The Weekly Dish 21/06/10

News from the local food scene

Pre-order your Greek favorites: Get your orders in now for the annual Lamb Barbecue & Food Festival, which returns to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (1160 Bridge St., Manchester) on Saturday, June 19. Now through June 13, pre-orders are being accepted online at, for items like lamb barbecue or marinated chicken dinners, pastichio (Greek lasagna), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and spanakopita (spinach pie), plus a number of fresh pastries, from baklava to kourambiethes (powdered cookies) and koulourakia (butter cookies topped with sesame seeds). Pickups will be on the day of the festival, between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., at a designated time. Walk-ins will be available starting at 2 p.m. until food is gone (takeout only, no seating available).

More summer markets return: The New Boston Farmers Market will kick off its season on Saturday, June 12, at its usual spot on the corner of Route 13 and Meetinghouse Hill Road. According to co-manager Allison Vermette, the market will welcome craft vendors back for the first time since 2019 and will also feature some new prepared food vendors and likely food trucks throughout the season. Local musicians are due to perform on the nearby gazebo each week. The market will continue every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 9. Visit On Tuesday, June 15, the Bedford Farmers Market is expected to begin its summer season — that market is back at the parking lot at 209 Route 101 in Bedford for the second consecutive year, manager Lauren Ritz told the Hippo. While there won’t be meat or coffee vendors this year (due to Wicked Good Butchah and Flight Coffee Co. being in the same shopping plaza), Ritz said there will be around 20 local vendors selling everything from fresh produce to maple syrup, baked goods, seafood and more. The Bedford Farmers Market will continue every Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. through Oct. 12. Visit For a full list of market openings, check out our coverage of the summer farmers market season in the Granite State, found on page 20 of the May 20 edition of the Hippo.

Harvest at home: Join the Derry Public Library for Adventures in the Vegetable Garden, a two-part virtual program featuring Judith Taylor of Seeds2Plate. She’ll answer multiple questions related to your home vegetable garden, like how to combat pests and when to be ready to fire up the grill. Water management, fertilizing, harvesting and other topics will be discussed. Part 1 of this program is set for Wednesday, June 16, with Part 2 on Wednesday, June 23 — both will take place via Zoom from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Visit to register.

The Sun Pub at Pats Peak opens: The Sun Pub, an outdoor dining experience at Pats Peak (686 Flanders Road, Henniker), will open for the season on Thursday, June 10, according to a press release. A new pub-style menu to be served on Pats Peak’s valley lodge deck includes various appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, salads, pizzas and more, plus weekly food and drink specials, and desserts like soft-serve ice cream, homemade strawberry shortcake and s’mores. New this year, there will be a full bar available, in addition to beer and wine options. Outdoor games like cornhole and disc golf baskets are also set up. Dinner is served under the lights every Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m., weather permitting, and also around Pats Peak’s private event schedule. Visit

On The Job – Tom Betteridge

Tom Betteridge

Mechanical engineer

Tom Betteridge is vice president of mechanical engineering at Turner Building Science and Design, a Concord-based team of engineers specializing in creating safe, comfortable and energy-efficient indoor environments.

Explain your job and what it entails.

I work with clients to solve their building issues having to do with heating and cooling, indoor air quality and ventilation. … I work primarily at the desk, designing mechanical systems and generating drawings and blueprints and specifications for the construction [workers]. … Then I’ll go to the construction site to verify that the construction was done properly.

How long have you had this job?

A little over two and a half years.

What led you to this career field?

I was really good at math and science in high school, and I enjoyed understanding physics and how things are put together. That drove me to go to engineering school. There, I really enjoyed thermodynamics as a course curriculum. After [school], I had an opportunity to join an engineering consulting firm. … I used to work for a national firm and traveled all over the country, and I realized I wanted to spend more time at home with my family and have a bigger impact locally. Turner gives me the ability to do that, so I [took a job there].

What kind of education or training did you need?

You need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and you need to sit for two eight-hour exams: a fundamentals of engineering exam, which you typically take around graduation from college, and then, after a four-year internship, a professional engineering exam. If you pass those exams, you become a licensed professional engineer, and you become legally liable for the designs you produce.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

Business casual.

How has your job changed over the last year?

A lot of our [work] lately has been dealing with Covid-related building issues, [designing systems for] clients wanting to make sure their buildings are safe for their staff.

What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

It doesn’t get easier. Even when you learn how to do the tasks better and more efficiently, that gets boring, so you strive for the next challenge, and the challenges keep growing. But embrace those challenges, because when you look back, you realize you’ve accomplished more than you ever thought you would.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

Because I work so much on the technical side of things, it’s hard to put things into layman’s terms for people, but if someone is willing to have a conversation and ask additional questions to gain clarity, they end up learning something, and I end up learning how to see things from a different perspective.

What was the first job you ever had?

I worked as an electrical contractor for a small electrician firm. I did that from when I was 15 years old through college.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Get to know your boss’s boss. It’s not about trying to step over your boss; it’s about getting a bigger perspective and being able to look past what your supervisor needs from you to see what their boss requires of them.

Five favorites
Favorite book:
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Favorite movie: Top Gun
Favorite music: Mostly rock and alternative
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite thing about NH: The outdoors

Featured photo: Tom Betteridge

Treasure Hunt 21/06/10

Dear Donna,

I hope you can help me out. Perhaps 25 years ago, when my aunt died, her daughter told my mom she could choose something from my aunt’s home. My mom chose this piece, which she had long admired. She thought it was beautiful but I have never liked it a bit. Still, though my mom died a dozen years ago I have kept it as she thought it was valuable. Please tell me otherwise so I can finally give it to somebody, anybody, without feeling guilty.
Harvey from Manchester

Dear Harvey,
First let’s say there shouldn’t be any guilt if you find this piece a new home with someone who will cherish it again. What you have is a piece of flashed ruby glass. Most likely it had two other smaller candle holders, one on either side of the center bowl. It was meant to be placed on a mantel or in the middle of a table.

Flashed glass was very popular during the late 1880s and early 1900s. It was done by a specific method that applied a film-like covering over a clear glass (this is a very simplified explanation). The design was then etched to appear through the ruby or cranberry coloring to expose the clear glass. It looks beautiful but most didn’t hold up well in time. Scratching was an issue.

The deer design was a common one and very eye-pleasing. Now with that all taken into account, the value of a piece like yours would be in the $85 range to a new buyer. It’s a tougher market these days because it’s harder to fit into a modern decor. Still a beautiful piece, but it may be tough to sell. I hope you do find a new admirer for it.

Kiddie Pool 21/06/10

Family fun for the weekend

Monster summer fun

Start working on your best monster cartoon! Studio 550 Art Center in Manchester is encouraging kids of all ages to stay creative this summer by hosting a Summer Monster Cartoon Contest. Design a monster, give it a name and tell a story about it with words and images. According to a press release, the contest is open to all ages, but submissions will be divided into appropriate age groups. Judges will be looking for creativity, attention to detail and a good storyline. The deadline for submissions is 8 p.m. on the day of the annual summer Monster Hunt, Aug. 21. For submission details, visit or call 232-5597. According to the release, first-place winners will receive a Clay Workshop for two, second place will get a Take & Make home art kit, and third place will receive complimentary table fees for a Paint-your-Own-Handmade Pottery visit for two. Double Midnight Comics and the Manchester Historic Association will also be offering prizes.

Wheels up

Check out vintage cars at the Manchester Firing Line (2540 Brown Ave., on Monday, June 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. The car show is free and will take place each Monday through Labor Day. You can bring your own vintage car or just come to check out the cars on display.

Roller skating returns from now through July 30 at the Douglas N. Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-2784, Skating hours are Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 and skate rentals are available for $5 at the Pro Shop.

Kids in the kitchen

The Culinary Playground (16 Manning St., Derry) has several upcoming cooking classes for kids. Teams of one adult and one child age 6 or up can make homemade pasta for cheese ravioli together on Sunday, June 13, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The cost is $50 per team. On Saturday, June 19, kids can bake a glazed blueberry lemon coffee cake (10 a.m. to noon for ages 6 to 10, and 1 to 3 p.m. for kids over 10), and on Sunday there’s a class for making cinnamon rolls as a special Father’s Day treat. Visit for a full schedule and prices.

Featured photo:

More whimsy, less work

Nothing wrong with a lazy gardener

I saw a friend recently who was bubbly and excited about her garden. “It’s full of color and stays that way all summer!” she exclaimed. “And it is NO work! All I have to do is water it daily, and give it a little fertilizer every few weeks.” She invited me to come see it, so of course I went.

What my friend has is a small outdoor courtyard that she has transformed into an outdoor room, complete with a small metal table and chairs sitting on an outdoor carpet. She has purchased lots of annuals and is growing most in pots (hence the need for daily watering), along with a few easy perennials.

The house is L-shaped and defines two sides of the space, with a low railroad tie retaining wall for the third side; the front is open and once allowed her to park her car right by the side door to the house. No more.

In addition to the annual flowers, she has a few perennials growing in the ground and lots of whimsy. She stops whenever she sees a “FREE” sign by the side of the road. A chair with no seat? Bring it home, paint it bright blue, and put it in the garden. See a sculpture of a head, or an interesting vase at a yard sale? Get it!

The annual flowers she generally buys as hanging baskets because they have well-established plants with blossoms from Day 1. Lots of color. Supertunias, verbenas, and marigolds of various descriptions are some of her favorites. When she gets them home she takes them out of their horrid plastic pots and puts them in nice ceramic pots. If she goes away for a few days she has someone come by to water.

A vining or trailing plant she likes this year is one I have never seen before. It has bright red trumpet flowers and is a Proven Winner trademarked plant called Lofos Wine Red, a lophospermum hybrid. Keep it in sun with mostly dry planting mix, and it blooms all summer, attracting hummingbirds. In general, trademarked plants like this offer good results with minimum effort.

Right now she has a big pink bleeding heart in full bloom, though that will bloom only for a few weeks. She has a groundcover that I use in shady areas called sweet woodruff that serves as a nice filler near it and is blooming right now. It has fragrant white blossoms and delicate lacy foliage that stays green and handsome all summer. Later an astilbe will blossom nearby.

Hosta is another important plant in her garden. She has many with large, green leaves. And although hostas are generally grown for their foliage, later in the summer they will send up flower stalks with white blossoms.

The side of the space that gets the most afternoon sun is filled with Stephanandra incisa or lace shrub. This is a deciduous woody shrub that spreads by root and roots in wherever the tips of branches touch the ground. It only gets a couple of feet tall, but has very dense foliage — dense enough that grasses and weeds do not come through. It blooms in June, with small white star-shaped flowers. The leaves are shaped a bit like maple leaves. Her stephanandra was planted 25 years ago and still looks great — it covers the bed that is over 50 feet long and 4 feet wide.

More than a dozen years ago I planted bulbs for my friend in another part of the property. My goal was for her to have blossoms from March until late May from spring bulbs, and the bulbs are still going strong: first snowdrops in March, followed by crocus, then daffodils. I selected daffies for their bloom time: some early, some mid-season, some that bloom in late May. Like everything at this property, the goal was to have no-labor or low-labor beds, so the beds were well-mulched with chipped bark.

What other plants grow at this garden? She had a steep rocky hillside with gravelly, poor soil. Grass grew on it, but it was impossible to mow. Someone suggested a creeping sumac, and she had it installed. It is variously called skunkbush sumac, creeping three-leafed sumac, or “Autumn Amber.”

The Autumn Amber sumac is a trademarked variety and boasts of ”a profusion of small chartreuse-colored flowers that bloom in delicate clusters before new foliage appears.” In fall the leaves transform into “striking hues of ambers, yellows, oranges and/or reds before dropping for the winter”. I have only seen it once before, even though it is hardy to Zone 4. It is supposed to be very good for tough, hot dry places. It is dense enough that I saw no grass growing through it.

Each year my friend picks a theme for her garden by the kitchen door. This year she focused on birds: metal birds, colorful bird houses, hummingbird feeders. She likes to find flourishes for the plants at yard sales and thrift stores, trying to keep her purchases to under $5.

I asked my friend how she would describe herself as a gardener. “I’m a lazy gardener who doesn’t like to weed. I love color and whimsy and like to repurpose everyday objects.” Nothing wrong with that — it gives her more time to volunteer, and take walks on her woodland trails.

Featured photo: Lofos Red Wine attracts hummingbirds. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 21/06/10

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

“Cat of Nine Tales” by Gail Smuda, featured in “Fur & Feather/Paws and Claws” exhibit. Courtesy photo.

Welcome back: After being closed for 15 months, MainStreet BookEnds (16 E. Main St., Warner) is reopening to the public on Tuesday, June 15. “We have reorganized, and it feels like our grand opening back in 1998,” the store stated in a recent email newsletter. “We are only here now because of all the support and encouragement you so generously gave during this time.” Store hours will be Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit or call 456-2700.

The Trumpet Gallery (8 Grove St., Peterborough) reopened last week and is celebrating its return with a meet-the-artists day on Saturday, June 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery’s resident artists represent a variety of media, including jewelry, sculpture, wood, drawing, painting, watercolor, wax and more. Gallery hours are Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 801-4502.

All about animals: An animal-themed art exhibit, “Fur & Feathers/Paws & Claws,” will open at Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen) on Saturday, June 12, with an artist reception from 1 to 3 p.m. It will feature paintings, drawings, prints, photography, jewelry and one-of-a-kind artist books by eight artists reflecting on the world of domesticated pets, work and farm animals. The exhibit will remain on display through Sunday, July 18. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 975-0015.

Nature reimagined: The New Hampshire Art Association’s exhibition “Transformations: Nature and Beyond” featuring the work of digital artist William Townsend remains on view at the gallery in the Concord Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (49 S. Main St.) until Thursday, June 17. Townsend uses digital tools and techniques to alter line, form and color in photographs of natural objects, such as trees in a forest or seaweed on a beach. In some pieces, Townsend duplicated and inverted parts of the photograph and merged the parts into a symmetrical form, or converted the scene into an oval shape. “These effects transform the original photographed objects into images beyond nature,” an NHAA press release said about the exhibit. “His goal is to reveal the mystery and wonder that live within the realm of the mystical imagination.” All works are for sale. Viewing hours at the Chamber gallery are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit or call 431-4230.

Young performers at the Palace: The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester) presents James and the Giant Peach Jr., performed by its youth company, on Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 12, at noon. Based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story, the musical follows a boy named James who discovers a magic potion that grows a giant peach, which he takes on a journey across the ocean with a group of singing insects. The Palace Theatre’s teen apprentice company will perform Xanadu Jr. on Thursday, June 17, and Friday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. Inspired by the 1980 film of the same name starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, the musical comedy follows a struggling artist, Sonny Malone, who is visited by a Greek muse disguised as a mortal named Kira, who inspires him to build a disco roller skating rink. Tickets for both shows cost $12 for children and $15 for adults. Visit or call 668-5588.



NEW HAMPSHIRE SOCIETY OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTISTS’ 21ST ANNUAL EXHIBIT Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord). On view through June. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit

GALLERY ART A new collection of art by more than 20 area artists on display now in-person and online. Creative Ventures Gallery (411 Nashua St., Milford). Call 672-2500 or visit

ART ON MAIN The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce present a year-round outdoor public art exhibit in Concord’s downtown featuring works by professional sculptors. All sculptures will be for sale. Visit

Fairs and markets

CONCORD ARTS MARKET Outdoor artisan and fine art market. Every third Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June through October. Rollins Park (33 Bow St., Concord). Visit

Special events

14TH ANNUAL NASHUA INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE SYMPOSIUM Three renowned sculptors are creating three outdoor sculptures for permanent installation in the city. The public can watch the sculptors work and interact with them during breaks (masks and social distancing required). Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through June 12. A closing ceremony and sculpture reveal will take place June 12 and will be recorded for online viewing. Visit

• “FIRED UP!” OUTDOOR CERAMICS SHOW AND KILN OPENING Hosted by Kelley Stelling Contemporary at the studio of NH Potters Guild artist Al Jaeger (12 Perry Road, Deerfield). Sat., June 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit



THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE The New Hampshire Theatre Project presents. Virtual. Thurs., June 10, through Sat., June 12, 8 p.m., and Sun., June 13, 2 p.m. Tickets $20. Visit

•​ PIPPIN Seacoast Repertory Theatre PAPA Jr. presents. Virtual and in person at 125 Bow St., Portsmouth. June 10 through July 18. Visit or call 433-4472.

DISCOVERING MAGIC WITH ANDREW PINARD The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Wed., June 16, 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for members, seniors and students, and $16 for senior members. Call 715-2315 or visit

BETRAYAL The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents. 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. June 16 through July 3, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday, at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $27 to $37. Visit

QUEEN CITY IMPROV The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Thurs., June 17, 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for members, seniors and students, and $16 for senior members. Call 715-2315 or visit

XANADU JR. Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester. Thurs., June 17, and Fri., June 18, 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for children and $15 for adults. Visit

•​ STEEL MAGNOLIAS The Majestic Theatre presents. Majestic Studio Theatre, 880 Page St., Manchester. June 18 through June 27, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit or call 669-7469.

COMEDY OUT OF THE ’BOX The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Thurs., June 24, 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for members, seniors and students, and $16 for senior members. Call 715-2315 or visit

PIPPIN The Palace Teen Company presents. Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester. Thurs., June 25, and Fri., June 26, 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for children and $15 for adults. Visit

•​ BRING IT ON Kids Coop Theatre presents. Fri., June 25, and Sat., June 26. More information is TBA. Visit

TRUE TALES LIVE Monthly showcase of storytellers. Held virtually via Zoom. Last Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., now through June, and September through December. Visit

SLEUTH The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents. 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. June 30 through July 17, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., plus matinees on Tuesday, July 6, and Thursday, July 8, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $37. Visit

•​ MAD HAUS The Seacoast Repertory Theatre presents. 125 Bow St., Portsmouth. Wed., June 30, and Sun., Aug. 18, 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15. The show is also available to livestream. Visit

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tues., July 6, through Thurs., July 8, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

PETER PAN The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tues., July 13, through Thurs., July 15, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

•​ ‘TIL BETH DO US PART The Majestic Theatre presents. Virtual and in person at Majestic Studio Theatre, 880 Page St., Manchester. July 16 through July 25, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit or call 669-7469.

WIZARD OF OZ The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tues., July 20, through Thurs., July 22, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

•​ CABARET The Seacoast Repertory Theatre presents. 125 Bow St., Portsmouth. July 22 through Sept. 5. Visit or call 433-4472.

THE LITTLE MERMAID The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tues., July 27, through Thurs., July 29, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tues., Aug. 3, through Thurs., Aug. 5, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

RAPUNZEL The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tues., Aug. 10, through Thurs., Aug. 12, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

CINDERELLA The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tues., Aug. 17, through Thurs., Aug. 19, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

SLEEPING BEAUTY The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents. Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Tues., Aug. 24, through Thurs., Aug. 26, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit

HEATHERS THE MUSICAL Presented by Cue Zero Theatre Company. Oct. 22 through Oct. 24. Derry Opera House, 29 W. Broadway, Derry. Visit

THAT GOLDEN GIRLS SHOW: A PUPPET PARODY at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St. in Concord; on Sat., Nov. 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $35.



• “GATHER AT THE RIVER” A performance by Pemigewasset Choral Society and New Hampshire Master Chorale. Sat., June 19, 6:30 p.m., and Sun., June 20, 4 p.m. Rotary Amphitheater, Riverfront Park, behind Main Street, Plymouth. Admission is free. Donations appreciated.

SUZUKI STRINGS Violin students perform. Canterbury Shaker Village(288 Shaker Road, Canterbury). Sun., Aug. 15, 4 p.m. Suggested donation $10 per person. Call 783-9511 or visit

There’s no play like Holmes

Full-scale productions return to the Hatbox Theatre

The stories of Sherlock Holmes come to life in Phylloxera Productions’ Holmes and Watson, opening June 11 for a two-week run at the Hatbox Theatre in Concord.

Director and producer Gary Locke long dreamed of bringing a Sherlock Holmes play to the New Hampshire stage but was disappointed by the scripts he found. An avid fan of the classic mystery series, he had high standards, and he wasn’t prepared to settle.

“Most Sherlock Holmes plays are just dreadful. They have their own ideas of how the characters act and look, and they make it into a joke,” Locke said. “I’m a person who wanted to do absolute justice and fealty to Conan Doyle and his world and his characters. I wanted to do the best Sherlock Holmes play possible.”

Then, he came across Holmes and Watson, a play written by Jeffrey Hatcher, published in 2017. Hatcher “knew his stuff,” Locke said; he had written a number of Sherlock Holmes adaptations for stage and screen throughout his career, including the screenplay for the 2015 feature film Mr. Holmes,starring Ian McKellen as the iconic detective. Locke was sold.

“I started reading it and was so excited, like a little kid at Christmastime. I just couldn’t believe how good it was,” he said. “I said to myself, ‘I’ve finally found it. I’ve found my Sherlock Holmes script. I can finally tick this box on my bucket list.’”

Interweaving three Sherlock Holmes stories, Holmes and Watson is set in 1894 England, following a scuffle between Holmes and his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty that resulted in Holmes going over the Reichenbach Falls. The detective is assumed by most to be dead, though his body is never found. While mourning the loss of his best friend, Dr. Watson receives a telegram informing him that three men being held in a remote asylum off the coast of Scotland have claimed to be Holmes, still alive. The detective work falls on Watson now, as he must discover which one of the men, if any, is the real Holmes.

“It’s a story about friendship, loyalty and solving a very strange puzzle, with lots of surprises,” Locke said.

Locke said he’s confident the play will earn the approval of Sherlock Holmes purists like himself.

“If you know Holmes, you’ll see how Hatcher’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Holmes stories shines through,” he said. “He’s got the characters and their voices down so good.”

For those not as familiar with the series, Locke said, Holmes and Watson is “a genuine crowd-pleasing puzzle” that engages the audience in trying to solve the mystery themselves.

“It’s loaded with clues, and if you really pay attention you can follow the clues and figure it out,” he said.

The Hatbox Theatre’s first mainstage production of the year, Holmes and Watson marks the theater’s “re-re-opening,” theater owner and operator Andrew Pinard said; after the initial Covid shutdown, the Hatbox reopened in July 2020 with a mainstage production of Phylloxera Productions’ Copenhagen, with plans to follow with Holmes and Watson,but the strict capacity limitations being enforced at that time, combined with the public’s reluctance to start attending live shows again, made it impossible to generate a profit, and Pinard decided to reclose the theater.

Holmes and Watson … got pushed back until audiences were ready and we could accommodate enough audience members safely,” Pinard said.

Now, as long as masks are worn and seats are distanced at least three feet apart, the Hatbox is able to operate at around 85 percent capacity.

“This enables us to … get to a point where productions not only break even but might actually come out ahead a little for their next production,” Pinard said.

For Locke, the reward of this show comes not from making a profit, he said, but from giving New Hampshire theater artists and theater-goers an opportunity to return to what they love.

“The cast is having the time of their lives, and I know that the audience is going to be really appreciative of the show we put on,” he said. “Obviously I don’t want to lose money, but if I do, at least I know it was well-spent.”

Holmes and Watson
Hatbox Theatre, Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord
When: June 11 through June 27, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $22 for adults; $19 for students, seniors and members; and $16 for senior members
Info: Call 715-2315 or visit

Featured photo: Holmes and Watson at the Hatbox Theatre. Courtesy photo. Courtesy photo.

Kids Summer Guide to 2021

Fairs, theater events, hands-on art and more ideas for a season of family fun

As the (very strange) school year comes to a close, you may be wondering what you’re going to do with the kids during the hot weeks ahead. Luckily, there are a whole lot more in-person activities and events planned, from family-friendly musicals and concerts to fairs and festivals. Make plans now to keep the kids happy all summer long.

Fairs & fests

From town fairs and festivals to local sporting events, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and soak up the summer this year. Check out this list of happenings and be sure to call or visit their websites for the most up-to-date information as it becomes available.

• The Wilton Main Street Association will present its annual SummerFest on Saturday, June 19, featuring fireworks and live performances on Carnival Hill in Wilton. Visit

• Don’t miss the Hillsborough Summerfest, set for Thursday, July 8, through Sunday, July 11, at Grimes Field (29 Preston St., Hillsborough). The event features carnival rides, local vendors, games, live entertainment, fireworks on Saturday and a town parade and car and truck show 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 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Visit

• The Raymond Town Fair, a multi-day event on the town common featuring contests, parades, live entertainment, children’s activities and more, is scheduled to return from Friday, July 9, through Sunday, July 11. Admission is free. Find them on Facebook @raymondtownfair for updates.

Sanbornton’s 250th Anniversary Celebration and Old Home Day is scheduled for Saturday, July 10, at 19 Meetinghouse Hill Road. See “Sanbornton Old Home Day” on Facebook.

• The North Haverhill Fair is tentatively scheduled to return from Wednesday, July 28, through Sunday, Aug. 1, at 1299 Dartmouth College Hwy., featuring live entertainment, 4-H animal events and other family-friendly activities. Visit

• The Belknap County Fair is due to return on Saturday, Aug. 7, and Sunday, Aug. 8, at 174 Mile Hill Road in Belmont. Visit for updates.

• There will be a summertime family fun day at The White Birch Catering & Banquet Hall (222 Central St., Hudson) on Sunday, Aug. 8, from noon to 5 p.m., featuring children’s sack races, a bounce house, games, food and more. Email

Hudson’s Old Home Days are due to return to the grounds outside of the Hills House (211 Derry Road, Hudson) from Thursday, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug. 15, and will feature local vendors, carnival games, demonstrations, food and more. Visit

• The town of Epsom has a three-day Old Home Weekend celebration scheduled from Friday, Aug. 13, through Sunday, Aug. 15, at Webster Park in Epsom. Planned events include fireworks, a parade, a bike decorating contest and more. Visit

• The Great New England BBQ & Food Truck Festival will return to the Hampshire Dome (34 Emerson Road, Milford) on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring food trucks, live music, a cornhole tournament and a “Kidz Zone,” where there will be face-painting, bounce houses and various contests. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the gate (free for kids ages 14 and under). Visit

Free Comic Book Day might be a little later than normal this year but the annual celebration of comics is on the schedule — Saturday, Aug. 14. Stay tuned to your favorite comic book shop to find out what they are doing for the big day and get a preview of the special free comic book day issues (including some all-ages offerings) on

Londonderry’s Old Home Days return from Wednesday, Aug. 18, through Saturday, Aug. 21, and will feature town parades, games, local vendors and more. Find them on Facebook @townoflondonderryoldhomeday.

• Intown Concord’s annual Market Days Festival, a three-day free street festival, is set to return to Main Street in downtown Concord from Thursday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Aug. 21. Visit for the list of ongoing happenings, which have included tastings, live entertainment, food trucks, outdoor movie screenings, a kids zone and other family-friendly activities.

• The Cornish Fair is due to return to 294 Town House Road from Friday, Aug. 20, to Sunday, Aug. 22, featuring agricultural and 4-H exhibits and shows, arts and crafts, midway rides, stage shows, food and commercial exhibits. Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6 to 12 and free for kids under 6. Weekend passes can also be purchased for $30 each. Visit

• The annual Battle of the Badges Baseball Classic will return to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester) on Friday, Aug. 20. Team Police and Team Fire will renew their friendly rivalry in this game to support programs at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). Visit

History Alive returns to the town of Hillsborough on Saturday, Aug. 21, and Sunday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sponsored by the Hillsborough Historical Society, History Alive features live historical re-enactors, live music, presentations about the Abenaki tribe, demonstrations and a children’s parade on Sunday. Visit

• Field of Dreams Community Park (48 Geremonty Drive, Salem) has a family fun day event scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28, from noon to 6 p.m., when there will be local vendors, children’s games, face-painting, a Touch-a-Truck, live music, food trucks and much more. Admission is free. Visit

Plaistow’s Old Home Day will be held on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 51 Old County Road in Plaistow, and is expected to feature local vendors, live entertainment, fireworks, raffles and a road race. Visit

Gilford’s Old Home Day is currently scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28, and will likely feature activities like a pancake breakfast, a parade, food and craft booths, games and field events, live music, fireworks and more. Visit

Candia’s Old Home Day is set for Saturday, Aug. 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Candia Moore Park, next to the town hall (74 High St.), and will likely feature wildlife exhibitors, local vendor booths, a parade and more. Visit

• The Hopkinton State Fair is due to return to 392 Kearsarge Ave. in Contoocook from Thursday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 6. A Labor Day weekend tradition, the fair will run for five days this year, featuring midway rides, food, educational exhibits, live entertainment and more. Fair hours are from 5 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday. Tickets are $29 for teens and adults 13 and up, $22 for seniors over 60, $19 for kids ages 3 to 12 and free for kids under 3. Visit

• The Manchester Rotary Club will present the 20th annual Cruising Downtown classic car show event on Saturday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Around 1,000 unique vehicles will be on display along Elm Street and nearby areas. Visit

Live entertainment

From theater and music to magic and puppets, there are all kinds of shows for kids and families this summer, both indoors and outdoors.

• The Palace Youth Theatre performs James and the Giant Peach Jr. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester) on Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 12, at noon. Tickets cost $12 for children and $15 for adults. Visit or call 668-5588.

• Children’s musicians Miss Julieann & Mr. Joey will perform a free concert at Abbie Griffin Park (6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack) on Wednesday, June 23, at 6 p.m. Visit

• The Kids Coop Theatre performs Bring It On on Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26. More information is TBA. Visit

Magician BJ Hickman performs a family-friendly magic show at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester) on Wednesday, June 30, and Thursday, July 1, at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit or call 668-5588.

Cactus Head Puppets will perform a free puppet show in the park at The Belknap Mill (25 Beacon St. E., Laconia) on Monday, July 5, at 10 a.m. Visit

• The 2021 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Series presents a series of shows at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester) with a Tuesday-through-Thursday run every week in July and August. Shows include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs July 6 through July 8; Peter Pan July 13 through July 15; Wizard of Oz July 20 through July 22; The Little Mermaid July 27 through July 29; Beauty and the Beast Aug. 3 through Aug. 5; Rapunzel Aug. 10 through Aug. 12; Cinderella Aug. 17 through Aug. 19; and Sleeping Beauty Aug. 24 through Aug. 26. Showtimes are at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit or call 668-5588.

• Magician, balloon sculptor and flea circus ringmaster Ed Popielarczyk will perform a free, family-friendly magic show at the Candia Pond Park gazebo (behind the library, 55 High St.) on Wednesday, July 7, at 6:30 p.m. Visit

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown will be at the Prescott Park Arts Festival (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) July 9 through Aug. 15, with shows daily at 7 p.m. Visit

• Children’s musician Mr. Aaron will perform a free concert in the park at The Belknap Mill (25 Beacon St. E., Laconia) on Wednesday, July 14, at 10:30 a.m. Visit

• Family-friendly indie band Bee Parks and The Hornets will perform at Canterbury Shaker Village(288 Shaker Road, Canterbury) on Sunday, July 18, at 4 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $10 per person. Call 783-9511 or visit

Everlasting Characters, a group of fairytale character performers, present “Royal Ball,” a free show at the Pelham Village Green (in front of the library, 24 Village Green) on Wednesday, July 21, at 6 p.m. Visit

• Children’s musician Steve Blunt will perform a free concert at Meetinghouse Park at Ordway Park (Main Street, Hampstead) on Wednesday, July 21, at 6 p.m. Visit

• The Windham Actors Guild presents a youth production of Seussical outside at Windham High School (64 London Bridge Road, Windham) Thursday, July 22, through Saturday, July 24. More information is TBA. Visit

• Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock St., Portsmouth) hosts a kids night of outdoor entertainment featuring music by Mr. Aaron and a bubble magic show by Kali and Wayne of Sages Entertainment on Tuesday, July 27, at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. Call 433-1100 or visit

• Folk-rock band Knock on Wood performs a free, family-friendly concert at the Village Common Park Gazebo in Bedford (Bell Hill Road) on Wednesday, July 28, at 6 p.m. Visit

Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate will perform a free show of pirate-themed kids music at Abbie Griffin Park (6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack) on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m. Visit

Outdoor fun

Watch a game, head to a farm or stroll through vibrant gardens or wooded trails.

• The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are back to 100 percent capacity at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester), and will next take on the Hartford Yard Goats during a home stand that begins Tuesday, June 15, at 6:35 p.m. Upcoming theme days include Comic-Con night on Friday, June 18, “Kids Run the Bases” on Sunday, June 20, and Sunday, July 25, and fairly regular fireworks.

• The Nashua Silver Knights recently kicked off their 2021 season and will next play at Holman Stadium (67 Amherst St., Nashua) on Saturday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m., against the Norwich Sea Unicorns. Upcoming theme days include Health Care Heroes Night & Fireworks Friday on Friday, June 18, and Father’s Day Necktie Giveaway and Kids Club Sunday on Sunday, June 20. Visit

• The New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton) will host Children’s Day on Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can get their pictures taken with the farm’s animals and try their hand at horseshoes, bean bags, hoops of grace and more. The museums annual Fourth on the Farm Fourth of July celebration will be held on Sunday, July 4, from noon to 3 p.m. Guides in period dress will be serving strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream on the porch, while local musicians will be performing and tractor rides will be available throughout the farm. Museum admission costs $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors over age 64, $5 for kids ages 4 and up and free for kids under age 4 and for members and active military. The Farm Museum summer hours (running through August) are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Visit

• Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (534 Route 3, Holderness) celebrates its new raptor exhibit with “All About Birds Day,” held the first Thursday of each month from July through September. There will be a pop-up Animal Encounters exhibit featuring live raptors, with naturalists standing by to answer questions. Animal Encounters will also host a pop-up exhibit on “Fur, Feathers, and Scales Day” on Thursday, July 15, featuring mammals, birds and reptiles; and at “Have to Have a Habitat Day” on Tuesday, Aug. 10, with animals that live in various kinds of habitats. The live animal exhibit and hiking trails are open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the website, where you can pre-purchase passes. Admission is $18 for adults and seniors, $13 for ages 3 to 15 and free to children ages 2 and under. Visit

• Do a little hiking and see some animals at the Educational Farm at Joppa Hill (174 Joppa Hill in Bedford;, 472-4724) which is open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. A trail map is available online, as is an animal scavenger hunt. A farm stand is also open Wednesday, 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the website said.

Charmingfare Farm (774 High St. in Candia,, 483-5623) features farm animals (alpacas, cows, peacocks, goats and more), some of whom you can meet in the petting zoo, and animals in the wildlife exhibits (racoon, fox, bobcat, owl), according to the website, where you can purchase tickets for $22 per person (kids 23 months and younger get in free). The farm is open to visits Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Travel back to a simpler time at Canterbury Shaker Village (288 Shaker Road, Canterbury), a restored Shaker village and history museum with historic buildings, interactive exhibits and activities, educational programs and more. The Village grounds and trails are open every day from dawn to dusk with no admission fee. Guided tours will be offered Tuesday through Sunday starting on June 12, with outdoor general tours at 11 a.m., indoor general tours at 1 p.m., and indoor themed tours at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for general tours and $25 for themed tours and are free for visitors age 25 and under. Purchasing tickets in advance is encouraged, but walk-ins will be permitted based on availability. Call 783-9511 or visit

• Learn about marine life and science at the Seacoast Science Center (Odiorne Point State Park, 570 Ocean Blvd., Rye). The museum features indoor and outdoor tide pools and touch tanks with live animals and a variety of hands-on exhibits. Exhibits currently on display examine whales and seals; coral reefs; undersea exploration and engineering; the marine habitat on the Gulf of Maine; keeping New Hampshire beaches clean and more. Current hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting June 23, hours will expand to Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry is permitted on the hour. Getting tickets in advance is encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome if space allows. Tickets cost $10 for adults and kids age 12 and up; $8 for seniors age 65 and up; $8 for active duty military and veterans; $5 for kids ages 3 through 11; and are free for kids under age 3. Call 436-8043 or visit

• Spend the day out in nature at Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road, Hollis) which has more than 35 miles of maintained trails, open every day from dawn to dusk. The trails cut through diverse landscapes, including forests, fields and wetlands and are home to a variety of wildlife. Admission is free. A number of different trail maps and accompanying guidebooks with pictures for identifying wildlife are available on the website. Call 465-7787 or visit

• The New Hampshire Audubon’s McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord) is now open to visitors, featuring live animals and exhibits, including the Reptile Room and raptor mews, and a Nature Store. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The trails and gardens at both the McLane Center and the Massabesic Audubon Center (26 Audubon Way, Auburn) are open daily from dawn to dusk with no admission fee. Call 224-9909 or visit

Arts & museums

You can work a pottery wheel, see animals up close, reenact history and more at these special events and programs hosted by local museums and educational centers.

• The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St. in Dover;, 742-2002) is open Wednesday and Sunday mornings and Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings and afternoons. Go online to reserve a play session. Newly open this year is the Play Patio billed as a place for “messy creative fun,” according to the website.

• Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester) offers Creative Studio, a themed art-making project for families, every second Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. which is free for New Hampshire residents. On the third Saturday of every month, it hosts Art for Vets Family Days, where veterans and active military members and their families get free admission to the museum and can enjoy art-making activities and a complimentary lunch. Registration is required for all special events. Reserved timed tickets for the Currier are available online. The museum is open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $15 per person ($13 for seniors, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 to 17 and free to children 12 and under). Call 669-6144 or visit

• Studio 550 Art Center (550 Elm St., Manchester) offers an all-ages family clay sculpting workshop for $25 per person and a family pottery wheel workshop for kids ages 9 and up for $30 per person every Saturday at 4, 5:15 or 5:30 p.m., depending on the day. Call 232-5597 or visit

• Join the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire for its annual “Welcome Summer” Fly-In Barbecue on Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the hangar of Jet Aviation at Nashua Airport (83 Perimeter Road). Families will have the chance to check out all kinds of vintage aircraft and cars, as well as the Aviation Museum’s “Rob Holland Experience” virtual reality exhibit. A barbecue buffet will be served at the hangar at noon. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for museum members, $10 for kids ages 6 to 12 and free for kids ages 5 and under. The museum is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission costs $10 per person ($5 for seniors, children ages 6 to 12 and veterans and active duty military; children 5 and under get in free) with a family maximum of $30. Visit

• SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St., Manchester) celebrates its kickoff to summer with “BubbleMania,” a science and comedy show by bubble artist and performer Casey Carle, daily from Monday, June 21, through Friday, June 25. Showtimes are at 11 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Tickets cost $5, plus admission, which is $9. SEE Science Center is currently open weekends with reserved time slots available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Starting Monday, June 21, SEE will open seven days a week; reserve a timeslot online. Call 669-0400 or visit

• The American Independence Museum (1 Governors Lane, Exeter) is presenting a modified version of its annual American Independence Festival, offering a series of in-person and virtual events, like a family camp-out on the night of Saturday, July 24, in which participants can play colonial-era games, sing 18th-century songs by the fire and more. The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit

At the library

Libraries across southern New Hampshire have all kinds of in-person and virtual happenings planned for this summer. Some events and activities listed below may only be open to town or city residents, library cardholders or kids who are signed up for the library’s summer reading program, so be sure to check with your local library beforehand.

Amherst Town Library

14 Main St., Amherst, 673-2288,

Weekly storytimes (geared toward ages 3 and up unless otherwise noted): Zoom family storytime is Tuesdays from 10 to 10:45 a.m. (next one is June 15); outdoor family storytime is Thursdays from 10 to 10:45 a.m. on the library lawn, June 17 through Aug. 12; outdoor little listeners (babies and toddlers under 3) is Fridays from 10 to 10:30 a.m. on the library lawn, June 18 through Aug. 13

Bryson Lang, juggler extraordinaire:Monday, June 28, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the library lawn (for kids ages 4 and up; registration is required)

Reptiles on the move: Wednesday, July 7, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. on the library lawn (for ages 5 and up; registration is required)

Zoom pet show:Wednesday, July 14, 2 to 3 p.m. (virtual event)

Wingmasters live animal program:Monday, July 26, from 2 to 2:45 p.m. on the library lawn (for ages 5 and up; registration is required)

Baker Free Library

509 South St., Bow, 224-7113,

Weekly take-home kits:Every Wednesday from June 23 to Aug. 11, participants can register for a take-home kit to learn about that week’s featured animals, take part in virtual activities and create a craft project from home. Themes include “On the Farm,” “Under the Sea,” “On the Ice” and more (kits are designed for kids entering kindergarten through grade 6).

Virtual storytimes:Thursdays, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., June 24 through Aug. 12

Wild About Turtles! Tuesday, June 29, from 6 to 7 p.m. (virtual event)

Unicorns: Break the Cage:Tuesday, July 27, from 6 to 7 p.m. (virtual event)

Bedford Public Library

3 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford, 472-2300,

Summer reading kickoff dance party:Saturday, June 12, 3 to 4 p.m.

Weekly storytimes (registration required): Koala Kids (ages 2 to 4), Tuesdays, June 15 to July 27; Mother Goose (age 0 to 24 months), Wednesdays, June 16 to July 28, 10 to 10:30 a.m.; Lunch & Listen (ages 6 to 8), Wednesdays, June 16 to July 28, noon to 12:30 p.m.; Pop Up Storytimes (ages 6 and under), Thursdays, June 17 to July 29, 11 to 11:30 a.m.; Safari Storytimes (ages 3 to 5), Fridays, June 18 to July 30, 10 to 10:30 a.m.; all are held on the library lawn

Wildlife Encounters:Monday, June 14, and Thursday, June 17, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (virtual events; for ages 3 and up)

Little Explorers: Fridays, June 18 to July 30, 3:30 to 4 p.m. (virtual events; for ages 6 to 8)

Kamishibai storytime (ages 4 to 9): Monday, June 21, 3:30 to 4 p.m.

Virtual Cooks & Books (ages 8 to 12): Tuesdays, June 22, June 29 and July 6, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Stories with Mischka, the Bedford Police comfort dog (ages 6 and under): Monday, June 28, 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Virtual Science Rocks (ages 8 to 12): Wednesday, June 30, 4 to 5 p.m.

Wild collage poetry (ages 8 to 12): Mondays, July 12, July 19 and July 26, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Messy art (ages 6 to 8): Tuesday, July 13, 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Virtual live animal program with Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (ages 8 to 12): Tuesday, July 20, and Thursday, July 22, 3 to 4 p.m.

Brookline Public Library

16 Main St., Brookline, 673-3330,

Weekly storytimes: Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Brookline Town Hall (limited to Brookline residents only)

Chester Public Library

3 Chester St., Chester, 887-3404,

Weekly storytimes:Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. (next one is June 15); registration is required. All ages welcome.

Washi tape suncatchers craft (ages 11 and up): Wednesday, June 16, 6 p.m. Registration is required, and all materials are provided.

Among Us parties: Thursdays, June 17, July 15 and Aug. 19, 4:30 p.m., all ages

Concord Public Library

45 Green St., Concord, 225-8670,

Take and make craft: funny face frog: Kits will be available to pick up at the library from Monday, June 14, through Friday, June 18, while supplies last.

Virtual storytime: The Beach: Wednesday, June 16, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Take and make craft: standing peacock tail: Kits will be available to pick up at the library from Monday, June 21, through Friday, June 25, while supplies last.

Take and make craft: dragon tail bookmark: Kits will be available to pick up at the library from Monday, June 28, through Friday, July 2, while supplies last.

Derry Public Library

64 E. Broadway, Derry, 432-6140,

Family storytimes on the patio: Mondays, 10 to 10:30 a.m. (except on July 5); registration is required

Upper Room online story and craft time: Fridays, June 11 and June 25, 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Summer reading kickoff party: Tuesday, June 15, all day

Mother Goose on the Loose storytime:Thursday, June 17, 10 to 10:30 a.m.; registration is required

Great New Hampshire animal search:Thursday, June 17, 1:30 to 2 p.m. (virtual event)

Birding sessions: Tuesday, June 22, 11 a.m. to noon, or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Buggy for Clothespin Bugs: Thursday, June 24, 11 a.m. to noon, or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Drum, violin, guitar and keyboard workshop:Wednesday, June 30, 3:30 to 5 p.m., all ages

Goin’ on Safari:Tuesday, July 6, 11 a.m. to noon, or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Three Little Pigs STEM program:Thursday, July 8, 11 a.m. to noon, or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Finding science in folktales: Tuesday, July 13, 1:30 to 2 p.m. (virtual event)

Ocean fish collage: Thursday, July 15, 11 a.m. to noon, or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Mermaids & Mateys:Thursday, July 22, 11 a.m. to noon, or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Monkey See, Monkey Do:Tuesday, July 27, 11 a.m. to noon, or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Campfire stories: Thursday, July 29, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Taylor Library (49 E. Derry Road, Derry)

Get the farmyard beat: Tuesday, Aug. 10, 11 a.m. to noon, or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

End of summer party: Thursday, Aug. 12, 1 to 2:15 p.m. at MacGregor Park, directly outside the library

Dunbarton Public Library

1004 School St., Dunbarton, 774-3546,

Find a Truck family scavenger hunt: Tuesday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (virtual event); scavenger hunt forms can be picked up at the library

Children’s musician Mr. Aaron: Wednesday, June 30, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Reading to therapy dogs (grades 1 through 4): Thursday, July 15, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; registration is required

Virtual program with the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center: Tuesday, July 20, 1:30 p.m.

Griffin Free Public Library

22 Hooksett Road, Auburn, 483-5374,

Weekly storytimes on the patio: Tuesdays, 11 a.m. (next one is June 15); registration is required

Hollis Social Library

2 Monument Square, Hollis, 465-7721,

Music & Movement with Miss Jackie: Friday, June 11, 11 a.m. to noon at Little Nichols Field, just outside the library

DIY mystery craft kit: Wednesday, June 16, 11 to 11:30 a.m.; kits available for pick up at the library

Summer reading kickoff party: Monday, June 28, 2 to 4 p.m. at Lawrence Barn Community Center (28 Depot Road, Hollis)

Hooksett Public Library

31 Mount Saint Mary’s Way, Hooksett, 485-6092,

Weekly storytimes (registration is required): outdoor family storytimes: Wednesdays, 10 to 10:30 a.m., June 23 to July 28; baby rhymes with Miss Lori: Tuesdays, 9:30 to 10 a.m., June 22 to July 27

Kickoff to summer reading with Mr. Aaron: Friday, June 18, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Bubble party: Monday, June 21, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., or 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Kids cook (ages 5 and up): Mondays, July 12, July 19 and July 26, 11 a.m. to noon

Tie-dye day: Friday, July 16, 10 to 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 to 3 p.m. (open to Hooksett Library cardholders only)

Kelley Library

234 Main St., Salem, 898-7064,

Weekly outdoor storytime (ages 3 to 5): Wednesdays, June 23 to July 28, out on the library lawn

Robotics programs (ages 7 to 10): Thursdays, June 24, July 8 and July 22, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., registration is required

Pet show (ages 3 to 12): Tuesday, June 29, 4 to 4:30 p.m. (virtual event)

STEM build & play programs (ages 4 to 6): Thursdays, July 1, July 15 and July 29, 4:30 to 5 p.m.

Fairytale costume contest (ages 3 to 12): Tuesday, July 13, 4 to 4:30 p.m. (virtual event)

Rockabye beats (ages 5 and under): Thursday, July 15, 10 to 11 a.m. (virtual event)

Leach Library

276 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, 432-1132,

Craft time: Monday, June 14, 10 a.m. (virtual event); craft kits are available for pick up at the library

Virtual children’s storytime: Monday, June 28, 10 a.m.

Maxfield Public Library

8 Route 129, Loudon, 798-5153,

Summer reading kickoff event: Magic Show with Mike Bent: Saturday, June 26, 11 a.m.

Live animal event with Squam Lakes Natural Science Center: Saturday, Aug. 7, 11 a.m.

Manchester City Library

Main Branch, 405 Pine St., Manchester, 624-6550; West Branch, 76 Main St., Manchester, 624-6560,

Weekly craft sessions (ages 2 and up): Mondays, 10 to 10:30 a.m., and 3 to 3:30 p.m. (virtual events; next one is June 21; no sessions on July 5)

Family storytimes (ages 2 to 5): Tuesdays, 10 to 10:45 a.m. (virtual events; next one is June 22)

Paddy scavenger hunt: Tuesdays, 3 to 3:30 p.m. (virtual events; next one is June 22)

Mystery afternoons: Wednesdays, 3 to 3:30 p.m. (virtual events; next one is June 23)

Messy animal art (ages 2 to 9): Thursdays, 10 to 10:45 a.m. (virtual events; next one is June 24)

Stories and puppets (ages 2 to 5): Fridays, 10 to 10:45 a.m. (virtual events; next one is June 25)

Create and tell science afternoon (grades 3 to 6): Fridays, 3 to 3:45 p.m. (virtual events; next ons is June 25)

Lego weekend: Saturdays, 10 to 10:45 a.m. (virtual events; next one is June 26)

Teens’ sloth paper take-home craft event: Main Branch, Monday, June 28; materials are available for pickup between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Teens’ seed bomb take-home craft event: Main Branch, Monday, July 12; materials are available for pickup between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Teen event: Summer Olympics trivia: Wednesday, July 21, 3 to 4:45 p.m. (virtual event)

Teens’ loom friendship bracelet take-home craft event: Main Branch, Monday, July 26; materials are available for pickup between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Teen event: Escape room: Wednesday, July 28, 3 to 4:45 p.m. (virtual event)

Merrimack Public Library

470 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 424-5021,

Monthly “Elementary Explorers” STEM program: one Thursday per month, from 3:30 to 4 p.m. (next one is June 17)

Weekly storytimes: Facebook Live storytime (ages 6 and under): Mondays and Fridays, 10:30 to 11 a.m. (next dates are June 21 and June 25, respectively; Read-aloud book club: Tuesdays, June 22 to Aug. 31, 3:30 to 4 p.m. (virtual); Sleepy Stories: Tuesdays, June 22 to Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m. (virtual); Books & Babies (ages 2 and under): Thursdays, June 24 to Aug. 12, 10:30 to 11 a.m. (virtual); Outta School Stories: Thursdays, July 1 and Aug. 5, 3:30 to 4 p.m.

Tween baking challenge (ages 8 to 13): Thursday, June 17, 5 to 5:15 p.m. (virtual event)

Teen fandom trivia night: Friday, June 18, 7 to 8:30 p.m. (virtual event)

Messy Mondays with Miss Jenny: Mondays, June 21 to Aug. 16, 12:30 p.m. (virtual events)

Musical Me: Tuesdays, June 22 to Aug. 10, 10:30 to 11 a.m. (virtual events)

Summer reading kickoff concert: Wednesday, June 23, 6 to 8 p.m.

Animal tracks scavenger hunt: Tuesday, July 6, through Friday, July 9, and Monday, July 12, and Tuesday, July 13, 10:30 a.m.

Wildlife Encounters: Tuesday, July 13, 6 p.m. (virtual)

Outdoor Pokemon party: Friday, July 16, 1 to 3 p.m.

Teddy bear picnic: Wednesday, Aug. 4, noon to 12:45 p.m.

End of summer reading concert with Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate: Wednesday, Aug. 11, 6 to 8 p.m.

Nashua Public Library

2 Court St., Nashua, 589-4600,

Weekly virtual storytimes: Mondays, 10:30 a.m. (next one is June 14)

Monthly Babies & Books storytime: next one is Thursday, June 10, at 11 a.m.

Virtual field trip to the Houston Zoo: Tuesday, June 22, 2 to 3 p.m.

Take and make crafts: Various dates; next one is Monday, June 28

Animal-themed yoga: Tuesday, July 20, 2 to 3 p.m. (virtual event)

Wildlife Encounters program: Wednesday, July 21, 6 to 7 p.m.

Jack: Kid Conservationist: Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2 p.m. (virtual event)

Nesmith Library

8 Fellows Road, Windham, 432-7154,

Music with Mr. Aaron: Thursday, June 10, 10:30 a.m. (virtual event)

Kids’ take-home craft: Monday, June 14; materials are available for pickup at the library from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

June toddler time (ages 3 and under): Monday, June 14, 10:30 a.m., out on the library lawn

June preschool storytime (ages 3 to 5): Thursday, June 17, 10:30 a.m., out on the library lawn

Pembroke Town Library

313 Pembroke St., Pembroke, 485-7851,

Summer reading kickoff program: Drive-thru ice cream social: Wednesday, June 23, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., all ages

Craft Crew (ages 7 and up): Mondays, June 28 to July 26, 3 p.m., registration is required

Weekly storytime (ages 2 and up): Tuesdays, June 29 to July 27, 10:30 a.m., registration is required

Lego club (ages 6 and up): Wednesdays, June 30 to July 21, 3 p.m., registration is required

Rodgers Memorial Library

194 Derry Road, Hudson, 886-6030,

Tween candy bar bingo (grades 4 through 8): Thursday, June 17, 3 to 4 p.m.

Teen candy bar bingo (grades 7 through 12): Thursday, June 17, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Welcome summer party with Steve Blunt: Friday, June 18, 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Tween laser tag (grades 4 through 8): Friday, June 18, 8 to 9 p.m.

Teen laser tag (grades 7 through 12): Friday, June 18, 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Picture Book Posse programs: Mondays, June 21 to July 26, 10 a.m.

Curious Kids programs: Mondays, June 21 to July 26, 1 p.m.

Story Safari programs at Benson’s Park (19 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson): Tuesdays at 10 a.m., Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Thursdays at 10 a.m., dates offered June 22 to July 29

Virtual snack attack (ages 4 through 12): Tuesdays, June 22 to July 27, 3:30 p.m.

Virtual teen gaming club (grades 7 through 12): Tuesdays, June 22 to July 27, 3:30 p.m.

Virtual pajamas and picture books (ages 3 to 7): Tuesdays, June 22 to July 27, 7 p.m.

Mythical creature storytimes (grades 3 through 6): Wednesdays, June 23 to July 28, 10 a.m.

• “Tween Scene” DIY craft programs (grades 4 through 8): Wednesdays, June 23 to July 28, 1 p.m.

• “Teens Only” DIY craft programs (grades 7 through 12): Wednesdays, June 23 to July 28, 3 p.m.

Virtual gaming club (ages 6 to 11): Thursdays, June 24 to July 29, 3:30 p.m.

Songs and snuggles (ages 2 and under): Fridays, June 25 to July 30, 10 a.m.

Creative kids (grades 1 through 5): Fridays, June 25 to July 30, 1 p.m.

Virtual Minecraft club (ages 7 and up): Fridays, June 25 to July 30, 3:30 p.m.

Family yoga (ages 8 and up): Saturday, June 26, at 10 a.m., out on the library lawn

First Friday family candy bingo: Friday, July 2, 6:30 p.m. (virtual event)

Wadleigh Memorial Library

49 Nashua St., Milford, 249-0645,

Baby lapsit: Fridays, 11 a.m. (next one is June 11), no registration required

Family storytimes: Mondays, 10 a.m. (next one is June 14), space is limited to the first 25 people

Pinecone animals craft event (ages 4 to 11): Wednesday, June 16, 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.

Music with Mr. Aaron (ages 10 and under): Wednesday, June 23, 10 to 11 a.m. Space is first-come, first-served and limited to 50 people.

Tape resist painting craft event (ages 4 to 11): Wednesday, June 30, 1 to 2 p.m.

Wildlife Encounters event (ages 3 to 11): Wednesday, July 7, 10 to 11 a.m.

Billy Goats Gruff STEM program (ages 4 to 11): Wednesday, July 14, 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.

Bird house painting program (ages 4 to 11): Wednesday, July 21, 1 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.

• “Once Upon a Slime” program (ages 4 to 11): Wednesday, July 28, 1 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.

End of summer reading party with ice cream and games: Friday, July 30, 3 p.m., all ages

Weare Public Library

10 Paige Memorial Lane, Weare, 529-2044,

Summer reading kickoff party: Thursday, June 24, 6:30 p.m., all ages

Pickleball with the Weare Pickleball Club (ages 6 and up): Saturday, June 26, 1:30 p.m.

Whipple Free Library

67 Mont Vernon Road, New Boston, 487-3391,

Weekly storytimes: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m., dates offered June 21 to July 30

Nighttime stories: Monday, July 12, and Monday, July 26, 6:30 p.m.

Craft a story (junior book club program): Monday, July 12, 6:30 p.m.

Special teen programs: Fridays, 6 p.m., beginning June 25; programs include a movie night, an open mic/karaoke night, a trivia night and more

Quality of Life 21/06/10

Wanted: lifeguards

There may be fewer lifeguards at your local swimming spot this year. Across the state, towns and cities are facing a shortage of lifeguards, according to a June 2 report from WMUR, as getting lifeguards hired and certified has been more of a challenge this year. Nashua’s pools are expected to be fully staffed, the report said, but the city had to increase wages to attract more lifeguards, and it still had to cancel swim classes. Likewise, Concord has struggled to find lifeguards and will have reduced swim class sizes. Check with your town or city, or the state, before heading to a pool or beach to see if lifeguards will be on duty.

Score: -1

Comment: Ocean visitors needn’t worry, though, as Hampton Beach anticipates being fully staffed with a crew of 70, thanks in part to word of mouth advertising, the report said.

Making Manchester more LGBTQ+ friendly

Manchester is implementing new LGBTQ+-friendly initiatives throughout the city, according to a press release, in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign, which releases a Municipal Equality Index each year outlining LBGTQ+-friendly policies in a community. According to the report, Manchester falls in the middle of the state’s rated cities and is now working to create more LGBTQ+-friendly policies and practices. For example, LGBTQ+ liaisons have been appointed in the Mayor’s Office and Manchester Police Department; the Office of Youth Services has designated a representative to support transgender anti-discrimination policies and youth bullying prevention; and the City has established a Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Committee.

Score: +1

Comment: “I’m proud to announce these changes during Pride Month. It is important for everyone to feel safe and welcomed in our city, especially our LGBTQ+ residents and visitors. These changes will make a big difference and are a great step toward helping Manchester become as LGBTQ+-friendly as possible,” Mayor Joyce Craig said in the release.

Lake advisories

Cyanobacteria blooms, some of which produce toxins that can cause a range of health issues in humans and animals, are common in lakes and ponds this time of year, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and people should be cautious of lake water that has a surface scum, changes colors or appears to have green streaks or blue-green flecks aggregating along the shore. As of June 8, DES had posted advisories for Robinson Pond in Hudson, Swains Lake in Barrington, Elm-Brook Park Beach at the Hopkinton-Everett Reservoir in Hopkinton, and Strafford Town Beach on Bow Lake. Acute health effects include irritation of skin and mucous membranes, tingling, numbness, nausea, vomiting, seizures and diarrhea, while chronic effects include liver and central nervous system damage, the release said.

Score: -1

Comment:Before you head to a lake, visit for the latest cyanobacteria advisories.

QOL score: 78

Net change: -1

QOL this week: 77

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at

Ainge out, Stevens in

It’s been a week since the demise of the Celtics brass.

It came a day after their playoff wipeout to the Nets, when news broke GM Danny Ainge was “retiring” and Brad Stevens was being kicked upstairs to replace Danny. If you read this column regularly you know I’ve been saying since early February both had a lot to do with the disaster evolving in front of our eyes, and, since last summer, that the team needed to be constructed away from its no-point-guard, 3-ball-centric, hoist-it-up approach.

So, while both have done very good things here, not so much lately and as a result the change is a good thing. Just not as good as it could have been. Because for the last year or so I’ve felt like Bob Kraft did when he said upon firing Pete Carroll in 1999, “We need a momentum change.”

So here are a few hot takes following the shakeup.

The good news: Being a glass is half full kind of guy, with the Lakers also getting run out in Round 1, L.A. and the C’s remain tied for most NBA league titles won (17) for another year. That seemed in peril at the start of 2020-2021.

That does it for the good news. Now for the bad.

Pitino reboot: When I said the change didn’t go far enough, I meant making Stevens GM will be the worst move since hiring Rick Pitino 25 years ago. Although Danny trading up in the 2013 draft for Kelly Olynyk and leaving Giannis Antetokounmpo on the board was pretty bad. That means the same policies and demeanor that led to the abyss remain, starting with likely selecting a head coach who thinks as he does. The team badly needs a culture change, more emotion/passion and an inside scoring approach to complement the 3-ball game.

Where’s George Steinbrenner when you really need him? This comes from the Sports Hub’s Tony Maz, who suggests the only reason Stevens moved upstairs is that the team owes him close to $25 million after foolishly extending him for six long years during last season. That seems like a really dumb thing for the owners of a $2 billion enterprise to do. And while George’s lunacy way back when was the reason I stopped being a Yankees fan (a good thing after last weekend), for once I’m with George. Because he’d have broomed everyone by now.

Brad Stevens: Far be it from me to tell someone else what’s best for them career-wise. But I’ll make an exception. It’s not that he can’t coach; it’s that he hasn’t changed or adapted to new circumstances. As Larry Bird said all through his time coaching Indiana, there’s a shelf-life for coaches and Brad hit his in Boston. He needs a change in the way Andy Reid did after he got fired in Philly. Ditto for Bill Belichick after Cleveland ended in disaster. Both came back stronger than before and maybe Stevens can too in a new locale.

Jayson Tatum: I know, guys who can score 60 in a game don’t grow on trees. Especially those who put in the work and are good kids. But sorry, I want more. The only time he ever shows emotion is when calls don’t go his way. The best player on the team almost always has to be the leader. He’s not, and whether he can score 70 or even 80 he’ll never be a Top 5 player until he assumes that role. Thus he’ll be a No. 2 like Kevin McHale was to Bird’s alpha dog and if it’s truly not in him, like it wasn’t for Anthony Davis in New Orleans, they’ve got to bring in someone Jimmy Butler-like, who can lead as he mentors him to become one. Which brings me to the next coach.

The next coach: I hope they hire an ex-player with major NBA playing cred for the players to look up to, and fill in his holes with veteran assistants. Somebody like Kevin Garnett. I know, he has no coaching experience. Plus I have no idea if he can coach, has the temperament to coach or even wants to. I also know major stars from Willis Reed to Dan Issel didn’t cut it when given a shot by their old team. But I do know KG scared the bejeebers out of everyone when he arrived in 2008 and his fire totally transformed the team’s culture. After being under the NBA’s answer to Mr. Rogers the last eight years, this team that doesn’t value winning enough needs that badly. Especially Tatum. It won’t happen, but that is the first call I’d make if I owned the team.

Reflection on days gone by: Hope no one has missedtheirony of where the Nets and Celtics are seven years after the blockbuster trade of 2014. Since Day 1, Brooklyn was universally mocked for giving up their future for two guys (Garnett and Paul Pierce) that were too deep into the back nine to have the impact the Nets brass expected. It got worse as the choices they gave up (Tatum and Jaylen Brown) became emerging stars. The narrative was, the C’s were set up to have a deep, talented team for years to come, while the Nets would be mired at the bottom because they gave away the draft positions that generate real talent. Flash forward to 2021, where thanks to savvy trades, big and small free agent pickups and salary cap manipulation the Nets are the deeper team with three big talents at the top of their roster. Tip of the cap to Nets GM Sean Marks, who did all that. Meanwhile, after squandering many of their picks with bad drafting and a reluctance to trade them for immediate veteran help, the C’s are scrambling.

It shows life not only doesn’t turn out like everyone expects, it can turn out to be 180 degrees opposite.

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