Celebrate Oktoberfest with German eats and brews

On Saturday, clad in lederhosen, To Share Brewing Co. co-owner Aaron Share and his team will be pouring their seasonal German-style beer release and serving bratwurst, sauerkraut and pretzels while oompah music plays in the background — yes, it’s Oktoberfest season.

Since the very first event in early 19th-century Germany, the fall tradition has grown into a worldwide phenomenon celebrating Bavarian culture through its beers and foods. This will be To Share Brewing’s third Oktoberfest, one of many similar celebrations taking place across the Granite State over the next several weeks.

The centerpieces of nearly every Oktoberfest are German-style beers, among some of Share’s favorites to drink this time of year.

“I love beer in general, but I really enjoy a good clean malty lager,” he said. “A lot of the German styles have this nice sweet, bready maltiness to them. … Especially when the weather starts to cool off and it’s a little crisp in the air, it’s just perfect.”

Several local breweries this fall are either taking part in an Oktoberfest celebration or hosting their own, as well as introducing limited beer releases. Some restaurants are also joining in on the fun with their own seasonally inspired menus of German food items, from bratwurst, schnitzel and sauerkraut to Bavarian-style pretzels, specialty dessert stations and more.

So what exactly is defined as an Oktoberfest beer, and where did this tradition come from, anyway? We spoke with local brewers, chefs and restaurateurs to get some answers.

Bratwurst from Bavarian German Restaurant. Courtesy photo.

“March beer”

The most common beer style traditionally associated with Oktoberfests is known as a märzen, a lager that is characterized by its malty flavor and deep golden or amber color.

“Classic German beers are very simple compared to what we brew here in the States today. They would use malt and whatever hop variant they had from the harvest, and that was the basis of it,” said Dennis Molnar, co-owner of Concord Craft Brewing Co. “[A märzen style] is a little maltier in flavor than what we’re probably used to thinking of as an American Pilsner lager, like a Budweiser or something. … It’s hopped a little bit more as well, but because there’s a bit of a maltier backbone, it doesn’t necessarily taste more hopped than any other simple yellow beer.”

Even though the style is synonymous with Oktoberfests, the word “märzenbier” actually means “March beer,” as it was historically brewed in the spring. According to The Oxford Companion to Beer, an encyclopedia edited by Garrett Oliver and published by Oxford University Press, a Bavarian decree issued in the year 1553 by the duke at the time prohibited new beer from being brewed between the dates of April 23 and Sept. 29. This was due in part to the risk of fires, in addition to the threats of wild yeasts and bacteria, during the hot weather. As a result, märzens would be brewed in March and lagered, or stored, until the end of the summer.

Last week Concord Craft Brewing Co. brought back its Oktoberfest release, a märzen-style lager that Molnar said he expects will last through about mid-October. Other local brewers, like Kelsen Brewing Co. of Derry and Great North Aleworks of Manchester, have märzen-style releases of their own — the latter’s, called “Märzen Rover,” goes light on the hops, with a breaded, honey-like flavor from a blend of a few different malts.

But Oktoberfests don’t have to strictly be märzens, either. Derry’s Rockingham Brewing Co. recently debuted “For Better or For Wurst,” a German-style festbier that co-owner Ali Leleszi described as being similar to a märzen but with a slightly lighter color and more hop bitterness. They have it on draft now, and they’ll also be pouring it at an Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Twin Barns Brewing Co. in Meredith, she said.

Henniker Brewing Co. also has a seasonal lager inspired by the modern festbier. Teresa Pominville, director of events and marketing, said the brewery’s “Wurst Bier” adds a little bit of rye to help complement the malts and the spicy herbal notes from the German hops used.

To Share Brewing releases a German-style altbier, or “alt,” during Oktoberfest season, using a recipe dating back to Share’s time as a homebrewer.

“An alt is one of those weird hybrids between a lager and an ale. The main difference between lagers and ales are the yeasts that you use and the temperatures in the fermentation process,” Share said. “So an alt is pretty similar to a märzen in terms of the flavor profile. Just a really easy-drinking, clear amber beer that’s perfect for when the weather gets colder.”

In Dover, Garrison City Beerworks will be introducing two new beers to be released the day of its Oktoberfest celebration on Friday, Sept. 24 — Glean is a lager brewed with Maine-grown grain, while Jet-Setting is a New England IPA dry-hopped exclusively with German hops.

“It’s got the smooth, bright haze of the New England IPA style, with some really interesting melon and farmhouse notes from the … hops,” co-owner Andy Gray said of Jet-Setting.

A glossary of terms

This list contains various terms you may encounter at local Oktoberfest celebrations or on German restaurant menus, including seasonal food options, beer styles and traditions.

Altbier (or Alt): A German-style amber-colored beer that To Share Brewing Co. co-owner Aaron Share described as a hybrid between a lager and an ale, with a balance of malty sweetness and bitterness from its hops. This is the third year the brewery has released an Oktoberfest alt.
Apfelstrudel: Bavarian-style apple strudel. You can find this homemade dessert on the menu at Bavaria German Restaurant in Hooksett, or at the annual Oktoberfest celebration at Mile Away Restaurant in Milford on Sunday, Oct. 3.
Blaukraut: Red cabbage cooked with apple.
Bratkartoffeln: Bavarian-style roasted potatoes.
Bratwurst: German sausage, most commonly made with pork, veal or a combination of the two, according to Monika Berger, co-owner of Bavaria German Restaurant in Hooksett.
Brezn: Bavarian-style pretzels, which are characterized by their crisp, dark exterior and soft interior, according to Matt Brown, owner of The Salted Knot in Rollinsford.
Dunkel: A German-style lager characterized by its dark brown color and malty flavor.
Festbier: A German-style lager similar to a märzen, but with a slightly lighter color and more hop bitterness, according to Ali Leleszi of Rockingham Brewing Co. in Derry.
Hefeweizen: A German-style wheat beer. Daydreaming Brewing Co. of Derry will have “Daydreaming of Martha,” its hefeweizen in collaboration with Martha’s Exchange & Brewery of Nashua, at its Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, Sept. 25.
Hunter’s Stew: A savory brown sauce-based stew with pork, beef, veal and vegetables. Mile Away Restaurant in Milford will be serving hunter’s stew during its Oktoberfest event on Sunday, Oct. 3.
Märzen: A malty German-style amber lager most commonly associated with Oktoberfest celebrations. Several local breweries, including Concord Craft Brewing Co., Kelsen Brewing Co. of Derry and Great North Aleworks of Manchester, have their own märzen-style releases this time of year as an ode to the classic Germanic style.
Masskrugstemmen: A beer stein hoisting competition, typically held at Oktoberfest events.
Rinderroulade: Rolled slices of tender beef, filled with mustard, onions, bacon and pickles.
Sauerbraten: Traditional German pot roast, featuring marinated, roasted beef boiled in a wine-based sauce and topped with gravy. Sauerbraten is available at Bavaria German Restaurant in Hooksett with homemade spätzle and red cabbage. It will also be on the menu during Mile Away Restaurant’s Oktoberfest celebration in Milford on Sunday, Oct. 3.
Sauerkraut: Sour fermented cabbage.
Schnitzel: Literally translating to “cutlet,” schnitzel is a thin slice of meat, usually pork, that has been breaded and fried. Bavaria German Restaurant in Hooksett has multiple schnitzel options available on its menu that also feature the option to substitute pork for veal.
Schweins haxn: Bavarian-roasted pork shank.
Spätzle: Bavarian-style egg noodles.

Bavarian bites

German beers may be the stars of the show, but Oktoberfest season is also a great opportunity to try all kinds of authentic foods. At Mile Away Restaurant in Milford, for instance, a special menu will be served during its 15th annual Oktoberfest event on Sunday, Oct. 3. Dinner plates featuring items like schweineschnitzel (pork schnitzel) and sauerbraten (German pot roast) will be available, in addition to a dessert station with items like apfelstrudel (apple strudel).

Share said the brewery will be offering a shareable snack board all day during its Sept. 25 event, featuring bratwurst with sauerkraut, plus pretzels courtesy of The Hop Knot.

Speaking of pretzels, be on the lookout in the coming weeks for Matt Brown of The Salted Knot, a Rollinsford-based Bavarian-style pretzel company launched earlier this year. Brown has a full schedule of events he’ll be serving his pretzels at, including the Powder Keg Beer Festival in Exeter on Saturday, Oct. 2, and the Great Oktoberfest at Anheuser-Busch Tour Center & Biergarten in Merrimack on Saturday, Oct. 16. He’ll also appear at Henniker Brewing Co. on Sunday, Oct. 10, during its two weekend-long Fall Fest.

Brown received training from another German-style pretzel maker while staying in Pennsylvania, a state he said is known for its pretzels and German ancestry. Now he works for himself, also selling his pretzels at farmers markets and via a few wholesale accounts.

“My pretzels are a lot darker and they tend to be more crispy than soft pretzels you might get at the mall,” Brown said. “The way I shape them, the middle is the thickest part.”

At Twin Barns Brewing Co.’s Oct. 2 event, food options will be served courtesy of The Silo, an onsite food trailer in collaboration with Osteria Poggio restaurant in Center Harbor. Options will likely include different plays on authentic items like bratwurst or pierogi.

“We’re probably going to be doing some German-style tacos, so basically like a sauerbraten taco with braised beef, and then maybe things like sweet cabbage and apple,” Osteria Poggio chef Kaylon Sweet said. “We’re just trying to find ways to make it more approachable to people.”

Pats Peak Ski Area in Henniker will have seasonal specials of its own during its annual Oktoberfest on Sunday, Nov. 7. Led by chef Guy Pelletier, its in-house kitchen team will be preparing items like bratwurst, hot German potato salad and braised red cabbage.

If you want to try German food but can’t wait to attend an Oktoberfest event, Bavaria German Restaurant in Hooksett has authentic options year-round, made fresh daily from family recipes. They also currently have Spaten Brewery’s Oktoberfest — touted as “the world’s first Oktoberfest” beer — and Weihenstephaner’s wheat beer available on tap.

The eatery has been owned and operated by Anton and Monika Berger since March 2010. Anton Berger has more than four decades of experience as a chef, including at a more than 200-seat restaurant and outdoor beer garden in Munich, Germany.

Bavaria’s schnitzel is one of its most popular items, and there are multiple varieties. The jägerschnitzel, for example, features a boneless strip of pork that’s topped with a scratch-made mushroom cream sauce. It’s then served with spätzle, or Bavarian-style egg noodles.

Bratwurst selections, according to Monika Berger, can be ordered with pork, veal, or a combination of the two. They are served with either homemade sauerkraut or a potato salad.

Specials are occasionally featured as well, like schweins haxn (Bavarian-roasted pork shank).

The first Oktoberfest

The origins of Oktoberfest can be traced back to Munich, Germany, during the early 1800s. The first event was not even organized as a beer festival — rather, it was a wedding.

According to the official Oktoberfest website, King Ludwig I of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on Oct. 12, 1810. The couple was wed at the site of what would later become known as Theresienwiese, the official Oktoberfest grounds in Munich. Their celebration included a large horse race and was so well-received that the demand for more events immediately grew. Soon it became an annual destination for agricultural entertainment.

A major defining year for the festival was 1841, when Spaten Brewery introduced its amber märzen at the event. By 1872 Spaten was the first brewery to call it an Oktoberfest beer.

Today the Munich Oktoberfest has grown into a massive, multi-week affair, spanning 16 to 18 days from mid-to-late September to early October and attracting more than six million visitors from around the world. Plans are already underway for the event to return in September 2022, after the pandemic forced its cancellation in both 2020 and 2021.

Stein hoisting competitions

Among the traditions of several Oktoberfest celebrations is a stein hoisting competition — or, as it’s known in Germany, masskrugstemmen (pronounced “MAHSS-kroog-stem-men”). Participants are given a stein filled to the top with beer that they must hold by the handle out in front of their bodies for as long as possible. The person who can hold it for the longest amount of time without breaking form or spilling their stein is declared the winner.

According to the U.S. Steinholding Association’s official rules, you must only grip the handle of the stein with one hand. The current national record is 21 minutes and 17 seconds, set in 2018 by Michael Tyler at the Central Park Oktoberfest in New York City.

To Share Brewing Co. in Manchester will hold a stein hoisting competition at 6 p.m. during its annual Oktoberfest on Sept. 25. The winner, co-owner Jenni Share said, will receive a Mug Club membership to the brewery, or beers out of a 22-ounce mug for the price of a pint.

“You hold your stein out at a 90-degree angle, so your body has to be straight and your arm is perpendicular, and you hold it as long as you can,” she said. “You cannot spill any beer.”

Stein hoisting competitions have consistently increased in popularity in recent years as strength endurance contests. The U.S. Steinholding Association, founded in 2015, promotes the sport by providing training tips and resources on where you can go to compete.

Upcoming Oktoberfests and other beer festivals

Upcoming Oktoberfests and other beer festivals

A stein hoisting competition will take place at Garrison City Beerworks in Dover on Sept. 24. Courtesy photo.

Check out this list of Oktoberfest celebrations and fall-themed festivals at local breweries, as well as other upcoming beer festivals happening across the state. Do you know of an Oktoberfest event coming up soon that isn’t on this list? Let us know at

Friday, Sept. 24: Garrison City Beerworks (455 Central Ave., Dover) will hold an Oktoberfest from 4:30 to 10 p.m. featuring two new beer releases and a German-inspired food menu with options like pretzels and house mustard, smoked sausages and sauerkraut and potato pancakes. A stein hoisting competition is also planned. Visit

Saturday, Sept. 25:Join To Share Brewing Co. (720 Union St., Manchester) for its third annual Oktoberfest, happening from 1 to 9 p.m. There will be a food special featuring a shareable snack board with meats and cheeses, bratwurst and sauerkraut, and pretzels courtesy of The Hop Knot, plus beer releases and two stein hoisting competitions (at 1 p.m. for Mug Club members and at 6 p.m. for the public). Reservations are requested for parties of four or more. Visit

Saturday, Sept. 25:Daydreaming Brewing Co. (1½ E. Broadway, Derry) will hold its second Oktoberfest at 1 p.m., with several specialty beers available, including a hefeweizen brewed in collaboration with Martha’s Exchange & Brewery of Nashua. Visit

Saturday, Sept. 25:Northwoods Brewing Co. (1334 First New Hampshire Turnpike, Northwood) is holding its inaugural Fall Fest, featuring a trunk show from 10 am. to 3 p.m. with more than 20 New England-area businesses and live music throughout the day. Also planned are the releases of the brewery’s new Oktoberfest-inspired lager, specialty fall cocktails from its sister establishment, Johnson’s Seafood & Steak, and brewery specials, like bratwurst with homemade slaw, pretzels with beer cheese, and a savory autumn pizza. Visit

Saturday, Sept. 25: The Kingston Brewfest returns for a second year from noon to 4 p.m. at 148 Main St. in Kingston. The event will feature a variety of local beer and food options as well as live music. Tickets are $35 per person for full access to the beer tastings, or $5 for designated drivers. Donations to the Kingston Volunteer Fire Association will also be accepted. Visit or follow the event on Facebook @kingstonbrewfest.

Sunday, Sept. 26: Osteria Poggio (18 Main St., Center Harbor) will host an Oktoberfest from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring various German-style foods and pourings from several local breweries. Visit

Saturday, Oct. 2: New England’s Tap House Grille (1292 Hooksett Road, Hooksett) will hold an Oktoberfest patio event from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring a seasonally inspired food menu, a stein hoisting competition and music from The Rebel Collective, with proceeds benefiting CASA of New Hampshire. Visit

Saturday, Oct. 2:Join Twin Barns Brewing Co. (194 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith) for an Oktoberfest celebration from noon to 10 p.m. There will be live music, seasonal pourings from six guest breweries, and a German-inspired food menu courtesy of The Silo, an onsite food trailer in collaboration with Osteria Poggio in Center Harbor. Commemorative event mugs will also be for sale, with proceeds benefiting the New Hampshire Brewers Association. Visit

Saturday, Oct. 2:The Powder Keg Beer Festival returns to Swasey Parkway in Exeter. Ticketholders have two sessions to choose from, either from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 2 to 4 p.m., when samples of more than 200 different beers, ciders and hard seltzers will be available. In place of the chili, which is normally a staple of the festival, this year food trucks offering all kinds of options will be attending. Tickets are $35 per person or $10 for designated drivers. Visit

Sunday, Oct. 3:Mile Away Restaurant (52 Federal Hill Road, Milford) will be hosting its annual Oktoberfest from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dinner plates are available for $17 per person, featuring sauerbraten (German pot roast), schweineschnitzel (pork schnitzel), hunter’s stew, or spicy beef and sausage chili with cheddar cheese, along with two sides (German potato salad, sea salt chips and sauerkraut, braised red cabbage, pickled beets or applesauce). There will also be a dessert and pretzel station with additional a la carte items, like pumpkin pie, Black Forest cake, flourless chocolate torte and more. Live music will be featured from the TubaFrau Hofbräu Band, a Waltham, Mass.-based German oompah band. There is a $20 parking fee per car. The event is cash only and first-come, first-served. Visit

Sunday, Oct. 3:Stripe Nine Brewing Co. will present a Brew Fest in the Orchard at DeMerritt Hill Farm (20 Orchard Way, Lee) with general admittance from 1 to 4 p.m. and VIP admittance at noon. More than 25 local breweries are expected to attend, and there will also be seasonal food options and live music from Matty & the Penders. Tickets are $45 general admission, $75 VIP admission and $15 for designated drivers. See “Stripe Nine’s 2021 Brew Fest in the Orchard” on Eventbrite to purchase tickets.

Saturday, Oct. 9:Join the Bektash Shriners of New Hampshire (189 Pembroke Road, Concord) for an Oktoberfest from 5 to 9 p.m. featuring bratwurst, potato salad, pretzels and more. Visit or call the office at 225-5372 to RSVP.

Saturday, Oct. 9: The New Hampshire Brewfest returns to Cisco Brewers (35 Corporate Drive, Portsmouth), with general admittance from 1 to 5 p.m. and VIP admittance at noon. Admission ranges from $50 to $65 and includes access to tastings from a variety of New England-area craft breweries. Food options from local food trucks will also be available at an additional cost. Visit

Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 9-10 and Oct. 16-17:Henniker Brewing Co. (129 Centervale Road, Henniker) will hold its annual Fall Fest over two weekends this year, from noon to 7 p.m., on Saturdays, Oct. 9; Sunday, Oct. 10; Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 17. In addition to pourings from the brewery’s Wurst Bier seasonal festbier, there will be food options from The Salted Knot and The Russian Dumpling Co., plus stein hoisting competitions and live music. Visit

Saturday, Oct. 16:Anheuser-Busch Tour Center & Biergarten (221 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack) will host the Great Oktoberfest featuring more than two dozen fall and winter brews that will be available to taste, including several authentic German varieties. There are two sessions to choose from, either from noon to 3 p.m. or from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival will also feature European-style food from several local food trucks, games, live music and more. Tickets start at $45 general admission and $15 for designated drivers, with proceeds supporting the Merrimack Rotary Club. Visit

Sunday, Oct. 31: The Manchester Brewfest returns for the first time since the summer of 2019 to Arms Park (Commercial Street, Manchester) with general admittance from 1 to 4 p.m. and VIP admittance at noon. Tickets are $40 general admission, $50 VIP admission and $15 for designated drivers. Visit

Sunday, Nov. 7:Pats Peak Ski Area (686 Flanders Road, Henniker) will host its annual Oktoberfest celebration in conjunction with its ski and snowboard sale, happening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature live music from The Bavarian Brothers, plus a beer garden with Harpoon Brewery, games, a stein hoisting competition, and authentic German food options prepared by Chef Guy Pelletier and his team. Foods will include bratwurst, hot dogs with a side of hot German potato salad, and braised red cabbage with baked apple. Admission is free and foods are priced per item. Visit

Saturday, Nov. 20: Join Pipe Dream Brewing (49 Harvey Road, Londonderry) for a Fall Fest from noon to 10 p.m., when there will be a special festbier release, bratwurst and sauerkraut food specials, and live music from the reggae band Slack Tide from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Visit

Featured photo: Aaron Share of To Share Brewing Co. in Manchester. Courtesy photo.

On The Job – Dan Segal

Dan Segal

Skateboard coach

Dan Segal is a Manchester-based skateboard coach and owner of Evolution Skateboard Academy, which offers skateboarding lessons for kids.

Explain your job and what it entails.

If there are kids who want to learn to skate or are struggling with learning … their parents contact me, and we schedule a time to meet at a skate park of their choice. Then, I work with the kid — we start with the basics — and I teach them how to skate.

How long have you had this job?

In the ’90s I owned an indoor skateboard park in Massachusetts. I started teaching lessons there professionally in 1997. After the park closed and through the years I kept helping kids … and started Evolution Skateboard Academy this year in May.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

Skateboarding has saved my life multiple times. … When I was growing up it gave me a way to get out of an abusive household. It helped with my anxiety, with my ADHD, and it put me with a group of kids who automatically became my best friends. … But I had no natural ability to skateboard, so I struggled brutally early on when I was trying to learn. In the age of no internet, I had to learn through skate videos that were coming out on VHS, and it was hard that way to break through that barrier of progression. … That’s why I’ve always had this natural urge to help kids who are trying to learn to skate. … One day I saw an ad on Indeed for a skateboard coach … and realized that this is a new industry. Skateboard coaches are a thing. This is in demand.

What kind of education or training did you need?

As a business owner, it’s been a lot of trial and error. I made a lot of mistakes and corrected them early on, and I’ve learned a lot that way.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

Casual. I wear my sneakers, and my T-shirts with the Evolution Skateboard Academy logo on it.

What was it like starting this business during the pandemic?

It was actually pretty easy to accomplish because we’re outside and it’s very easy to modify the lessons so that we’re socially distanced.

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

I wish I had known that people wanted this service a long time ago. I had 996 hits [on the website] in July alone. … I had zero idea that it was in this high demand.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

When kids get into skateboarding, that scares a lot of parents, because they don’t know anything about it. It’s not like watching a football game where the kid scores a touchdown and there’s something to cheer at … but there’s so much more behind skateboarding. … I was teaching this one kid who was very shy and full of anxiety. In the first lesson, he could barely stand on [the board]. Six lessons later he was walking into the park with head high. He was smiling. He had a group of friends who had taken him under his wing. His mother was floored by what skateboarding had done for her son.

What was the first job you ever had?

D’Angelo, making sandwiches when I was 14.

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

It’s not about how you fall down; it’s about how you get up —progress, not perfection. It’s the same thing I tell the kids. Dust yourself off and keep moving, because that’s life.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
A Million Little Pieces and anything by Charles Bukowski
Favorite movie: The Princess Bride
Favorite music: I grew up on punk rock and metal, and I still love it today.
Favorite food: Cupcakes
Favorite thing about NH: The people and the attitude

Featured photo: Dan Segal. Courtesy photo.

Treasure Hunt 21/09/23

Dear Donna,

I came across this bag of old clothespins. I believe they were my mother’s. I have no use for them but thought maybe someone would enjoy them. Can you give me a reason not to toss them?


Dear Lynn,

Old clothespins are collectible but I think mostly for decorative reasons. I have also seen them used in many modern craft projects. So I do think that gives you a reason to not throw them away.

The ones you have in the photo would probably be in the $15 range for the bunch. Always be careful, though. If you see one in the mix that has a look you have never seen, it could be an uncommon one and worth more.

Handmade antique clothespins can bring a much higher value to a collector. Common ones like this almost everyone had and used, so there are plenty around for decorating a laundry room or for projects.

Kiddie Pool 21/09/23

Family fun for the weekend

Another fair weekend

• The Granite State Fair, which kicked off last weekend, continues Thursday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Sept. 26, at 72 Lafayette St. in Rochester. The fair and midway open at 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; the fair opens at 10 a.m. and the midway opens at noon on Saturday and Sunday, according to, where you can buy tickets and find directions. Admission costs $10; kids 8 and under get in free. Shows, ride passes, parking and more require separate tickets, which are also available online (where you can find height requirements for the rides, in case you’re trying to figure out which kids are tall enough for which rides). One event to consider: Circus Hollywood, with shows at 5 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, and Friday, Sept. 25; at 2, 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, and at 2 and 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is included, or get a ringside premium box for $15 (each box allows up to four guests), according to the website.

Another festival weekend

• Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road in Hollis; 465-7787, will hold its 40th annual Fall Festival and Nature Art Show this weekend — Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The celebration has events for all ages; for the kids, there’s a children’s art exhibit, a petting farm and children’s nature crafts, according to the website.

• We’re still in the thick of Old Home Day season and this weekend the Sandown Old Home Day Fall Festival will come to Sandlot Sports (56 North Road in Sandown) with events Friday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Sept. 26. Saturday, Sept. 25, is the big day with games and a bouncy house and mini steam train rides from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; a coloring contest station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; a bungee jump from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; face painting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; cow plop bingo at noon and a pie eating contest at 2 p.m. There will also be a bike parade at 9 a.m. and live music from about 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., when fireworks are scheduled, according to the event’s Facebook page. On Sunday, check out fire and police station tours, the schedule said.

• DeMeritt Hill Farm (20 Orchard Way in Lee; 862-2111, will hold its Harvest Weekend this Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. The schedule includes pumpkin painting, guessing games, food sampling and more, according to the website. The farm also offers hay rides on the weekends ($2 per person) and is in the thick of its pick your own apple season. (For more places doing pick your own apples, check out our “Farm Fun” cover story in last week’s (Sept. 16) issue of the Hippo, which features stories on upcoming agricultural fairs, apple picking and corn mazes. See and scroll down for the e-edition of the paper. The stories start on page 10.)

• J&F Farms (124 Chester Road in Derry; 437-0535) is offering a Fall Hayride on Saturday, Sept. 25, with ticketed times at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The cost is $10 per person and includes a hayride to the pick your own pumpkin patch, cider doughnuts, a petting zoo and more, according to the farm’s Facebook page. Find tickets via a link to an eventbrite page on the Facebook page.

Put up a wall

How to build hedges and fences

While vacationing recently on the Maine coast I admired many nice gardens. Many of them had hedges or fences, more than I am used to seeing in rural New Hampshire.

When settlers first arrived in New England they dug out stones left by the glaciers some 10,000 years before. They piled them up to clear farm fields, and began making stone walls to define property borders and to contain animals — or to keep them out. Gradually dry stone wallers learned how to make them look good and last forever.

Building a stone wall or retaining wall is hard work, and expensive to have someone else build. If you want to build your own, remember three things: First, the soil moves in winter as it freezes and thaws. This can make walls tumble if not properly built. Wallers have learned to add drainage under and around a wall: at least a foot of one-inch crushed stone in a trench beneath the wall works well. Round pebbles will act as ball bearings would, allowing stones to move.

Each stone should touch four others, two below it, two above it. Stones should not be stacked one on top of another, much the way bricks are laid. This helps to tie it all together and prevent movement.

Lastly, use a long string to keep the wall straight and level. Or if you are creating a curved wall, define it carefully before starting. You can place a garden hose on the soil to help define the curve.

Early settlers also made wattle fences. I talked to Crow Boutin, who makes his living making wattle fences in the Kennebunk area of Maine. These fences are simple: He cuts lengths of fresh yellow birch that are 1 to 2 inches in diameter. First he makes “pencils” that he drives in the ground with a hammer after he cuts them to length and sharpens them with an ax. Then he weaves pieces of birch 8 to 10 feet long between the vertical pencils that he spaces about 16 inches apart. The tension of the bent stems holds the fence in place. Simple? You bet, and something you could try.

But why do people need fences or hedges? Some are just for the looks, or to create a backdrop for flowers. Others are to keep others from looking into the yard, or to keep animals in (or out). Let’s take a look at a few I saw.

The nicest fences I saw were white picket fences. Maybe I like them because my grandfather had one, and I remember it from my youth. They show off flowers well, and allow climbers to climb on them. But generally you have to pay someone to install them, and, as Tom Sawyer knew, you must paint them from time to time. Now these fences come in a variety of materials including fiberglass or plastic that needs no painting.

Living fences — hedges — come in a variety of species. Evergreen hedges like yew or arborvitae can look good summer and winter, but are often eaten by deer. Hemlock and pine are less likely to be predated by deer, but they will grow to 60 feet tall unless they are trimmed every year and most somehow escape and do get tall.

Rugosa roses are commonly used as hedges on the Maine coast. They will grow in sandy soil and produce copious fragrant flowers and handsome red fruits in the fall. But they look bedraggled over time, and aren’t green in winter. Their thorns do keep people and pets from cutting corners through the yard.

Lilacs look great when blooming and have handsome green leaves eight or nine months of the year, but do little to block the view of your house and yard in winter. They do best in sweet soil, so add limestone every year or three to keep them blooming nicely. Lilacs, too, need trimming or they can get gangly.

The split rail fence is generally made of cedar, which lasts a long time — up to 20 years. It creates a rustic look, but neither keeps animals out nor blocks the nosy neighbor’s view. It will keep cars from parking on your lawn, and can support vines like roses or clematis.

Less common fences include stockade fences, which are tall wooden fences that block all view of the yard. These are what you need if you like to sunbathe nude in the garden and have a near neighbor. Definitely not a friendly signal to neighbors. Iron rail fences, wire fences and chain link fences all have their uses, but I can’t imagine having one installed.

Lastly, there is the deer fence. Many gardeners use them in order to grow vegetables, or to have tulips in the spring. Nowadays there are woven plastic fences that are inexpensive and come in 8-foot widths that work well to keep out deer. You can install them yourself on posts or stakes you cut in the forest. They work — unless you leave the gate open! Me? I have depended on having dogs to scare away the wildlife for many years. They did the job well, though I am now looking to adopt a dog as my corgi, Daphne, passed away a year ago. And I love dogs, too, which I can’t say for fences.

Featured photo: You could build this simple wattle fence. Photo courtesy of Henry Homeyer.

The Art Roundup 21/09/23

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

Urban pottery: There’s still time to see some urban art at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester) in its exhibition “Roberto Lugo: Te traigo mi le lo lai – I bring you my joy,” on display through Sept. 26. Lugo is a Philadelphia-based potter, painter, social activist, spoken word poet and educator. His pottery reimagines traditional forms and techniques with inspiration from urban graffiti and hip-hop culture. In this exhibition Lugo pays homage to his Puerto Rican heritage and explores his cultural identity and its connection to family, place and legacy. Museum admission costs $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up. Museum hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 669-6144 or visit

One person, one performance: The Community Players of Concord will continue their run of Nassim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit at the Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord) through Sept. 26, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. According to a press release, the one-person play is unique in that the actors who perform it can only perform it once and must have never seen it or read the script before their performance. There are no rehearsals or directors, and the actor will not get to see the script until it is given to them at the beginning of the play. Each show will be performed by a different actor. Tickets cost $22 to $25 for adults, $19 to $22 for members, seniors and students, and $16 to $19 for senior members. Visit

Family shows: The Kids Coop Theatre will perform Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka at the Derry Opera House (29 W. Broadway in Derry) from Friday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 25, at 1 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 26, at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $15. See for more on the show and to purchase tickets.

Cirque-Tacular will perform at The Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive in Manchester; on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 4 and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $45. The Dana Center’s website describes the show as a “high-flying carnival” featuring aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, illusionists, trapeze artists and fire performers.

Book sales: Pick up some used books at one of these book sales happening this weekend. The friends of Brookline Public Library are hosting a two-day book sale at the library (4 Main St., Brookline) on Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. There will be hardbound and paperback books of all fiction and nonfiction genres, as well as CDs, DVDs and audio books. Visit

Bring the kids to A Freethinker’s Corner(652 A Central Ave., Dover) on Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon to 4 p.m. for a multi-book children’s author signing and sale, where you can meet New England children’s, middle grade and young adult authors of all genres. Call 343-2437 or visit


Call for Art

WOMEN’S ARTISAN FAIR Girls at Work, a Manchester-based nonprofit that empowers girls through woodworking and building, is seeking artists for this fair, which is set for Oct. 15 and 16. Women artisans are invited to submit handcrafted fashion pieces, home goods, paintings and other visual arts for consideration. Visit or call 345-0392.


• “THE SHOP” Photographs of European Auto of Rye by Carol Van Loon. New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth. On view through Sept. 26. Visit or call 431-4230.

JOAN L. DUNFEY EXHIBITION Features artwork in a variety of media by regional NHAA members and non-members that follows the theme “Portals.” On display at the New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth, Sept. 29 through Nov. 28. Visit or call 431-4230.

• “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX” Exhibit featuring experimental pieces in a variety of media created by local artists during the pandemic. On view through Sept. 30. Art 3 Gallery (44 W. Brook St., Manchester, 668-6650,

• “AS PRECIOUS AS GOLD: CARPETS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD” Exhibit features 32 carpets dating from the 15th century to the 19th century. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). Opens Oct. 23. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit

• “KICK-START!” Also known as “the shoe show,” this themed art exhibition from the Women’s Caucus for Art’s New Hampshire Chapter opens at Twiggs Gallery, 254 King St., Boscawen. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31. The shoe theme is expressed in a variety of works like paintings, sculptures, artist books, drawings and mixed media pieces. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit

• “AROUND NEW HAMPSHIRE” On exhibit at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 49 S. Main St., Concord, from Sept. 21 through Dec. 16. Featuring the work of New Hampshire Art Association member Elaine Farmer, the exhibit features her oil paintings embodying New Hampshire’s iconic views and ideals, ranging from mountain lakes and birch tree woods to historic landmarks. Visit or

• “1,000 CRANES FOR NASHUA” Featuring more than 1,000 origami paper cranes created by hundreds of Nashua-area kids, adults and families since April. On display now at The Atrium at St. Joseph Hospital, 172 Kinsley St., Nashua. 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

• “SALON 2021” Exhibition features offbeat and experimental works in a variety of media by regional artists with diverse studio practices and artistic approaches. The Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord, 225-3932, Nov. 6 through Jan. 6.

• “THE DYSFUNCTION OF SOCIAL PRACTICE” Kelley Stelling Contemporary presents an exhibition featuring paintings, sculpture and performance works by five New Hampshire artists. Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord). Opens Nov. 20. Visit

Fairs and markets

CANTERBURY ARTISAN FESTIVAL The event celebrated artisanal, handcrafted works, also featuring live music and demonstrations. Sat., Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road, Canterbury. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for Village members and free for kids, teens and young adults under 25. Visit

40TH ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL AND NATURE ART SHOW Event hosted by the Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road, Hollis, 465-7787, will feature art by regional artists, children’s art, live music, live animal demonstrations, guided hikes and natural products for sale. Sat., Sept. 25, and Sun., Sept. 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special events

FALL IRON MELT Participants create an iron tile of their own design by scratching it into a 6-by-6-inch sand mold and coat it with a liquid graphite, then watch as molten iron is poured into their molds on site. Participants can pick up their mold from the Andres Institute of Art, 106 Route 13, Brookline. Pickup dates are Sept. 23, Sept. 25, Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. Dop-off dates are the same as pickup dates, plus Oct. 7. Designs will be poured and ready to pick back up on Oct. 14 and Oct. 16. Register anytime now until Oct. 2 to secure a kit. The cost is $40 per mold. Visit



WHITE RABBIT RED RABBITProduced by the Community Players of Concord. Hatbox Theatre, 270 Loudon Road, Concord. Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 2 p.m., Sept. 10 through Sept. 26. Visit

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

•​ GLORIOUS The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents. 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. Sept. 22 through Oct. 9, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., plus matinees on Tuesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $37. Visit

•​ CRUEL INTENTIONS THE ’90s MUSICAL Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents. Sept. 23 through Oct. 23, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $50. Visit

GREATER TUNA The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Oct. 1 through Oct. 10, with showtimes Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets $22 for adults, $19 for students and seniors. Visit

•​ 9/12 New World Theatre presents. Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Oct. 8 through Oct. 17, with showtimes Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets $25 for adults and $22 for ages 65 and up and students. Visit

Arts city

Concord arts scene on display at Capital Arts Fest

Concord’s arts scene will be bustling this weekend, both downtown and at locations throughout the city, as Capital Arts Fest kicks off Friday, Sept. 24, with a salsa lesson, dance performance, art exhibit and outdoor movie at Kimball Jenkins School of Art.

The three-day event also features the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s juried Fine Art and Craft Fair on Saturday and Sunday, theater performances, author and poet readings, live music and more throughout the event — which, this year, is also a celebration of the capital city’s ability to thrive during tough times.

“We wanted to showcase our region as a cultural center for the state and also celebrate things getting more or less back to normal after a hellacious period of time with Covid,” said Tim Sink, president of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, which co-sponsors the event along with the League of NH Craftsmen and the Capitol Center for the Arts. Despite the recent spike in cases, “We’re still looking forward to a fantastic event,” he said, with much of it being outdoors and safety precautions in place.

Capital Arts Fest started five years ago, when the city had completed its Main Street renovation, as a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and the Cap Center.

“It was meant to be a one-time celebration of the reopening of downtown Concord,” Sink said. “We had lots of cultural organizations … and huge bicycles with fire-breathing dragons, [which] was a sight worth seeing. … It was a day-long event, and it was meant to be a one-shot deal.”

The next year, he said, the League wanted to host a fair on South Main Street and asked if they could use the Capital Arts Fest brand.

“They ran a mini version of the Sunapee fair,” Sink said. “Then last year [we] said, ‘It would be cool to supersize this event. … [Now] the craft fair is the anchor on South Main Street. … That’s what we’ve built around, but we’ve built a lot around it. … We’ve got lots of events focused on downtown, and then we’ve got a lot of satellite [locations] participating.”

The satellite location kicking everything off Friday is Kimball Jenkins, with a faculty art exhibit, a salsa lesson, a performance from Ballet Misha and an outdoor showing of Moonrise Kingdom presented by Red River Theatres. Those events are free; also happening that night are a couple of ticketed events: Eaglemania at the Capitol Center for the Arts and Blaggards at the Bank of NH Stage.

On Saturday and Sunday, the juried Fine Art and Craft Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. Sunday), with tents lining South Main Street. Also in the downtown area will be outdoor music starting at 11 a.m. and a beer garden. Gibson’s Bookstore will host poetry readings, there will be historical tours at the Statehouse, and the Bank of NH stage will feature performances from NHSCOT and Fruit Flies Like a Banana, plus Strike Anywhere Soundpainting Ensemble’s interactive musical improvisation.

Over at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center there will be two art projects available: nebula spin art and straw rockets.

“They’re sort of intertwining arts culture with science,” Sink said. “This is hands-on stuff for people to do. … A lot of the things that are going on are going to be participatory.”

Also on the schedule is an improv workshop at Hatbox Theatre, a chance to do some community art at NHTI and activities hosted by the Concord Community Music School, like Music & Movement and a folk jam. Ticketed events include David Sedaris at the Cap Center Saturday night; White Rabbit Red Rabbit at Hatbox Theatre, and Canterbury Shaker Village’s Artisan Market, featuring live music, food and handmade crafts.

Sink said schedules of all activities and shows taking place during the event will be available at the visitors center downtown, with QR codes for more information.

Capital Arts Fest

Where: Downtown Concord and various satellite locations throughout the city
When: Friday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Sept. 26, with events starting at 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
Cost: Most activities and performances are free, with some ticketed events. See the full schedule at

Featured photo: Diana Beaulieu and customers. Courtesy photo.

This Week 21/09/23

Big Events September 24, 2021 and beyond

Friday, Sept. 24

The Capital Arts Fest runs today through Sunday, Sept. 26, at various locations in the Concord area. See our story on page 10.

The Canterbury Shaker Village (288 Shaker Road in Canterbury; 783-9511, is holding its Canterbury Artisan Festival on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with handcrafted works for sale, demonstrations and a line-up of live music (Badger’s Drift at 10 a.m., Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki at noon, Doc and Liz at 2 p.m. and Doug Hazard at 4 p.m.). Tickets cost $12 for adults (admission is free for everyone under age 25), according to the website.

Saturday, Sept. 25, the Gratitude Music Festival, a multiperformance series of concerts honoring first responders and frontline workers, will start at 1 p.m. with Neighbor followed by Carsie Blanton at 3:30 p.m. and Anderson East at 8 p.m. See for tickets to individual shows or a $90 day pass.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26, the Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road in Hollis; 465-7787, will hold its 40th annual Fall Festival and Nature Art Show from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the art, find live performances, baked goods and dried flowers for sale, a raffle, a silent auction, an angora spinning demo and events geared toward kids, according to the website.

Saturday, Sept. 25

There are also some food-centered celebrations this weekend. Today, the Winchester Pickle Festival kicks off at 10 a.m. on Main Street with local vendors, live music, a chainsaw wood carving demo, pictures with Mr. Pickle and, of course, pickles — free on the Town Hall lawn until they’re gone, according to, where you can find a full listing of events.

Also today, Tuscan Market (9 Via Toscana in Salem; will hold its Passeggiata: Walk of Wine featuring more than 40 wines for tasting as well as appetizers from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $30, according to the website.

Black Bear Vineyard & Winery (289 New Road in Salisbury; will hold is Harvest Weekend today and Sunday, Sept. 26, from 1 to 5 p.m., with live music outdoors, an opportunity to learn how grapes become wine, food trucks and more, according to the winery’s Facebook page (which recommends bringing your own chairs).

Sunday, Sept. 26

The Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum and the Nature Discovery Center of Warner (18 Highlawn Road in Warner; museum is at and 456-2600, center is and 822-2334) will hold a Harvest Moon and Nature Fest today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include Native foods made from Three Sisters, bison and other local ingredients according to a press release. The day will also feature craft demonstrations (for basket weaving, beading, leather work and dream catchers), tomahawk throwing and a guided walk through the Medicine Woods, the release said. The New Hampshire Audubon Center will also bring live raptors for a “Raptor Rapture” presentation. Admission costs $10 for adults, $5 for children and a maximum of $30 per family.

Save the Date! Saturday, Oct. 3

Head to LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101 in Amherst; on Sunday, Oct. 3, for the fourth in their “Walks in the Vineyard” series, this one focusing on harvest. Learn about the grapes grown at LaBelle and the wine making process. Tickets cost $27.25 and the event runs from 11 a.m. to noon.

Featured photo: Raptors include this Barn Owl at a previous Harvest Moon and Naturefest. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 21/09/23

New Hampshire represents!

The Big E might be in Massachusetts, but New Hampshire has its own day and its own building at the 17-day fair, which is going on now and runs through Oct. 3. According to a press release, visitors to this year’s New Hampshire Building will find businesses, products and entertainers that highlight the Granite State’s craftsmanship, food, arts and agriculture. Special exhibits and demonstrations will feature crafts like chair caning, woodcarving, basket making, Russian doll making and more, and eats include blueberry pie and ice cream and butter-dipped New Hampshire corn on the cob.

Score: +1

Comment: Local performers will be on stage during New Hampshire Day, which is Friday, Sept. 24. The lineup includes a magic show by BJ Hickman, folk music by Cormac McCarthy, barbershop music from the Keene Cheshiremen Chorus and jazz by Joan Watson Jones, the release said.

Manchester West Nile virus risk elevated

Another batch of mosquitoes collected in Manchester on Sept. 7 tested positive for West Nile virus, according to a press release from the city’s Health Department. Because this is the second positive batch of mosquitoes to test positive in Manchester this season, the city’s level of risk has been elevated to moderate. According to Manchester Public Health Director Anna Thomas, the risk of infection by mosquito-borne viruses may increase from now until there is a mosquito-killing frost.

Score: -1

Comment:“We are recommending that all residents use an effective mosquito repellent that contains 30 percent DEET, avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk and remove standing water from around the home … to limit the risks of catching these infections,” Thomas said in the release.

Foliage festival will have to wait another year

The annual Warner Fall Foliage Festival, which was scheduled to take place in person Oct. 8 through Oct. 10, has been canceled. According to a message on the event’s website, the board decided last week to cancel the festival, “with tremendous disappointment, but complete confidence that it’s the right thing to do. … Our people and our community’s health and safety has always been our top priority; it always will be.” Last year’s festival was held virtually, but there are no plans to host any of the annual activities virtually this year. “No one is happy about this situation,” the festival committee wrote in its message. “We sincerely apologize.”

Score: -2

Comment: While there were a few negative comments on the event’s Facebook page in response to the announcement, most people have been supportive of the decision. “We’ve been coming to the Fall Foliage Festival for many years and always look forward to it,” one person posted. “As disappointed as we all are, you absolutely did the right thing!!! See you next year (fingers and toes crossed!!!).”

Saying goodbye to an old school

After 130 years of serving children, Hallsville Elementary School in Manchester will be decommissioned, according to a press release, meaning that the city school, which closed for good in June, will be officially returned to the city. The public is being invited to attend the decommissioning ceremony and open house on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. “A hundred and 30 years is a long time, and we’ve had many generations — entire families — come through here,” Forrest Ransdell, former Hallsville principal and current network director for the school district, said in the release. “This event will commemorate that educational tradition, and recognize the contributions of those who made this school what it is. We hope to see some of those people at this event.”

Score: -1

Comment: Students who attended Hallsville have been moved to either Jewett Street Elementary or Southside Middle School.

QOL score: 84

Net change: -3

QOL this week: 81

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

Baseball’s playoff push is on

Baseball is in the final two weeks of the regular season. And while it’s not quite 1967 or 1978, with the (sliding) Yanks, Blue Jays and (maybe stabilized) Red Sox bunched together at the top of the wild card standings, with Seattle and Oakland lurking just behind there’s an engaging race underway for the winner-take-all game playoff to qualify for the ALDS. That is if you don’t mind teams staying in it because everyone else is losing more than they are. Which could make this, if you can follow the logic, the worst good pennant race in history.  

Here’s a recap of what’s happening as we go down the stretch.   

Whether you like their approach or not you have to give Tampa Bay credit for the results. They were the first to 90 wins in the AL which was the 9th time that’s happened for them since 2007, which is pretty good given since their miniscule payroll is about $100 million per year less than the Yanks and Sox spend.
The first to 90 wins was San Francisco, who also was the first to clinch a playoff spot. And even though they may have 100 wins by the time you read this, after looking over the roster and their individual and team 2021 stats I still have no clue how they’ve done it. If you want to know why, ask my friend the insurance mogul Dick Lombardi, who just sent me an email with so many stats/reasons it made my head hurt. But they do make sense.

The Manchester F-Cats alumni association is behind the Blue Jays roaring down the stretch with an offense that scored 42 runs in a three-game sweep of the Orioles two weekends ago and 108 as they went 12-2 in their first 14 games in September to climb back into the wild card race. Leading the way are alums Vlad Guerrero Jr., who may win the Triple Crown as 46 homers and .321 average lead though he’s 8 back in the RBI race, and shortstop/F-Cat teammate Bo Bichette, who has 22 homers and 88 RBI. Plus second baseman Marcus Semien has 40 homers and 95 RBI to make him the best free agent signed of the year.  

On the other side, how in the name of Bucky Dent can a team win 11 in a row to take control of a playoff spot and then immediately lose 10 of their next 12, as the Yankees did from the last days of August through the first 10 days in September? Made worse by getting swept four straight by Toronto when they never led even one batter during the entire series. That hadn’t happened to a Yankee team since 1924, which for the mathematically challenged is a whopping 97 years ago!   

Given that mess, should talk radio still be slobbering over Brian Cashman’s trade deadline brilliance to spend big in prospects for crazy Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo while Chaim Bloom got killedfor getting Kyle Schwarber? Gallo does have 10 homers, but he’s hitting .151 in 180 at-bats with 18 RBI, while it’s .203 after an e-covid illness hot 10 games for Rizzo, but overall he’s got 6 homers and 17 RBI to Schwarber’s .276 with 4 homers and 13 RBI in less at bats.   
Arguably the year’s top feat goes to San Diego’s Blake Snell’s 13.2 consecutive hitless innings pitched on Aug. 31 and Sept. 7, the longest such streak since Johnny Vander Meer pitched back-to-back no hitters in 1938. It also reinforced how wrong the Tampa Bay stat geeks were to force Kevin Cash to yank Snell in Game 6 of last year’s World Series because they didn’t want him to face the Dodgers order a third time to blow the series. This time after walking a pair he got yanked in the 7th inning of the first game with a no-hitter in progress. The relievers gave up three hits but the Pads held on to beat Arizona. But they lost Game 2 to the Angels when after surrendering his lone hit to lose a PERFECT game he was yanked and the pen immediately gave up four hits!

Speaking of needlessly yanking guys early. With the bullpen in free fall, why would Alex Cora take out E-Rod after just six innings and 90 pitches with a 4-0 lead vs. Tampa Bay while pitching his best game of the year? Ditto for Chris Sale after five innings, one run allowed and 79 pitches on Friday.

I love the Shohei Ohtani story where at 9-2 with a 3.34 ERA, 44 homers and 94 RBI he’s had a pitch-hit year few in history can match. But two major names give him a run for his money. In 1919 Babe Ruth was 9-5 with a better ERA (2.97) in his last year as a pitcher when he also led the AL in runs scored (103), homers (29) and RBI (113) during the final year of the dead ball era. On the other side was the great Walter Johnson, who was 20-7 with a 3.07 ERA while hitting .433 when the Senators won their second straight World Series in 1925. Yes I said .433! He did it in 107 at-bats with two homers and 20 RBI, which projects to 12 and 120 in a full season. And remember Ohtani DH’s when he doesn’t pitch while Babe had to play in the field, and with 115 innings pitched he won’t get near the 229 the 37-year-old Big Train threw in 1925.  

While the above gives Ohtani my Player of the Year vote, sorry, when your team is out of it after the first two months you can’t be the MVP. Thus I’m good with Vlad Jr. or teammate Marcus Semien as the most valuable player for stellar play during Toronto’s September push. But get ready for the WAR-infatuated stat geek shut-ins still voting for Ohtani.

As Frank Costanza would say, SERENITY NOW!

Stay in the loop!

Get FREE weekly briefs on local food, music,

arts, and more across southern New Hampshire!