Berry Sweet

Load up on strawberries for sweets, savory dishes and a fresh taste of summer

By Matt Ingersoll and Jack Walsh

It was a warm 70-degree morning on June 15 when Apple Hill Farm in Concord opened for its first day of pick-your-own strawberries. It also marked the return of visitors to the property for the first time since last November — the strawberry patch is just down the street from the main farm stand, which is due to fully open for the season in the coming weeks.

For many area farms, strawberry picking kicks off a fruit harvest season that will continue through the summer months with cherries, blueberries and raspberries, before apples and pumpkins take over. At Apple Hill Farm there are a total of 12 strawberry varieties that ripen over a three-week period from mid-June through about July 4.

cardboard boxes of fresh strawberries at farm
Strawberries from Apple Hill Farm in Concord. Courtesy photo.

“This is perfect for us, because we usually start between about the 15th and the 20th [of June], and we usually go until July 4, or about the 6th or so,” co-owner Diane Souther said. “Right now what we have out there for berries is beautiful.”

It’s a similar story at Sunnycrest Farm in Londonderry, which opened for pick-your-own on June 11. Sunnycrest-grown strawberries include two varieties that are not only available for pick-your-own but are used as ingredients in several items at the farm stand’s bakery.

“Every season is different for strawberries. It usually depends on how much rain you get and it can depend on how much sunlight you get,” said Danny Hicks IV, the farm’s fourth-generation owner. “I would say this year we’re pretty much right on the money for that.”

Down in Milford, Trombly Gardens began its strawberry picking season on June 10. This is the farm stand’s first year having a pick-your-own strawberry field, according to business manager Alicia Richardson. Because every day is different during an already short picking window, Richardson said exact times the field is open always vary and are posted to social media.

As you head out to your local farm to pick some strawberries, here’s a look at some different varieties and what they’re best used for, as well as what the ideal conditions are for a strawberry crop to thrive. Read on even more for some ideas on incorporating freshly picked strawberries into your cooking or baking.

Farmers market summer strawberry salad with spring veggies
Courtesy of Diane Souther of Apple Hill Farm in Concord

1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, thinly cut up
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sweetener, sugar, honey or maple syrup/sugar
2 baby cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin with the skin on
8 cherry-sized tomatoes
4 red radishes, sliced thin
juice of ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine basil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar and sweetener. Toss in a bowl, cover and chill for an hour. Slice the small baby cucumbers and juice from the ½ squeezed lemon and chill in the refrigerator. Quarter the cherry tomatoes just before serving and slice the radishes. Mix the chilled cucumbers with the strawberries and basil mixture, then add radishes and cherry tomatoes. Toss with fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately. Optional ingredients can include broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, Swiss chard or any other veggies you can find at the farmers market.

Strawberry varieties

Apple Hill Farm began its strawberry picking season with three varieties — Wendy, which is a typical early season strawberry, according to Souther, as well as Valley Sunset and Cavendish.

“They’re a lot like apples. They ripen at different times, and then sometimes they overlap a little bit,” Souther said. “This year, it seems like the early and the mid-season are coming in together.”

Differences in varieties can include everything from the fruit’s size and color to its water content, making some strawberries better-suited for eating and others for making jams or shortcakes. Amy Ladds-Davis, who is working her 11th season at Apple Hill Farm, said Wendys are typically smaller but sweeter strawberries, while the Cavendish variety is characterized by its larger size and deeper red color. As the weeks go on, mid- and late season varieties include Darselect, Dickens, Honeoye and Malwina — the latter of these is among the largest and is not unheard of to continue growing as the calendar flips to July, Souther said.

volunteers preparing strawberries with ice cream at tables for strawberry festival
Scenes from the Hollis Strawberry Festival. Courtesy photos.

“Sometimes if the strawberries are really big, they are a bit too watery for making jam and stuff with, so people like the more mid-sized ones,” she said. “Some are also good for freezing. … A lot of times with the bigger ones, we’ll just pop the caps off and freeze them whole … and then you can toss them into the blender like an ice cube. They cut right up.”

Sunnycrest Farm grows Cavendish and Cabot varieties, both of which are usually available for picking around the same time, Hicks said. Compared to one another, he said Cavendish strawberries tend to be slightly smaller and sweeter than Cabots — and while he can tell the difference, strawberries are strawberries to most pickers regardless of the variety.

“It’s funny, actually, I don’t ever have anybody asking if we have this variety or that variety of strawberry,” Hicks said. “That’s all [during] apple season. … The two varieties we have are relatively easy to grow and maintain, especially the Cavendish, which are one of my favorites.”

Kimball Fruit Farm, which has property on the state line between Hollis and Pepperell, Mass., features six strawberry varieties throughout its peak growing season. The farm originally used to only grow apples, but it’s now known for corn, peaches, kale and of course strawberries. It’s the first strawberry picking season for new owners David Wadleigh and his wife, Amanda — Brunswick, Darselect, Wendy and Allstar are a few of the popular varieties grown on the farm, and they are planted at separate times for them to be consistently ready for picking.

Strawberry festivals
Check out these events happening across the state this weekend for a chance to enjoy some locally grown strawberries and strawberry-flavored desserts and treats.

• Litchfield Community Church (259 Charles Bancroft Hwy., Litchfield) will host a drive-thru version of its annual strawberry festival on Saturday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is expected to feature fresh handmade strawberry shortcakes and strawberry rhubarb pies, as well as sausage grinders, all prepared by church congregants. All items are cash only. Local vendors, courtesy of the Litchfield Historical Society, will also be set up on the other side of the church parking lot on the day of the festival. Visit
• Join Beans and Greens Farm (245 Intervale Road, Gilford) for a strawberry festival to be held all day long on both Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26 — the celebration will include a selection of various homemade strawberry treats, along with games, face painting, a craft fair and live music under the farm’s pavilion. Admission is free. Visit
• A local tradition for more than seven decades, the Hollis Strawberry Festival will return for the first time since 2019 on Sunday, June 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. on the town common (2 Monument Square, Hollis). The festival is co-sponsored by the Hollis Woman’s Club and the Hollis Town Band — fresh, local strawberry shortcakes, with or without hand-whipped cream and homemade ice cream, will be available for sale. Local artisan and craft vendors, children’s games, strawberry-themed storytimes at the Hollis Social Library, and a live performance by the Hollis Town Band are also included. In the event of rain, the festival will take place inside Hollis-Brookline Middle School (25 Main St.). Visit

A short harvest season

Timing is everything when it comes to weather patterns that directly affect strawberry ripening.

“Last year, it was too dry in the beginning and then too wet at the end, so the plants struggled,” Souther said. “We like to have a little bit of rain at night, every couple of days or three days or so, and then bright sunshine. Strawberries really like the sun.”

Ladds-Davis said warm summer days of 70 to 80 degrees are usually the most ideal.

“You don’t want it to be up to 90 or 95 degrees because they will literally cook in the field,” she said, “but then you don’t want it to be cold either, because the sun really helps them ripen.”

Occasional rain is always welcome, but too much is also harmful to a strawberry crop.

picked strawberries on ground beside bushes
Strawberries from Trombly Gardens in Milford. Courtesy photo.

“Rain will plump the berries up, but you also don’t want too much rain,” Wadleigh said. “All berries, including strawberries, are prone to mold and mildew, and anything that reproduces with spores likes heat and moisture to propagate itself.”

Strawberries are perennial plants, or single crops that carry over multiple seasons, depending on the variety. Some strawberry beds can last two or three seasons, while others will continue to produce fruit even longer if the farmer is lucky. Hicks said they’re typically planted between April and May a whole year before being ready for picking by that June.

“You still have to take care of them the whole year, even though you’re not going to get a crop,” he said. “You’ve got to make sure they are properly irrigated and that they are winterized.”

To prepare for the winter, the beds are covered in layers of straw (hence the berry’s name).

“In late November or early December, we take a tractor with a mulcher and we drive over each row of strawberries and cover every single one of them in straw,” Hicks said. “It goes on thick, and then once it’s on there, especially when a nice snowfall comes, they’ll be nice and preserved.”

After the snow melts, Hicks said, the straw is removed in the spring, typically around early May. Another month or so of maintenance, which includes frost protection, is then required for the strawberries to fully ripen in time for peak picking season.

“The best time to start strawberry picking season is obviously when you see a reddish hue, but also when you see a little bit of white on them,” Hicks said. “They can still ripen when you bring them home, so if you pick them when they’re, say, 80 percent red, and you bring them home and they sit on your counter or in the fridge for a couple of days, they’ll actually darken up and still taste good. … If you pick the ones that are dark, dark red, you’ve got to eat them right away.”

It’s hard to predict more than a day or two out when strawberries are ripe enough for picking. If the beds are picked out, for instance, the farm may need to temporarily close — but all it takes is a nice sunny day or two for new fruit to ripen. That’s why Hicks said it’s always a good idea to check the farm’s social media pages for continuous updates. Some farms, including Sunnycrest, also have a pre-recorded phone hotline message that’s regularly updated with details on pick-your-own.

Treat yourself

strawberry frappe with whipped cream topping, beside container of strawberries on table outside
Trombly Gardens in Milford is currently offering specialty strawberry frappes. Courtesy photo.

From homemade shortcake to other strawberry-featuring baked goods and indulgences, local farm stands are offering all kinds of inspired treats to celebrate the season.

Trombly Gardens, for instance, is currently serving a specialty strawberry frappe out of its ice cream window — they’re also producing all kinds of sweets out of their bakery and kitchen, like strawberry shortcake sundaes, strawberry cake-flavored whoopie pies and, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, homemade strawberry doughnuts.

At Sunnycrest Farm, strawberries are the very first crops that Bonne Cavanagh, the farm stand’s in-house baker, receives. She uses them to bake fresh muffins — flavors include strawberry lemonade and strawberry rhubarb — as well as strawberry rhubarb crumb bars, and even a homemade strawberry cream cheese, all of which are currently available at the farm stand.

“The cream cheese is so good. It tastes like a cheesecake,” said Cavanagh, who’s been baking at Sunnycrest Farm for 10 years. “They go great with a jalapeno bagel because of the [contrast of] the hot and the sweet. The bagels are a huge hit. We get them in from New Jersey.”

Cavanagh also partners with Troy Ward Jr. of Troy’s Fresh Kitchen & Juice Bar in Londonderry. There, you’ll find her vegan gluten-free strawberry lemonade muffins, and she’s also baked strawberry rhubarb doughnuts. Once the season ends, Cavanaugh moves on to the next fruit.

rhubarb stalks in jar, with bowl of biscuits and box of strawberries on counter
Photo courtesy of Sunnycrest Farm in Londonderry.

“When I have no more strawberries, I’m done. I will not go buy strawberries or use frozen strawberries,” she said.

If you want to make a whole day of celebrating peak strawberry picking season, the Hollis Strawberry Festival is returning on Sunday, June 26, for the first time since 2019 — it’s co-sponsored by the Hollis Woman’s Club and the Hollis Town Band. A “hulling party” is scheduled to take place at the town’s Congregational Church on June 24, when Woman’s Club members, family and friends will be preparing the fruit to serve during the event.

According to festival chair Cathy Gast, the festival started out more than 70 years ago as a band concert before they soon began selling strawberry shortcake as a way to improve attendance. After two years off, the longtime tradition continues — as with previous festivals, attendees will have the option to order a strawberry shortcake with or without whipped cream, shortcake with or without Dr. Davis homemade vanilla ice cream, a bowl of ice cream with strawberries, or just a bowl of strawberries with or without sugar. Prices will vary depending on which item you choose, and the festival also features local artisan and craft vendors, children’s games, strawberry-themed storytimes in the town’s library, and a live performance by the Town Band.

Strawberry-rhubarb pudding
Courtesy of Diane Souther of Apple Hill Farm in Concord

3 cups rhubarb (fresh or frozen), cut up into small pieces
2 cups sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
2 teaspoons butter
¾ cup maple syrup
¼ cup water

Cake batter:
½ cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Streusel topping:
½ cup flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup brown sugar
½ stick of butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a quart saucepan on low heat, stew the sauce ingredients until tender (about seven minutes). To make the cake batter, cream together the sugar and butter in a small bowl, then add one cup of whole milk and stir until blended. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl, then blend with the creamed mixture of sugar, butter and milk. To make the streusel topping, cream together the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon with a fork or with your fingers. Take the strawberry-rhubarb sauce and pour into an ungreased casserole dish, leaving ¾-inch to one inch of headspace around the top. Pour the cake batter over the top and sprinkle last with the streusel topping. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

Where to get local strawberries

Here’s a list of local farms and farm stands offering fresh strawberries — where specified, it includes those that have them pre-picked as well as pick-your-own. For those that offer pick-your-own, be sure to contact each spot directly for the most up-to-date information on picking conditions and availability. Did we miss a southern New Hampshire-area farm stand offering strawberries that’s not on this list? Let us know at

Apple Hill Farm
580 Mountain Road, Concord, 224-8862,
Cost: $3.75 per pound for pick-your-own, or $8 per pre-picked quart
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Applecrest Farm Orchards
133 Exeter Road, North Hampton, 926-3721,
Cost: $6.25 per pound for pick-your-own; $5.75 per pound if picking eight pounds or more
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Barrett Hill Farm
450 Fitchburg Road, Mason, 878-2848,
Cost: Starts at $4.50 per pound for pick-your-own; price gradually decreases the more pounds you pick
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Beans & Greens Farm
245 Intervale Road, Gilford, 293-2853,
Cost: $11.49 per quart (pre-picked only)
Hours: Daily, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Brookdale Fruit Farm
41 Broad St., Hollis, 465-2240,
Cost: $4.50 per pound for pick-your-own
Hours: Most days, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; call or visit the website for the most up-to-date details on picking conditions and times

Butternut Farm
195 Meaderboro Road, Farmington, 335-4705,
Cost: $4.29 per pound for pick-your-own; $3.99 per pound if picking 10 pounds or greater
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Devriendt Farm Products
47 Story Road, Goffstown, 497-2793,
Cost: $3.99 per pound for pick-your-own
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fitch’s Corner Farm Stand
499 N. River Road, Milford, find them on Facebook
Cost: $4.75 per pint, or $8.99 per quart (pre-picked only; cash or check only)
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Heron Pond Farm
299 Main Ave., South Hampton, 394-0129,
Cost: $4.75 per pint, or $9 per quart (pre-picked only; pick-your-own likely coming soon)
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

J&F Farms
124 Chester Road, Derry, 437-0535,
Cost: $8 per quart or four quarts for $30 for pick-your-own; $10 per pre-picked quart
Hours: Days and times vary for pick-your-own and are regularly posted to social media. The farm’s hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to its website.

Johnson Golden Harvest
412 W. River Road, Hooksett, 210-2031,
Cost: $5.99 per pint, or $9.99 per quart (pre-picked only)
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kimball Fruit Farm
Route 122, on the Hollis and Pepperell, Mass., border, 978-433-9751
Cost: $3 per pound for pick-your-own
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Lavoie’s Farm
172 Nartoff Road, Hollis, 882-0072,
Cost: $3.99 per pound for pick-your-own, or $8.49 per pre-picked quart
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lull Farm
65 Broad St., Hollis, 465-7079; 615 Route 13, Milford, 673-3119;
Cost: $9 per quart (pre-picked only)
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Hollis, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Milford

McKenzie’s Farm
71 Northeast Pond Road, Milton, 652-9400,
Cost: $4.29 per pound for pick-your-own; $3.99 per pound if picking 10 pounds or greater
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

McQuesten Farm
330 Charles Bancroft Hwy., Litchfield, 424-9268, find them on Facebook
Cost: $3.99 per pound for pick-your-own, or $7.50 per pre-picked pint
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., for pick-your-own; the farm stand remains open until 5 p.m.

Paradise Farm
468 Center Road, Lyndeborough, 345-0860,
Cost: $8.49 per quart (pre-picked only)
Hours: Available at the Milford Farmers Market ( on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 300 Elm St. in Milford (across from the New Hampshire Antique Co-op)

Rossview Farm
85 District 5 Road, Concord, 228-4872,
Cost: $3.50 per pound for pick-your-own, or $8 per pre-picked quart
Hours: Sunday and Monday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 7 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m., and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Smith Farm Stand
131 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, 882-4032,
Cost: $8.50 per quart (pre-picked only)
Hours: Most weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Spring Ledge Farm
37 Main St., New London, 526-6253,
Cost: $7 per quart (cash or check only)
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for pick-your-own. The farm stand is openMonday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunnycrest Farm
59 High Range Road, Londonderry, 432-7753,
Cost: $4.50 per pound for pick-your-own, or $8.99 per pre-picked quart
Hours: Most days, 7 a.m. to noon, for pick-your-own; call or visit the website for the most up-to-date details on picking conditions and times. The farm stand is open daily, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Trombly Gardens
150 N. River Road, Milford, 673-0647,
Cost: $3.99 per pound for pick-your-own, or $8.50 per pre-picked quart
Hours: Days and times vary for pick-your-own and are regularly posted to social media. The farm stand’s summer hours are Sunday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Featured photo: Photo courtesy of Trombly Gardens in Milford.

On The Job – Sara Graziano and David Christopher

Sara Graziano and David Christopher

Treasure hunters

Married couple Sara Graziano and David Christopher are the founders and owners of Finder’s Seeker in Goffstown, a shop full of unique collectibles, toys, antiques, artwork and other treasures that they find and curate themselves.

Explain your job and what it entails.

We are resellers on a personal level. We buy collections of unwanted treasures and make them accessible to kids wanting to spend their allowance on something cool, or to adults trying to rebuild something they had when they were young. We put a lot of thought into curating, and hand pick each item that we put into the shop. Our space is small, but it’s a seamless blend of toys, antique treasures, artwork and books. We built Finder’s Seeker to be an experience, something you can interact with and be a part of.

How long have you had this job?

We have been doing this full-time since 2014, and we opened the shop in 2016.

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

Ten years ago we were displaced by a fire at our home and started going to the flea markets to replace our furniture, appliances and other items. We bought a couple of small things and resold them for a profit and thought, maybe we can do this on the side for extra money. We decided that after getting married in 2014 we would leave our jobs and try it out full-time.

What kind of education or training did you need?

David had a lot of experience with the flea markets from his childhood. His uncles, father and grandmother had been going for years and selling there as well. His grandmother was known as ‘the toy lady’ in her flea market days, famous for loose action figures and little toys spread out all over her tables for kids to excitedly dig through, which is something we try to recreate at our shop.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?


How has your job changed over the course of the pandemic?

At the start, when everything was shutting down, we had to close our doors for six months. We relied heavily on the internet and online sales. But it also allowed us to slow down a little and spend a lot of time together as a family. We have two little girls, ages 1 and 5, who sometimes come to work at the shop. It really helped us to find better ways to balance work and home life.

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

How difficult running every part of a business would be. But it has definitely helped improve our work ethic.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

People always ask us where we get our items from. We are sort of like treasure hunters. We travel around the state, looking for collections to buy from those who are cleaning out their attics and basements. Every penny we make goes directly back into the business or to our daughters. We don’t live extravagant lives, go on international vacations or have a fat savings account. We do what we do because we appreciate the freedom, and to make something wonderful together as a family.

What was the first job you ever had?

David worked at a sandwich shop and Sarabeth was a freelance photographer for her local paper.

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

Opportunity is everywhere; keep your eyes and ears open at all times.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
Anything by Neil Gaiman.
Favorite movie: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Favorite music: A little of everything.
Favorite food: Popcorn
Favorite thing about NH: The camaraderie of its communities, and, of course, the beautiful scenery — orchards, beaches, farms, mountains.

Featured photo: Sara Graziano and David Christopher. Courtesy photo.

Pride on display in Nashua

Gate City to host pride festival, parade

By Katelyn Sahagian

The city of Nashua will show love and support for LGBTQ individuals, supporting family members and straight allies with Nashua’s 2022 Pride Festival on Saturday, June 25, from 2 to 6 p.m.

“It’s important to [Mayor Jim Donchess] that everyone feels welcome and part of the community,” said Kathleen Palmer, the communications and special projects coordinator for the office of the mayor.

Before the festival starts, there will be a Pride parade, said Palmer. Attendees who want to walk in the parade can register online in advance at At the festival grounds, Daunchess will give a speech and religious leaders will hold an interfaith blessing.

Live music will feature transgender artists Who.iAm and St. Blair, the New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus, and the local rock band Venom & Mayhem Twins. The Nashua Community Music School will preview their evening concert with music by nonbinary composer Aiden Feltkamp.

Food trucks from Kona Ice, Jeannette’s Concessions, and Soel Sistas will offer Hawaiian-style shaved ice, classic festival deep-fried candies and hand-cut french fries, and tender barbecue and soul food. Stonyfield Yogurt will be handing out free yogurt cups.

A free drag show will be held inside the Court Street Theatre from 3 to 4 pm. The show is geared toward an older audience and wouldn’t be appropriate for children, Palmer said. She added that the Peacock Players Youth Theatre will have games and activities for younger festival goers on the lawn between the library and the Court Street Theatre.

After the festival officially ends, some Nashua businesses want to keep the party going. Martha’s Exchange is hosting an adults-only drag show with Pandora Boxx from Ru Paul’s Drag Race as a special guest. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $35 for VIP, and the doors will open at 7 p.m. There will be a free open mic night from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Vibe Yoga (182 Main St.) and a 5 p.m. concert at the Nashua Community Music School (2 Lock St.).

Palmer said that the Office of the Mayor had wanted to introduce an after-festival event for people too young to attend adult-only events but who want to still keep the party going.

“We discovered after the first few years of Pride that there was a big need for things for the youth of the community to do,” Palmer said. They partnered with the Gender and Sexualities Alliance at Nashua Community College and the Unitarian Universalist Church to host an after-festival dance party.

The party is for youth ages 14 to 20 and free. It’s being held at the Unitarian Universalist Church and will start at 7 p.m.

Palmer said that the fun-filled day is one that the mayor’s office hopes emphasizes the message that Nashua is a friendly place for LGBTQ people.

“The event is important to Mayor Donchess,” Palmer said. “We want everyone to know that Nashua is a welcoming city for the LGBTQ community.”

Nashua Pride Festival
When: Saturday, June 25, from 2 to 6 p.m.
Where: Parade will kick off at Elm Street Middle School, 117 Elm St., and the festival will be at the Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St.
Cost: The festival is free; afterparty events prices vary.
Visit: to sign up to walk in the parade.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

Treasure Hunt 22/06/23


I have a set of Mexican blue glass dishes/glasses/candle holders that were purchased in Mexico between 1930 and 1950. There are over 80 pieces, all in perfect condition with the exception of one glass with a small chip on the rim.

I would like to sell all of them as a set if possible. I have no idea what they are worth and how to sell them. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.


Dear Judy,

Your set looks sweet! Color is everything and cobalt blue is usually a hit.

I can’t say I’ve dealt with a lot of Mexican glassware from that period of time. I’m thinking it’s probably not easy to determine a value here in the U.S.

To give you my best advice, to price it for sale I think you have to look at it for color, style and condition. Also look at how many pieces you have! I think it should be in the range of $150+.

Now you have to find a buyer and that could be a bit hard. I agree that you should try to sell it as a set. Individually I don’t think it would get as much value.

Judy, I hope this helps and your dishes find a new home! Thanks so much for sharing.


Note: Judy, pull the one that’s chipped and offer it to the buyer after. Don’t include it in the price. Most people have no interest in any dishes damaged.

Keep it local

Consider native shrubs for your yard

Many of the “cast iron” shrubs that no one can kill are now deemed invasive: barberry, burning bush, multiflora rose and bush honeysuckle. And many others, while not invasive, have been overused: lilacs, rhododendrons and spirea, for example, are nice but not too exciting. Today I’d like to share some nice native shrubs that support wildlife and add beauty to your landscape. These are arranged here roughly in order of season of interest (for flowers, bark, berries)

close up of flower on branch
Calycanthus or sweetshrub is a shade-loving shrub I love. Photo courtesy of Henry Homeyer.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin): I grew up chewing on the twigs and leaves of this small native with a distinctive flavor that I like. It grows in dry shade and has yellow flowers early in the spring, and red berries in the fall. But to get berries you have both males and female plants (and they are not sexed the way winterberries are). The leaves can be used to make a spicy tea. It tolerates some drought, but prefers moist rich soil.

Common sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus): This can be a fussy plant — I have moved mine twice to find just the right amount of sun. I have it growing under a tall, sparse pear tree and right now it is loaded with wine-red blossoms, each a bit like a miniature peony. Allegedly fragrant, but mine is not, so buy in bloom and sniff first if fragrance is important to you. Reference books generally say it does best in full sun with moist soil, but mine burned in the sun, even with wet soil. Native to the south, but hardy to Zone 4.

Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia): This is a native that often plants itself — with the help of birds — in semi-shaded places. Its structure is fabulous — it often has 2 feet of stem between horizontal branches arranged in tiers. It prefers part shade, but I do have it in full sun growing out of a high rock wall. It grows 15 to 25 feet tall. Birds love the berries (drupes, actually) in August. White, subtle flowers in June. Not often sold in nurseries, but try it if you can find it. Avoid the variegated-leafed variety; it is not nearly as tough a plant and often fails to thrive

small tree with dark red leaves, in large garden
Pagoda dogwood showing fall color and interesting branching patterns. Photo courtesy of Henry Homeyer.

Blueberries: So many gardeners avoid blueberries because “the birds will just eat them.” Well, why not plant some for them? They have lovely white blossoms in June, nice fruit for feeding the birds and lovely red foliage in the fall. The trick to success? Test your soil, and then add sulfur or a fertilizer-containing sulfur designed for hollies and such. You need the soil pH to be between 4.5 and 5.5 to get good fruit production. And who knows? You might get a few berries yourself — even without netting. (I avoid netting as birds get tangled in it and die).

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica): New to me. I just bought one at Spring Ledge Farm in New London, New Hampshire, when I saw one in bloom. It was gorgeous, and although it’s rated as a Zone 5 plant and I’m a little colder than that some years, I had to try it. It has bottlebrush white flowers in June and red fall foliage. Best of all, for me, it does well alongside water or in wet places in full sun to part shade — and I have plenty of that. It stays 3 to 4 feet tall, but can spread by root. Full sun to full shade.

Smooth hydrangea (H. arborescens): Along with oak-leafed hydrangea, this is a native that grows wild in the forest as an understory shrub. It is stoloniferous (it spreads by roots) and only gets to be about 3 feet tall, but can form large clumps. I recently read an article about these on research done that cites a named variety called ‘Haas Halo’ that is said to be the best of all hydrangeas for pollinators. Fortunately, I had already purchased some last fall. It is, however, attractive to deer. They got eaten last fall, but came back from the roots vigorously this spring.

Rosebay rhododendron (R. maximum): This is another understory shrub, but can get quite large. I like it because it grows in shade or sun, and blooms (for me) in July. It is native to Appalachia, and large specimens dug in the wild are often sold in the nursery business. It can have either white or pink blossoms. Rhododendron State Park in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, is worth a visit in July — there are 16 acres of rhododendrons and mountain laurel.

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia): This is an August bloomer, fragrant and handsome. It blooms well in light to moderate shade, and thrives in moist soils (where full sun is tolerated). The bottlebrush flowers are upright and range from white to pink to red. Many selections are sold as named varieties.

Red-twigged dogwood (Cornus sericea): Common in the wet places in the wild and in roadside ditches. Its best attribute is the bright red bark in winter of first- or second-year stems. To keep it looking bright, cut back older stems each year. It can grow new stems up to 5 feet tall in one year!

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata): Common in nurseries, these bear bright red berries in winter that are great in wreaths — and for hungry birds. In the wild they grow in standing water, but once established they will do fine in most gardens. Buy a male cultivar for every five or so females.

So visit your local nursery, talk to someone knowledgeable, and buy some new shrubs. Ask for native shrubs that are good for our birds and pollinators. There are plenty of others not mentioned here that are nice, too!

Featured photo: Sweetspire grows alongside my stream and has nice fall color. Photo courtesy of Henry Homeyer.

Kiddie Pool 22/06/23

Family fun for the weekend

Wild days at the YMCA

• The YMCA of Downtown Manchester (30 Mechanic St.; 623-3558) is bringing back Rock the Block, after a two-year hiatus, for its sixth year. The party will be from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, and will shut down Mechanic Street. It’s free for all families to attend. There will be a DJ, different games and activities, a coloring competition, cornhole, a bounce house, arts and crafts, temporary tattoos, giveaways and more. There will also be an assortment of food, ice cream and drinks. Thrive Outdoors, an organization dedicated to teaching people and children about wilderness preparedness and survival skills, will be holding wellness activities. Admission is free. Register for the event on the YMCA’s Facebook page at

• The Greater Londonderry YMCA (206 Rockingham Road, Londonderry) will be holding Kids Night at the Y, a pool-party themed activities night for 4- to 12-year-old kids on Saturday, June 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. The YMCA’s trained child care staff will be taking care of the children, so parents can take time to themselves. In addition to active play, there will be different arts and crafts projects and a STEM workshop for kids wanting to do some science. A pizza dinner will also be served. Tickets are $25 for one child and $10 for each additional sibling. Register at

Nature on display

• Snakes, lizards, spiders and exotic pets will be on display at the New England Reptile Expo, happening at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown (700 Elm St., Manchester) on Saturday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors will include everything from exotic fish and axolotl to geckos and boas. This is the largest exotic animal expo in New England and will have 180 vendor tables, featuring more than 75 breeders. Attendees are asked to leave their own exotic pets at home. Tickets are for sale at the door and cost $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 7 to 12, and free for kids younger than 6. Visit

• Petals in the Pines’ last Spread Your Wings for this month will be on Monday, June 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event allows for infants to elementary school age kids to explore the outdoor classroom at Petals in the Pines (126 Baptist Road, Canterbury; 783-0220). Kids can choose to build a fort in the Leaf Litter Messy area, do crafts at the Indian Paintbrush Nature Art area, tend to vegetables in the Peter Rabbit Garden or build a fairy house in the Fairy Village. Reservations are required and can be placed at The price is $10 per adult with one child, $5 for each additional child and infants are free. The maximum price is $20 per family.

• Starting on Thursday, June 30, the New Hampshire Boat Museum (399 Center St., Wolfeboro Falls; 569-4554) is hosting Lake Discovery Family Days, in which kids can participate in activities related to boating and the water from 10:30 a.m. to noon. All the activities will take place outside of the museum. Kids can learn about lake ecology, do aquatic-themed arts and crafts, and play lakeshore games. The event is free of charge but does require registration. Visit

Celebrating summer

• The SEE Science Center’s (200 Bedford St., Manchester; 669-0400, Kickoff to Summer continues through Sunday, June 26, with special activities, raffles and “Spinning Science into Fun” performances by Brett “Ooch” Outchcunis featuring yo-yos, spin tops, frisbees and more, according to a press release. The center is open daily at 10 a.m. (through 4 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on weekends) and admission costs $10 per person ages 3 and up. Advance registration is recommended, the website said.

Free museum time

• The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St., Dover; 742-2002) is hosting Free Play Days for children from military families through Labor Day. All summer long, the children of active military members, including the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard and members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps and veterans can sign up to play for free. Mask-optional days are Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. Mask-required days are Tuesdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to noon. The museum limits the registration to five immediate family members, and military identification is required upon registration. Register at

Big plans for Market Days

Find live performances, family fun and shopping in downtown Concord

By Delaney Beaudoin

Market Days Festival is returning for its 48th year this weekend in downtown Concord. Located right on Main Street, the festival will run from Thursday, June 23, through Saturday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. At no cost to attend, the festival has events scheduled for the entire family, making it an ideal and affordable way to spend a summer weekend.

This year, the festival will feature more than 160 vendors setting up tents and booths along Main Street, along with three outdoor stages of live music each day, kid-friendly activities including yoga and bounce houses, a dog-friendly park and three beer gardens. Vendors include local retail stores, restaurants and cafes, nonprofit organizations and local service providers.

Originally known as Old Fashioned Market Days, the festival was started as a way for merchants to clear out their old inventory and make room for the new season. Jessica Martin, Executive Director of the nonprofit Intown Concord, responsible for planning the festival, noted the important role that the Market Days Festival has played in the community of Concord throughout its duration.

“It’s just grown and just became this tradition. It’s kind of taken on a life of its own as far as a community event goes, I think it does a lot for bringing people downtown. We really try to focus on making it accessible for everyone,” Martin said.

In addition to playing a large role in building Concord’s community, the festival acts as an important event for the city’s arts scene. Each of the festival’s three stages will feature a wide array of live music performances throughout each day. Most notably, the nationally known band Vertical Horizon is set to perform on the main stage on Saturday, June 25, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. This performance, born from a collaboration between the festival and the Capitol Center for the Arts, is, according to Executive Director Salvatore Prizio, the first time the pair has hosted such a high-profile artist.

“This is our proof of concept. And if it works really well this year, we’ll come back next year,” he said. “We’re going to mix things up and we’re going to try new things with it and just kind of keep the audience happy and entertained. I want everybody to have a good time.”

The Concord Arts Market will also be set up at the festival, on Pleasant Street each day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. More than 30 artists and artisans will be selling their handmade work. Some of the items available to purchase include fine art paintings, jewelry, photography, handmade soaps and pottery.

“I think it’s an opportunity to bring in a wider audience that we don’t always have, or that we’re not always able to tap into for our regular market,” said Christa Zuber, producer of the Concord Arts Market. According to Zuber, the arts market, which previously operated on a weekly basis, has transitioned to monthly in recent years.

“We found that switching it to monthly from weekly … kind of gives it a little more of an event status. A little more urgency for people to come on the day that it’s there … like if you don’t come, and you’re going to miss it,” she said.

Market Days Festival
Here are some of the events planned at this weekend’s festival.

Clueless (PG-13, 1995) film screening
Where: Red River Theatres, 11 S. Main St., Concord
When: Friday, June 24, dusk
Red River Theatres will also hold its Music, Movie & Poster sale during Market Days.

Headliner: Vertical Horizon Performance
Where: The Main Stage (South Main Street, Concord)
When: Saturday, June 25, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

KidZone presented by Vertical Entertainment
Where: Statehouse lawn
When: June 23 through June 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Meet the Instruments and Students
Where: City Hall Plaza
When: Saturday, 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.

Storytime Under the Tree
Where: State House Lawn
When: All three days, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Blossom Yoga
Where: State House Lawn
When: Thursday, June 23, and Friday, June 24, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Comedy and Juggling with Jason Tardy
Where: City Hall Plaza
When: Saturday, June 25, noon and 3 p.m.

Music & Movement with Miss Heather
Where: City Hall Plaza
When: All three days, 10 a.m.

Zumba for the Whole Family
Where: City Hall Plaza
When: Friday, June 24, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Doggy Splash Pad
Where: By the Statehouse
When: June 23 through June 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Concord Pilates
Where: Statehouse Lawn
When: June 23 through June 25, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Boy Scouts Mobile Base Camp
Where: City Plaza
When: Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Concord Arts Market
Where: Pleasant Street
When: June 23 through June 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Featured photo: Courtesy of Intown Concord.

The Art Roundup 22/06/23

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

Live musical: Take in an underrepresented storyline following a group of women who bond over both the woes and joys of going through “the change” after meeting in a department store underwear section. Showing on Sunday, June 6, at 2 and 5:30 p.m. at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St, Concord), Menopause the Musical is celebrating its 20th year in production, with an impressive stage history as the 15th longest-running show in Las Vegas history. It has been seen by more than 17 million people and played in more than 500 cities worldwide. The show runs for 90 minutes; tickets start at $44 each, dependent on seating. This show is recommended for viewers age 14 and up. Visit

Paint and sip: Join Wildlife Encounters Ecology and Wellness Center (270 Beauty Hill Road, Barrington) for a paint and sip night on Saturday, June 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will offer guests painting instruction and a mini-tour of the Wildlife Encounters Sanctuary and will feature a live baby coatimundi known as “Diego” to model for the paintings. All needed materials will be provided. Tickets to the event cost $50 for non-members and $45 for members. Pre-registration is required. Visit

Landscape/Lakescape painting class
Learn some valuable painting skills from a seasoned professional at The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s acrylic landscape painting class at the Meredith Fine Craft Gallery (279 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith) on Saturday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to noon. The Gallery is also offering a watercolor “lakescape” painting class on Saturday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. The classes will be taught by instructor Ann Xavier, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with three decades of teaching experience. The classes are intended for all skill levels — the cost per each class is $70 per student, with a materials fee of $35 to be paid to the instructor on class day (register now, as space is limited). Visit

Free museum admittance: Every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., join the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester) for its Art After Work: Free Thursday Nights program. The program offers free gallery tours and admittance to the museum during the designated hours. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy live music, happy hour drink specials and a full menu. Tours will meet in the lobby and last about 30 minutes. Members of the museum will receive a 10 percent discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages with the presentation of a valid membership card. Visit

Music and art festival: Running from Friday, June 24, at 2 p.m. to Saturday, June 25, at 10 p.m., the Northlands Music and Art Festival will be held at the Cheshire Fairground (247 Monadnock Hwy., Swanzey). The festival will feature more than 15 live music performances over two days from local and nationally touring artists, in addition to installation art, performance art, local food trucks, a beer garden and local artisans. Tickets can be purchased in single day passes or for the whole weekend. A one-day general admission pass costs $79 for adults, $20 for kids age 4 to 12, and kids under 4 get in free. Two-day general admission passes cost $139 for adults and $35 for kids age 4 to 12. VIP tickets are also available. Visit:

Mural Festival Fundraising
Local artist James Chase in collaboration with Arts Build Community is seeking fundraising for their “Community Canvas” project. The funding will be used to produce a 10-day-long mural festival running from Aug. 11 through Aug. 21, involving local and non-local muralists working toward the completion of seven murals throughout Manchester. This project was created with the hope of uniting and inspiring the community through art. “This program that we’re launching is about building with the community, not for the community. So that way the murals reflect the community’s needs, values, and culture…. We’re doing our due diligence ahead of time working with nonprofits to really raise and reflect community voices as we’re making these murals,” Chase said. The program holds a goal of raising $50,000 by July; they currently have raised $18,000. Chase plans to use the funds raised to buy supplies, pay artists and hold community events. “I think that murals and art in general has an opportunity to uplift, to increase voices, to instill community pride.” Chase said, “and a lot of what’s going to be happening in the making in between is just as important as the final piece. So we really see this as community building when fostering connection.” For more information or to donate to the project, visit

Exhibit: Art 3 Gallery is displaying its current exhibit, “Layered: Color and Texture,”in its gallery (44 W. Brook St., Manchester) now through Sept. 15. The exhibit aims to engage all senses of the viewers, incorporating vivid color use and varying texture. “The tactile quality of an object’s surface appeals to the sense of touch. Whereas creating hidden depths of light and color with layers of paint and glazes attract the viewer’s sense of sight,” the Gallery wrote on its website. There is a virtual gallery tour available online or visitors may come in person Monday through Friday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Visit

Theatre event: The Palace Theatre is hosting Night of 1000 Stars in celebration of their “ever so talented Palace Youth Theatre actors.” The event will be held at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester) on Tuesday, June 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $12 and are seating dependent. Visit

Peterborough Players
The Peterborough Players are returning to the indoor stage for the first time since February 2020 with their season opening show, Cabaret, running from Thursday, June 23, through Sunday, July 3. Set in 1930s Berlin, this award-winning musical surrounds the themes of love, underground subcultures and politics. In a press release sent by the Theatre, Artistic Director Tom Frey was quoted as saying, “We all remember it as the ultimate song-and-dance musical, but at its core it asks really difficult questions about a moment in history that cannot, and must not, be forgotten. Not only is it timeless in its structure, but its themes remain sadly still relevant.” Tickets to the play cost $47 each and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 924-7585. Visit



• “WARHOL SCREEN TESTS” In the mid-1960s, American multimedia artist Andy Warhol had shot more than 400 short, silent, black-and-white films of his friends at his studio in New York City. Warhol referred to the films, which were unscripted and played in slow motion, as “film portraits” or “stillies.” The exhibition will feature 20 of those films, provided by the Andy Warhol Museum, in loops across four large-scale projections. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display now through July 24. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children age 12 and under and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit for more information.

• “ARGHAVAN KHOSRAVI” Artist’s surrealist paintings explore themes of exile, freedom and empowerment; center female protagonists; and allude to human rights issues, particularly those affecting women and immigrants. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display now through Sept. 5. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children age 12 and under and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit for more information.

• “THE PEOPLE’S SCULPTOR: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF JOHN ROGERS” Exhibit celebrates the art of American sculptor John Rogers, who came to Manchester in 1850, and explores the influence that Manchester had on Rogers’ life and work. Presented by the Manchester Historic Association. On view now through September. Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Manchester). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $8 for adults, $6 for seniors age 62 and up and college students, $4 for youth ages 12 through 18, and is free for kids under age 12. Call 622-7531 or visit

• “WOOL: CONTEMPORARY FIBER ART EXHIBITION Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen) through Sept. 2. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 975-0015.

• “PIXELS, WOOD, CLAY” Two Villages Art Society presents an exhibition of work by artists Tony Gilmore, Rick Manganello and Caren Helm. The Bates Building (846 Main St., Contoocook). Aug. 12 through Sept. 9. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. There will be an opening reception on Sat., Aug. 13, from noon to 2 p.m. Visit or call 413-210-4372.

ART ON MAIN The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce present a year-round outdoor public art exhibition in Concord’s downtown featuring works by professional sculptors. All sculptures will be for sale. Visit, call 224-2508 or email for more information.

Fairs and markets

CONCORD ARTS MARKET The juried outdoor artisan and fine art market runs one Saturday a month, June through October, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Market dates are July 30, Aug. 20, Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. Rollins Park, 33 Bow St., Concord. The first market will be held on Saturday, June 11. Visit for more information.

CRAFTSMEN’S FAIR The annual nine-day outdoor craft fair hosted by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen features hundreds of craftspeople with vendor booths, plus special craft exhibitions, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and more. Sat., Aug. 6 through Sun., Aug. 14. Mount Sunapee Resort, 1398 Route 103, Newbury. Call 224-3375 or visit for more information.

HAMPTON FALLS LIBERTY CRAFT FESTIVAL More than 75 juried artisans from all over New England will feature their work. Hampton Falls town common (4 Lincoln Ave.). Sat., July 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sun., July 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit

GUNSTOCK 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND CRAFT FAIR There will be more than 90 artisans displaying and selling their work. Gunstock Mountain Resort (719 Cherry Valley Road, Gilford). Sat., July 2, and Sun., July 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit

CRAFT FAIR AT THE BAY More than 75 juried artisans from all over New England will feature their work. Sat., July 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sun., July 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Community House and Waterfront (24 Mount Major Highway, Alton Bay). Visit

GREELEY PARK ART SHOW The annual outdoor juried art show hosted by Nashua Area Artists Association features a variety of artwork for sale. Greeley Park, 100 Concord St., Nashua. Sat., Aug. 20, and Sun., Aug. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit


NASHUA PUBLIC ART AUDIO TOUR Self-guided audio tours of the sculptures and murals in downtown Nashua, offered via the Distrx app, which uses Bluetooth iBeacon technology to automatically display photos and text and provides audio descriptions at each stop on the tour as tourists approach the works of art. Each tour has 10 to 15 stops. Free and accessible on Android and iOS on demand. Available in English and Spanish. Visit for more information.

Workshops and classes

ART CLASSES Art classes for teens and adults, including Pottery, Stained Glass, Intermediate Watercolor and Clay Hand Building. Studio 550 Art Center (550 Elm St., Manchester). Five-week sessions. Classes met for two hours a week. Call 232-5597 or visit for the full schedule and cost details.

DRAWING & PAINTING CLASSES Art House Studios, 66 Hanover St., Suite 202, Manchester. Classes include Drawing Fundamentals, Painting in Acrylic, Drawing: Observation to Abstraction, Exploring Mixed Media, and Figure Drawing. Class sizes are limited to six students. Visit or email arthousejb@gmail.comfor more information.

GENERAL ART CLASSES Weekly art classes offered for both kids and adults of all skill levels and cover a variety of two-dimensional media, including drawing and painting with pastel, acrylic, watercolor and oils. Classes are held with small groups of three to eight to five students. Diane Crespo Fine Art Gallery (32 Hanover St., Manchester). Kids classes, open to ages 10 and up, are held on Thursdays and Fridays, from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. Adult classes are held on Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Tuition is pay-as-you-go at $20 per student per class, due upon arrival. Call 493-1677 or visit for availability.



STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS Monthly workshop series hosted by True Tales Live storytelling showcase. First Tuesday (except November), from 7 to 8:30 p.m., virtual, via Zoom. Registration is required. Visit for more information.


LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester) presents the musical through June 26, with showtimes on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon. Tickets cost $25 to $46. Visit or call 668-5588.

•​ PRIVATE LIVES The Winnipesaukee Playhouse (33 Footlight Circle, Meredith) presents through June 25, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $23 to $39. Visit

•​ ANYTHING GOES The Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents. June 16 through July 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 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $52. Visit or call 433-4472.

THE BALD SOPRANO Produced by the Community Players of Concord. The Hatbox Theatre (located inside the Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord) through Sun., June 26. Showtimes are on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for students, seniors and members and $16 for senior members. Visit or call 715-2315 for more information.

FOOTLOOSE Prescott Park Arts Festival (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) presents this outdoor musical through Aug. 14, with showtimes on most Thursdays and Sundays at 7 p.m., and most Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with some matinee showtimes TBA. General admission costs $5, and reserved seating tickets cost $55 to $150. Visit or call 436-2848.

•​ MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord). Sun., June 26, with showtimes at 2 and 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $44. Visit or call 225-1111.

•​ THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) [REVISED] The Winnipesaukee Playhouse (33 Footlight Circle, Meredith) presents. June 29 through July 9, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., plus matinees on Thurs., June 30, and Tues., July 5, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $29 to $39. Visit

INTO THE WOODS RGC Theatre presents. Hatbox Theatre (inside the Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). July 8 through July 17, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $22 for students, seniors and members and $19 for senior members. Visit or call 715-2315.

TRUE TALES LIVE Portsmouth-based storytelling showcase. Monthly, last Tuesday (no shows in July and August), from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Shows will be held in person (Portsmouth Public Media TV Studio, 280 Marcy St., Portsmouth) starting in April, and returning to the Zoom format for the winter, starting in November. Each month’s showcase is centered around a different theme. The series is free and open to all who want to watch or participate as a storyteller. Pre-registration for attendees is required for Zoom shows but not required for in-person shows. Visit and email if you’re interested in being a storyteller.

TITANIC THE MUSICAL Presented by the Manchester Community Theatre Players. Manchester Community Theatre Players Theatre, located at the North End Montessori School (698 Beech St., Manchester). Showtimes on Fri., Oct. 14 and Oct. 21, and Sat., Oct. 15 and Oct. 22. Visit or call 327-6777.


Open calls

THE RHYTHM OF NEW HAMPSHIRE SHOW CHORUS Women’s a cappella chorus is looking for female singers in the region to join. The group, an affiliate of the North American singing organization Harmony, Inc., performs a wide variety of music, including Broadway musical songs, patriotic songs, pop, jazz and seasonal pieces, for community and veterans’ events and private functions. Rehearsals are held weekly on Thursdays from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 39 W. Broadway, Derry. Masks are required for singing, but both vaccinated and unvaccinated singers are welcome. Visit or email for more information.

Going to Hollywood

Author Paul Brogan discusses new book

By Delaney Beaudoin

Paul Brogan became pen pals with Doris Day at just 8 years old. After viewing the 1960 comedy Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, starring Doris Day as a mother of four, at a drive-in movie theater with his parents, Brogan wrote a fan letter addressed simply to “Doris Day, Hollywood, California.”

book cover for A Sprinkling of Stardust Over the Outhouse by Paul Brogan
Memoir by Paul Brogan

“I just thought as a little boy, oh, she is the most wonderful mother. In my fan letter, I said, ‘Miss Day, if I didn’t have my own mother, I’d love to have you,’” Brogan said. “And she wrote back. And she said it was the sweetest fan letter she had ever gotten. And she said, please stay in touch. And she sent me her home address.”

Despite Brogan’s early desires to travel to tinsel town and pursue a career in screenplay writing, Doris Day remained Brogan’s only connection to Hollywood and his dream of writing for the majority of his life.

Brogan, who now lives in Concord with his spouse, Alan, will be at Gibson’s Bookstore on Thursday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m., to discuss his third and latest book, A Sprinkling of Stardust Over the Outhouse: Musings, Memories, Madness, and Pillow Talk! The book retells the trajectory of Brogan’s life and the lessons he’s had to learn for himself about the importance of being true to yourself, even in the face of hardship.

“This time I returned to a topic I sort of know: myself,” Brogan said. “When you’re in your late 60s, you start to realize that life is finite, you’re not going to live forever. And if there is a philosophy, or something that you feel should be shared, that other people might either benefit from or just be entertained from sharing it, that it’s the time to do it.”

Brogan’s whirlwind of a life, which began with growing up gay and Catholic in the 1950s and ’60s, took many twists and turns as the author slowly began to realize the key to happiness is listening to your own desires and wants, rather than the ones others impress upon you.

“Growing up, I was told, well, you can’t go to Hollywood, Paul, you’re not good-looking enough. And I would say, but I don’t want to be in the movies, I want to write, I want to do something. And they would say, Oh, you’re not a very good writer, so don’t, don’t follow that, you’re only going to be disappointed when you fail,” said Brogan.

Despite others’ doubt, Brogan did eventually make it to Hollywood, where he met Doris Day in her home in 1973. Their friendship would persist through the duration of her life.

In his life, Brogan made many career changes in his pursuit of happiness. Originally working traditional jobs for many years made Brogan realize his dissatisfaction with the path laid out for him.

“I was basically in the era where I thought, Paul, you need to find a nice job. Stick with it for 40 years; when you retire they’ll give you a gold watch and a pension. And these crazy ideas you have about wanting to be a writer or go to Hollywood, that’s all up in your head. And it’s just not realistic,” he said.

Day continued to act as a mentor for Brogan, who in the mid-’80s suffered a mental breakdown caused by his unfulfillment in daily life.

“She said to me, Paul, right now, you’re at a juncture in your life, you need the ocean, you need the calming sea,” Brogan said.

Brogan heeded Day’s advice and moved up to Ogunquit, Maine, shortly after, where he took up a job playing piano at a restaurant.

“I’ve been playing piano since I was 5, but I’d never done it professionally. So the ocean and everything helped to give me a whole new perspective on what had value and what mattered. And that I had to stop listening to other people’s concepts of what I was supposed to be or do, and that I had to find my own niche,” he said.

Brogan would go on to work in the nonprofit sector, helping people who were “infected and affected” at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Eventually, Brogan fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a writer, just not in the guise of the silver screen as he originally imagined.

“I was in my 50s when I wrote the first book 11 years ago, the first time I really dipped my toe in the water, so to speak, and said I’m finally going to do this. I talked about it when I was 15 and 16…. When the book became successfulI said, wow, it’s nice in your late 60s to be able to call yourself a writer.”

The unique title, which interestingly enough Brogan developed before writing the book, refers to a commonly used phrase.

“Pardon me, sh*t happens…. In the book, I basically say, yeah, that’s gonna happen, but you don’t dwell on it and make that your mantra in life. You put that crap into the outhouse, where it belongs, and forget about it. And just to make sure, just sprinkle some stardust — your hopes, your dreams, the next chapter of your life — over the outhouse. Then you’re able to move on to whatever is the next thing that’s in store for you,” Brogan said.

Paul Brogan Presents at Gibson’s Bookstore
Where: Gibson’s Bookstore, 45 S. Main St., Concord
When: Thursday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m.

Featured photo: Paul and Doris Day in Beverly Hills. Photo courtesy of Paul Brogan.

This Week 22/06/23

Big Events June 23, 2022 and beyond

Thursday, June 23

This is the last week to see the award-winning musicalLegally Blondeat the Palace Theatre (80 Hannover St., Manchester). The musical follows Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandals while attending Harvard Law School and pursuing her dreams. The high-energy musical closes on June 26. Ticket prices range from $25 to $46. Showtimes are on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at noon. Tickets can be purchased online at

Friday, June 24

The Canvas Roadshow Studio (25 S. River Road, Bedford) is giving people a chance to customize their sneakers at the Custom Sneaker Workshop today from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The studio will supply materials and patterns for people to choose from. Just make sure to bring a pair of canvas shoes to decorate. The workshop is for people ages 12 and older and costs $35 per person. Register at

Sunday, June 26

Help support the Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity by entering in their Cornhole Competition from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Budweiser Brewery Experience (221 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack) This is the only fundraiser this year for the Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity. Tickets for competing teams costs $75 and they have to register a team name and a T-shirt size. The top three winning teams will earn prizes for their bag tossing skills. In addition to the competition, there will be food trucks and drinks and alcoholic beverages served at the Biergarten. Sign up at

Monday, June 27

Larry Gagnon is holding his fundraiser, PMC Piccola Night, at Piccola Italia Ristorante (815 Elm St., Manchester) tonight from 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $50 and include a buffet and drinks. All the money raised will be donated to the Pan Mass Challenge, a biking course that raises money for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Email Gagnon at for more details.

Wednesday, June 29

This is the first night of the Free Concerts on Pelham Village Green for the summer. The green outside the library (24 Village Green) will be ready for families and music lovers to listen to music by All Day Fire Band. The Pelham Parks and Recreation department is encouraging people to bring lawn chairs or blanket, a book, ball, Frisbee, or other outdoor activities to do while they listen to the live music. The concert is free and runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 29

Manchester’s “Summer Series Movies in the Park at Veterans Park” kicks off today at 8 p.m. with a screening of Black Panther (PG-13, 2018). Upcoming screenings include Jim Henson’s Labyrinth (PG, 1986) on July 13 and Encanto (PG, 2021) on July 27. The series finishes off with The Wedding Singer (PG-13, 1998), starring Manchester’s own Adam Sandler, on Aug. 10, according to a post on the Manchester Parks & Recreation Division’s Facebook page.

Save the Date! Saturday, July 2
The Fifth Annual Tree Streets Block Party will be on Saturday, July 2, from 2 to 6 p.m., on Ash Street between Central and West Hollis streets in Nashua. There will be a hot rod car show, a cookie competition, a skateboarding and BMX bike competition, and carnival games that will raise money for charity. Food vendors Los Amigos Barbecue and Soel Sistas will also be there, and live music will be featured. Admission is free. Visit for more details.

Featured photo. Black Panther. Courtesy photo.

Stay in the loop!

Get FREE weekly briefs on local food, music,

arts, and more across southern New Hampshire!