaz
adiaz@hippopress.com

Spring is full of awesomeness.

Spring officially began March 19 and unofficially ends Memorial Day weekend when we start to slide into summer mode. Between now and then there are oodles of fun indoor, outdoor, artsy, music-y, foodie, bookworm-ish things happening. Here are 99 to consider putting on your calendar.

1. Golf! In a Facebook post last week, Derryfield Golf Course & Country Club (625 Mammoth Road in Manchester; derryfieldgolf.com, 669-0235) announced that nine holes would open on March 18. Call or go online to book a tee time.

2. Watch some indoor hockey action at the Black Ice Pond Hockey Championships Friday, March 22, through Sunday, March 24, at Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett. The games are free to watch. See blackicepondhockey.com and the event’s Facebook page for schedule updates.

3. Skate! Kick off your weekend at Remix Skate & Event Center (725 Huse Road in Manchester; skateremix.com, 912-7661), which offers all-ages roller skating from 3 to 8 p.m. and 18+ Friday Night Flashbacks from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with a DJ — on Friday, March 22, the scheduled DJ is DJ Steve Fox, according to the venue’s Facebook page. Tickets for the adult portion of the evening cost $20 (which includes skate rental). See the website for tickets and for the rest of the week’s schedule.

4. Get kooky at the Pinkerton Players production of The Addams Family at the Stockbridge Theatre (44 N. Main St. in Derry; stockbridgetheatre.showare.com) on Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 24, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15.

5. Root for the lacrosse teams at Southern New Hampshire University. The men’s team’s next home game is scheduled for Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m. at Mark A. Ouellette Stadium on the SNHU campus (the stadium is on Victory Lane in Hooksett) versus American International College. The women’s next home game is Friday, March 22, at 5 p.m. versus Franklin Pierce University. Regular season games are free to attend; see snhupenmen.com for the full schedule.

6. Get more maple. Ben’s Sugar Shack (8 Webster Hwy. in Temple; bensmaplesyrup.com) continues its tours of the syrup operation on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday March 24, as well as Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the website.

7. Catch Rivier Raiders men’s baseball on Sunday, March 30, when they play a doubleheader against Norwich at noon and 3 p.m. at Historic Holman Stadium (67 Amherst St. in Nashua). The women’s softball team plays at Raider Diamond and their first home games will be against Fitchburg State on Saturday, March 23, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Games are free to attend. See rivierathletics.com.

8. Cheer the Rivier College Raiders men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. The next home game for the men’s lacrosse team will be Saturday, March 23, at noon, on Joanne Merrill Field at Linda Robinson Pavilion when they face Dean College. The women’s team’s next home game is Saturday, March 30, at noon when they face New England College. The games are free to attend. See rivierathletics.com.

9.Watch the Southern New Hampshire University Penmen baseball team play the Saint Anselm Hawks at Penmen Field on Wednesday, March 27, at 3 p.m. The women’s softball team will play a doubleheader against Mercy University at home on Saturday, March 23, with games at noon and 2 p.m. at the SNHU Softball Field (on Eastman Drive). The women will then play American International College on Sunday, March 24, at noon and 2 p.m. See snhupenmen.com for the schedule.

10. Catch Avenged Sevenfold with special guests Poppy and Sullivan King on Saturday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the SNHU Arena (555 Elm St. in Manchester; snhuarena.com). Tickets cost $34.95 through $129.95.

11. Laugh at the Mike Koutrobis Comedy Special Recording onSaturday, March 23, at 8 p.m. at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St.; nashuacenterforthearts.com). Tickets cost $27. See the story on page 36.

12. Hear the Sounds of Seattle, a show featuring Five Against None (a Pearl Jam tribute band) and Song Garden (a Chris Cornell tribute band) on Saturday, March 23, at 9 p.m. at Angel City Music Hall (179 Elm St. in Manchester; angelcitymusichall.com). Tickets cost $10 for this 21+ show. See the website for Angel City’s full line-up this spring, including Legends of Rock night on Saturday, April 27, featuring tributes to AC/DC, Social Distortion and the Ramones.

13. Keep the St. Patrick’s Day spirit going at the Manchester St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 24, at noon on Elm Street stepping off from Salmon and Elm streets and heading to Central and Elm streets, according to saintpatsnh.com. The Citizens Shamrock Shuffle, a 2-mile run/walk on Elm Street, starts at 11 a.m. (with a Lil’ Leprechaun Run for ages 8 and under at 10:30 a.m); see millenniumrunning.com/shamrock for details on the race and to register.

14. Listen to author Chris Bohjalian discuss his works including his newest book The Princess of Las Vegas in conversation with NHPR’s Rick Ganley on Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at BNH Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com). Tickets cost $39 for one person and one hardcover copy of The Princess of Las Vegas or $49 for two admissions and one book. Author Julia Alvarez will also appear on the BNH Stage this spring on Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m. In the Chubb Theatre, also part of the Capitol Center for the Arts’ stages, author David Sedaris will talk on Sunday, April 21, at 7 p.m. and author Erik Larson will discuss his work on Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m.

15. Enjoy “An Evening of A Capella with Tonehenge and the Afternotes” on Wednesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St. in Concord; theaudi.org). Admission is free, doors open at 7 p.m. Other shows at the Audi this spring include William Florian in Concord on April 13 and The Shana Stack Band on April 24.

16. Read readers’ picks! Hippo’s Best of 2024 is slated to hit streets next week, Thursday, March 28. Get all the winners in categories like best pizza, best margarita, best doughnut and some things that have nothing to do with food.

17. Thou shalt check out Cecil B. DeMille’s first crack at The Ten Commandments, the 1923 silent film that blends the story of Moses with a modern (1920s modern) story, which will screen with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis on Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m. at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org). Tickets cost $10.

18. Watch the movies of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Friday, March 29, with a reception at 6 p.m. and screening at 7 p.m. at the BNH Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com). See the website for different ticket packages including an online-only option.

19. Put on your fuzzy ears and your unicorn horn for a presentation of Bubbly Beautiful Kitty-Corn by the book’s author Shannon Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, creators of the Kitty-Corn series, on Friday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. at Gibson’s Bookstore (45 S. Main St. in Concord; gibsonsbookstore.com). Other author events this spring include Howard Mansfield for his book I Will Tell No War Stories on April 25 and Jilly Gagnon with her book Love You, Mean It on May 7.

20. Shop Concord’s Giant Indoor Yard Sale on Saturday, March 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord), according to the arena’s schedule of events.

21. Get some Saint Anselm College Hawks lacrosse. The women’s team’s next home game is Saturday, March 30, at noon against the D’Youville University Saints. The men’s team will play its next home game on Saturday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m. versus the Bentley University Falcons. Both games take place at Grappone Stadium on the Saint Anselm College campus in Manchester. See saintanselmhawks.com. Games are free to attend.

22. Cheer on the Saint Anselm College Hawks baseball team, whose upcoming home games include Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, at noon, both at Sullivan Park on the Saint Anselm College campus in Manchester. The women’s softball team will play their next home games on Saturday, March 30, at noon and 2 p.m., both against the Assumption Greyhounds, at the South Athletic Fields on the Saint Anselm College campus. See saintanselmhawks.com. Games are free to attend.

23. Root for your faves at Road to WrestleMania on Saturday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the SNHU Arena (555 Elm St. in Manchester; snhuarena.com). Tickets cost $30 to $125.

24. Enjoy a chocolate bunny or a full brunch buffet with the many Easter eats offerings. Easter Sunday is March 31; check out all the dine-in and takeout food offerings in this week’s Hippo on page 26.

25. Laugh with the Queen City Improv troupe. They will perform on Monday, April 1, at Stark Brewing Co. (500 Commercial St. in Manchester) from 7 to 9 p.m. Or catch them at Chunky’s (707 Huse Road in Manchester; chunkys.com) on Friday, April 19, at 8 p.m., where tickets cost $20. See all of their upcoming shows at queencityimprov.com.

26. Listen to a conversation between writers Joe Hill and Michael Koryta, who writes under the name Scott Carson, on Monday, April 1, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Nashua Public Library (2 Court St. in Nashua). Tickets cost $10 for general admission, $39 for admission and a book. See nashualibrary.org.

27. Try new brews during NH Craft Beer Week 2024, running Thursday, April 4, through Saturday, April 13. The week will feature more than 120 events throughout New Hampshire, according to nhbrewers.org, where you can check back for updates of events including Pint Days (April 7-13).

28. Watch lots of movies at the New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival, which will run April 4 through April 14, with a bonus week of virtual screenings through April 21. The festival kicks off on Thursday, April 4, with a reception at 5:15 p.m. at the Spotlight Room at the Palace Theatre in Manchester followed by a screening at 7 p.m. of Remembering Gene Wilder. Events take place at theaters and locations throughout the state. See 2024nhjff.eventive.org for this year’s line-up of films and events and the available film ticket packages.

29. Meet Robert Frost when actor Gordon Clapp performs as the poet in Robert Frost: This Verse Businesson Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at the Stockbridge Theatre (44 N. Main St. in Derry; stockbridgetheatre.showare.com). Tickets cost $25 and $30.

30. Catch Club D’Elf on Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. at BNH Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com). Tickets cost $30.75 in advance, an additional $5 at the door. The BNH Stage will feature several other concerts this spring including Senie Hunt (in the Cantin Room) on April 7, Mullett on May 18 and the Granite State Blues Challenge on May 19.

31. See Rufus Wainwright perform on Thursday, April 4, at 8 p.m. at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; tupelomusichall.com), one of the venue’s many standout shows this spring. Tickets cost $54 or $59. Other shows on the schedule include Spyro Gyra’s 50th Anniversary tour (March 23 at 8 p.m.), comedy night on April 13, Tusk (Fleetwood Mac tribute) on April 20 and more.

32. Meet Pete the Cat at the Books Alive! event at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St. in Dover; childrens-museum.org) on Friday, April 5, at either 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. and Saturday, April 6, at either 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. On both days, play sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. (the Friday also features “First Friday” play time from 4:15 to 7 p.m.). Admission costs $12.50 for adults and kids over 12 months old, $10.50 for 65+.

33. Shop the Made In NH “Try It & Buy It Expo” scheduled for Friday, April 5, from 1 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Center of New Hampshire Expo Center, DoubleTree By Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel. Admission costs $8 for adults, $7 for 65+, and is free for kids under 14, according to businessnhmagazine.com/events/made-in-nh-expo, where you can purchase tickets.

34. Sing “bum bum BUM” when So Good: the Neil Diamond Experience tribute show comes to the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org) on Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $29 to $39.

35. Hear the American Spiritual Ensemble, described as featuring singers, an accompanist and an African drummer having a “repertoire ranging from spirituals to classical to jazz and Broadway numbers highlighting the Black experience” on Friday, April 5, at 8 p.m. at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com). Tickets cost $43.75. The show is one of many concerts at the Cap Center this spring including Buddy Guy on April 12, Gregorian: Pure Chants in Concert on April 20, Straight No Chaser on their Yacht Rock Tour on May 5, and Kansas on May 10.

36. Find new reads, meet authors and get tips for writing your own book at the Derry Author Fest onSaturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Derry Public Library (64 E. Broadway, Derry, 432-6140, derrypl.org), which will feature workshops, panels and networking for aspiring authors and dabblers. Attendees can stay all day or just drop in for a session. Book sales and signings are interspersed between workshops. The day begins with a keynote address from Virginia MacGregor. See derryauthorfest.wordpress.com/schedule for a detailed schedule.

37. Shop the Capital City Craft Festival on Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord) featuring more than 100 artisans selling arts, crafts, specialty foods and more, according to castleberryfairs.com. Admission costs $8 for adults, under 14 get in free.

38. Get literary at Exeter Litfest, a free event (donations welcome) on Saturday, April 6, at Exeter Town Hall (Front Street) and Exeter Library (4 Chestnut St.). A kick-off party will be held Friday, April 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Exeter Public Library with a free concert by Sharon Jones. Events on Saturday include a Crime and Mystery Brunch at Sea Dog restaurant, tickets required; an event with children’s authors Matt Tavares and Suzanne Slade at the Exeter Public Library at 11 a.m.; poetry readings, writers’ panels and author talks during the afternoon; a book-swap table; and a keynote address with Andre Dubus III at 4 p.m. at Exeter Town Hall. See exeterlitfest.com.

39. Get a taste of the classical music of Spain and Spanish composers at Bolero!, a concert from the New Hampshire Philharmonic on Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m. at the Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive in Salem). Tickets cost $5 to $35 and the Sunday show has an online option. See nhphil.org.

40. Watch The Peking Acrobats on Sunday, April 7, at 4 p.m., one of several shows coming to the Nashua Center for the Arts this spring. Tickets cost $29 to $59. See nashuacenterforthearts.com for more on this and other shows such as Preacher Lawson (April 6), Adam Ezra Group (April 20), Rodrigo Y Gabriela (May 5) and more.

41. Get eye protection. There’s going to be a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, and the Granite State will have a good view of it (weather permitting). Northern New Hampshire will see the sun completely blocked, while the rest of the state will see it mostly blocked. Get your eclipse glasses before they sell out, if you want to look at the sun during the eclipse. Regular sunglasses are not good enough.

Then, check out one of these pre-eclipse events. On Wednesday, March 27, at 6:30 p.m., the New Hampshire Astronomical Society presents “What to Expect from a Solar Eclipse” at Derry Public Library (64 E. Broadway, Derry, derrypl.org, 432-6140); register to attend at the library’s website. See nhastro.com for more events from the Astronomical Society. On Tuesday, April 2, from noon to 1 p.m. Plymouth State University professor and planetarium director Dr. Brad Moser presents a “Lunch and Learn” at the Puritan Backroom in Manchester; tickets cost $15 per person, which includes a lunch buffet and a pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses. Get tickets at plymouth-usnh.nbsstore.net/lunch-and-learn-eclipse. And on Wednesday, April 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. the UNH Department of Physics and Astronomy welcomes the public to a free informal all-ages event, “The Science of Solar Eclipses,” on the UNH Durham campus. See extension.unh.edu/eclipse for details and lots of eclipse-related resources.

If you want to go up north for eclipse totality, check out visitnh.gov/solareclipse for viewing tips, event listings, and lodging information to make a night of it.

On eclipse day here in southern New Hampshire, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord (2 Institute Dr., 271-7827) will have eclipse activities included with general admission from noon to 5 p.m., such as making a pinhole camera, eclipse puzzles and lunar phases wheels. As of March 14, eclipse glasses were still available in the Center’s store, $2.50 per pair. See starhop.com for details and eclipse info. And in Manchester, SEE Science Center will host an eclipse viewing event at Arms Park from 2 to 4:30 p.m. with music from WZID and activities to explain eclipse science. Visit see-sciencecenter.org for eclipse simulation videos and more. SEE’s gift shop has eclipse glasses for $2 per pair.

42. Buy your peanuts and Cracker Jack as the Fisher Cats hit the field for the first home game of the season on Tuesday, April 9, at 6:35 p.m. for the first of six games against the Somerset Patriots. On the schedule for the first games: The first 500 fans at Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games get a magnet Fisher Cats’ schedule, mascot Fungo will get a birthday celebration on Friday (April 12), Saturday’s game (April 13, 4:05 p.m.) will celebrate the team’s 20th anniversary and Sunday’s game (April 14, 1:05 p.m.) will include “Kids Run the Bases” after the game. Other promotions include: Copa La Diversión when the team becomes the Gatos Feroces de New Hampshire (April 25 at 6:35 p.m.); Wizards & Wands on May 9 at 6:35 p.m.; and the Manchester Chicken Tenders night (when the team is briefly rebranded) on May 11 at 4:05 p.m. See milb.com/new-hampshire for the schedule and tickets.

43. Laugh with the comedy of Bob Marley, who will perform five shows at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org) Thursday, April 11, through Sunday, April 14. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. every day except Saturday, when shows are at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Tickets cost $43.50.

44. Get poetic at the Nossrat Yassini Poetry Festival, a free weekend of readings, workshops, performances and prize winners hosted by the UNH English Department Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14, at the UNH Durham campus. Get the details at unhpoetry.com/about.

45. See the Majestic Theatre’s production of the comedy Birthday Club, described as “Five women get together for their birthdays, each with her own story, to drink, celebrate, commiserate and support each other,” on Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester; majestictheatre.net). Tickets cost $15 to $20.

46. Enjoy another installment of “A Distant Conversation,” a series looking at the works of two artists, when “Filippo de Pisis and Robert Mapplethorpe: A Distant Conversation” opens on Saturday, April 13 (it runs through Monday, Sept. 2), at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org). April 13 is also the Second Saturday, when admission is free for New Hampshire residents, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

47. Find comics at the Little “Giant” Comics Old School Comics Show (oldschoolcomicshow.com) on Saturday, April 13, at Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord). Tickets cost $15 for general admission, $50 for VIP admission (an hour early at 9 a.m. plus a red carpet entrance and a goodie bag), and for $125 admission that includes a dinner on Friday, April 12, with Jim Steranko (described as “one of the most prolific artists in the history of comics”), according to the website. The show features comic book vendors and comic book artists, including what the show is billing as Venompolooza, a line-up of artists who have worked on Marvel’s Venom comics.

48. Celebrate Earth Day with the Stonyfield Earth Day 5K on Saturday, April 13, at 9 a.m. The race begins and ends at Londonderry’s West Soccer Complex, near the site of the Stonyfield Earth Day Fair. The day will also include a kids’ fun run, vendors, games, a beer garden for ages 21+ and more, according to millenniumrunning.com/stonyfield5k, where you can register.

49. Take the kids to the Nashua Chamber Orchestra’s free family concert on Saturday, April 13, at 2 p.m. at the Nashua Public Library (2 Court St. in Nashua). Kids can get an up-close look at the instruments, according to nco-music.org.

50. Catch one or both of the Candlelight concerts at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org) on Wednesday, April 17. At 6 p.m. it’s “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and More” and at 8:30 p.m. the show is “A Tribute to Adele.” Tickets to either show cost $43 to $60.

51. Join New Hampshire Roller Derby by checking out the Rookie Camp Meet and Greet on Thursday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Manchester Ballers Association (3 Sundial Ave. in Manchester), according to a post on the organization’s Facebook page. No experience is necessary. New Hampshire Roller Derby begins its lineup of home games with a mixed public scrimmage on Saturday, May 11, at 5 p.m. at JFK Memorial Coliseum (303 Beech St. in Manchester). See nhrollerderby.com.

52. See Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which will runat the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org) Friday, April 19, through Sunday, May 12, with shows on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $28 to $49.

53. Rediscover vinyl on Record Store Day, Saturday, April 20, when participating stores will have special releases. Locally, participating indie stores include Metro City Records in Manchester, Music Connection in Manchester, Pitchfork Records in Concord, Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough and Bull Moose in Salem, according to recordstoreday.com, where you can find more about the offerings.

54. Search for treasures at the Granite State Trading Cards & Collectibles Show on Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord). Admission costs $5, free for 12 and under. See jimmysplacesportscards.com.

55. Celebrate Earth Day at the New Hampshire Audubon’s Massabesic Center (26 Audubon Way in Auburn; nhaudubon.org) on Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The schedule includes a bird walk, amphibian exploration, a wildlife photography tour, the “Where Does It Go” game show, Raptor Encounter, a Caterpillar Lab presentation and an afternoon nature hike as well as attractions throughout the day such as a master gardener, composting demonstrations, upcycled crafts and seed giveaways, according to the website, where you can purchase tickets for $15 for a family of four. The Walking Gourmet food truck is also scheduled to attend.

56. Discover Discover WILD New Hampshire Day hosted by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (11 Hazen Drive in Concord) on Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free family event features live animals, big fish, trained falcons, archery, bb gun shooting, retriever dog demonstrations, kids’ crafts, hunting and fishing gear and more, according to wildlife.nh.gov/event/discover-wild-new-hampshire-day-2024.

57. Get a view of history when Howard Mansfield discusses his book I Will Tell No War Stories: What Our Fathers Left Unsaid About World War II on Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m. at Balin Books (375 Amherst St., Somerset Plaza, in Nashua; balinbooks.com). Other author events at Balin this spring include Maggie Thrash on April 27 and Karen Eber on April 28.

58. Listen to Symphony NH’s presentation “New World: Dvorak and Sparr”featuring Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9 in E Minor ‘New World’” and the world premiere of composer D.J. SParr’s “Extraordinary Motion: Concert for Electric Harp” with poet/co-creator Janine Joseph and harpist Rosanna Moore, on Saturday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Keefe Center for the Arts (117 Elm St. in Nashua). Tickets cost $10 to $63. See symphonynh.org.

59. Picture it: Nashua. Sunday, April 21. Golden Girls: The Laughs Continuecomes to the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St.; nashuacenterforthearts.com) on with shows at 2 and 7 p.m. See goldengirlstour.com for a peek at the show. Tickets cost $52 to $72. The show will also be at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com) on Thursday, April 11, at7:30 p.m.

60. Shop the spring fair at the Craftworkers’ Guild in Bedford (3 A Meetinghouse Road in Bedford, at the bottom of the hill in the library parking lot; thecraftworkersguild.org) Thursday, April 25, through Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fair features crafters working in a variety of media; items are also available to see and purchase online.

61. Load up on books on Saturday, April 27, Independent Bookstore Day, when participating bookstores hold events and have special offerings. See indiebound.org/independent-bookstore-day and check with your favorite bookstore for updates.

62. Watch Glitches in Reality, a magic show starring Simon Coronel, on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 28, at 2 p.m. at Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org). Tickets cost $39 to $49.

63. Learn some important comics history at Portsmouth Mini-Con 40 on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Dover-born Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles featuring Turtles creator Kevin Eastman and other creators and artists including from Mirage Studios. See portsmouthminicon.com for ticket package options.

64. Eat as many tacos as you can handle at the Taco Tour Manchester 2024 on Thursday, May 2, from 4 to 8 p.m. More than 60 restaurants will serve tacos for $3 each (bring cash), according to tacotourmanchester.com, where you can find information on parking and street closures, and a tour map.

65. Nosh for a cause at Taste of the Towns on Thursday, May 2, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Sheraton Nashua (11 Tara Blvd. in Nashua), where attendees will enjoy food and drink from area restaurants, distilleries and more. Tickets cost $75 and help support Nashua Center. See nashuacenter.org/taste-of-the-towns.

66. Get a spoof of Broadway when Forbidden Broadway comes to the Stockbridge Theatre (44 N. Main St. in Derry; stockbridgetheatre.showare.com) on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and $45. See a trailer at forbiddenbroadway.com.

67. Laugh with Kevin Nealon, who comes to the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; tupelomusichall.com) on Thursday, May 2, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $45 to $60.

68. Dream big outdoor dreams at the New Hampshire Farm, Forest & Garden Expo on Friday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Deerfield Fairgrounds. The event will feature industry experts, barnyard animals, a kids’ ag discovery zone, 4-H and FFA competitions, workshops and more, according to nhfarmandforestexpo.org, where you can purchase tickets for $10 per person, ages 12 and under get in free.

69. Catch one of the New Hampshire Fiddle Ensemble spring concerts in New Hampshire: Friday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Rochester Opera House (31 Wakefield St. in Rochester); Saturday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Interlakes High School Auditorium (1 Laker Lane in Meredith); Saturday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Exeter Town Hall (9 Front St.) and Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at the Derryfield School (2108 River Road in Manchester). The ensemble features fiddles, guitars, banjos, mandolins, basses, harps, cellos and more, according to a press release. See nhfiddleensemble.org for tickets.

70. See Wheatus, the band known for its 2000 release “Teenage Dirtbag,” on Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m. at Jewel Music Venue (61 Canal St. in Manchester; jewelmusicvenue.com). Tickets cost $20; find a link to purchase tickets on the venue’s website.

71. Enjoy some Jane Austen live when the Community Players of Concord present Pride & Prejudice on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St. in Concord). Tickets cost $20 for adults, $17 for 65+ or 17 and under; see communityplayersofconcord.org.

72. Take in a classic when the Nashua Theatre Guild presents Thornton Wilder’s Our Town on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at the Court Street Theater (14 Court St. in Nashua). For tickets see nashuatheatreguild.org.

73. Get your free comics on Saturday, May 4, Free Comic Book Day, the annual celebration of comics featuring specially published books handed out at area comic book shops. See freecomicbookday.com for a peek at some of the comics that will be on offer and for participating shops in your area such as Merrymac Games & Comics (550 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack; merrymacgc.com) and Collectibles Unlimited (25 South St. in Concord; collectiblesunlimited.biz). Both Double Midnight Comics (252 Willow St. in Manchester; 341 Loudon Road in Concord, dmcomics.com) participate in the day; in years past, Manchester’s store has hosted costume contests and other events. (See the website for updates.) In Rochester, JetPack Comics (37 N. Main St.; jetpackcomics.com) is billing this year’s townwide celebration as the final Rochester Free Comic Book Day Festival, with comics available at locations throughout downtown Rochester, an event hall with vendors and guests, a costume contest and more.

74. Go outdoors to shop the farmers markets. Farmers markets return to the outdoors starting in May, with the Concord Farmers’ Market slated to return to its spot next to the Statehouse on Saturday, May 4, from 8:30 a.m. to noon and the Salem NH Farmers Market heading back to the Mall at Rockingham Park on Sunday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. See agriculture.nh.gov for a listing of markets.

75. Run or walk the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire’s Run the Rail Trail 5-Miler on Saturday, May 4, at 9 a.m. beginning and ending at the museum, 27 Navigator Road in Londonderry. See aviationmuseumofnh.org to register.

76. Shop the Squam Lake Vintage & Makers Market at Cottage Place at Squam Lake (1132 Route 3 in Holderness; cottageplaceonsquam.com) on Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission is $5. The market will feature vendors, live music, food and a mobile bar, according to an email.

77. See cats compete at the Seacoast Cat Club’s Cat Show on Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord). Tickets cost $10 for adults and ages 12 and up, $8 for seniors, veterans and ages 5 to 12, according to a post on the group’s Facebook page. The event also features cat coloring books for the first 50 kids, vendors for cats and pets, a concession stand and more, the post said.

78. Catch one of the four scheduled spring concerts — titled Putting It All Together — of the New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus. The first show is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church (3 Lutheran Drive in Nashua). The Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; rextheatre.org) has the show on its schedule for Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. (tickets cost $25). Other shows are scheduled for Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 19, at 3 p.m. at locations to be announced. See nhgmc.com for updates.

79. Run the Camienne Financial Cinco De Miles 5K on Sunday, May 5, at 9:15 a.m. at a race that begins and ends near Bedford High School. After the race, 21+ racers can enjoy a Modelo Oro or Teremana Small Batch Tequila Margarita, according to millenniumrunning.com/cinco, where you can register.

80. Join Lyle Lovett and Lisa Loeb: In Conversation and Song on Monday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St.; nashuacenterforthearts.com). Tickets cost $79 to $149.

81. Run or walk in the Rock ‘N Race 5K Race/Walk on Wednesday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Statehouse Plaza in Concord. The event, which benefits Concord Hospital Payson Center for Care Care’s HOPE Resource Center, according to concordhospital.org, where you can register to run. In addition to the race, the event features food, live music and more.

82. Get caffeinated at the Northeast Coffee Festival taking place Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at locations in Concord. On Friday a market and live music will run from noon to 8 p.m. on South Main Street, with a workshop series on the BNH Stage. On Saturday the market and music run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with workshops from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a Latte Art Throwdown at 4 p.m., according to northeastcoffeefestival.com, where you can purchase passes.

83. Watch the magic at the Peacock Players’ teen mainstage production of Godspell Friday, May 10, through Sunday, May 19, with shows at 7 p.m. on Fridays and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $15 to $18 for adults, $12 to $15 for seniors and students. See peacockplayers.org.

84. See Catch Me If You Can The Musical presented by the Actorsingers on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m. at the Keefe Center for the Arts (117 Elm St. in Nashua). Tickets cost $20, $18 for seniors and students. See actorsingers.org.

85. Ready thyself for the New Hampshire Renaissance Fair, taking place Saturday, May 11, and Sunday May 12, and then Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, in Fremont. See nhrenfaire.com for details and updates.

86. Load up on plants. Spring is garden club sale season, when you check out plant offerings and get tips from local gardeners. The Amherst Garden Club (amhrestgardenclub.org) will hold its plant sale on Saturday, May 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wilkins School (80 Boston Post Road). The Colonial Garden Club of Hollis (hollisgardenclub.org) will hold its plant sale on Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to noon at Lawrence Barn Field on Depot Road. The May Plant Sale for the Bedford NH Garden Club (bedfordgardenclubnh.org) is Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bedford Village Common (15 Bell Hill Road). The Nashua NH Garden Club (sites.google.com/view/nashuanhgardenclub) is also scheduled to hold its sale Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Nashua Historical Society. Know of an upcoming plant sale? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

87. See the Flying Gravity Circus, featuring performers ages 10 to 18, on Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 11, at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts (56 Mont Vernon St. in Milford; amatocenter.org/riverbend-youth-company, 672-1002). See flyinggravitycircus.org for tickets.

88. Enjoy a comics and pop culture convention geared to younger fans at Kids Con New England, which will take place Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord). Tickets for kids ages 5 and up cost $15; tickets for a family of four cost $55. The day features comic and children’s book creators; superheroes and other costumed characters; creative workshops; Jedi and superhero training; magic shows; face painting; video and tabletop games; a scavenger hunt, and more, according to kidsconne.com, where tickets are on sale now.

89. Enjoy a Mother of a Comedy Show featuring comedians Kelly MacFarland, Christine Herley and Kerrie Louise at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org) on Saturday, May 11, at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30.

90. Hear French Fantasies, a concert from the NH Philharmonic focusing on the masterworks of French Romanticism, on Saturday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m. at Sainte Marie Roman Catholic Church (378 Notre Dame Ave. in Manchester). Tickets cost $5 to $35. See nhphil.org.

91. Catch comedian Ace Aceto Saturday, May 11, at 8:30 p.m. at Headliners Comedy Club at the DoubleTree in downtown Manchester. Tickets cost $20 at the door and at headlinersnh.com, where you can see the full lineup of comedians performing at Headliners’ weekly shows.

92. Plan that Mother’s Day meal. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12, and some restaurants are already taking reservations. At the Bedford Village Inn, for example, they’re offering a three-course Mother’s Day dinner with seatings from 2 to 7 p.m. (bedfordvillageinn.com). Keep an eye on Hippo’s food section for more meals for mom. Know of a big Mother’s Day to-do? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

93. Have fun at the Kiwanis Club of Concord’s Spring Fair, scheduled to run Thursday, May 16, through Sunday, May 19, at the Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road in Concord), according to the arena’s spring schedule. See concordkiwanis.org or find them on Facebook for updates.

94. Eat at the Greek Food Festival at St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church (500 W. Hollis St. in Nashua; 889-4000, nashuagreekfestival.com) on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18. Keep an eye on the website for details on when and how to load up on delicious gyros, pastries and more.

95. Introduce kids to a classic story and to the stage with the Majestic Academy of Dramatic Arts’ production of Stuart Little on Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 18, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester; majestictheatre.net). Tickets cost $10 to $15.

96. Shake off all the liars and the dirty dirty cheats at Shake It Off! A (Taylor’s Version) Tribute featuring the Swiftie Tribute Band playing the music of Taylor Swift at three shows at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org) on Friday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 18, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.Tickets cost $35 to $40.

97. See a New Hampshire premier production of the musical Between the Linespresented Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19,by Riverbend Youth Company at Amato Center for the Performing Arts (56 Mont Vernon St. in Milford; amatocenter.org/riverbend-youth-company, 672-1002).

98. Buckle up for Slabfest III, a two-day celebration of heavy noise and experimental and electronic music, at Jewel Music Venue (61 Canal St. in Manchester; jewelmusicvenue.com) Saturday, May 18, at 4 p.m. through Sunday, May 19, at midnight, according to a post on the venue’s Facebook page. Check back for ticket information; the post lists 32 bands slated to perform. See slabfestnh.com for more on the event and bands.

  1. Embrace neo-swing with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, who will perform on Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m. at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; tupelomusichall.com). Tickets cost $45.

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