It’s the first weekend of fall, and our thoughts turn to brewing, apple and food festivals. This weekend has all that and more – fairy houses, folk musicians playing carols in the streets of Portsmouth and bands playing on porches all around downtown Rochester. It’s gonna be epic.
Last chance to see the “Imagine That” exhibition
The Portsmouth Historical Society’s “Imagine That! The Power of Picture Books” exhibit, the first to celebrate the extraordinary heritage of children’s books created in northern New England and featuring original artwork from over by 30 illustrators, ends this Sunday at 5pm, so make a point of heading to the Discover Portsmouth Center at 10 Middle St. in Portsmouth this weekend if you haven’t already. Admission is free for under-18s, military, over-70s and Society members; $10 for adults.
There is a special exhibition celebration on Thursday, September 22 from 6-8 p.m. on the lawn of the John Paul Jones House. The Exhibit Gallery will remain open until 6:00 p.m. for reception guests. Tickets are $40 for members of the Portsmouth Historical Society; $65 for non-members and available at portsmouthhistory.org/events.
Kittery’s 375th Birthday Party
Kittery is hosting a 375th Anniversary Party from 4:30-6:30 p.m., Friday, September 23 at the Kittery Community Center on the Frisbee Lawn. There will be carnival games, bouncy houses, an obstacle course, dessert walk, pony rides, Portsmouth Dockyard STEM activities, food and tons of fun. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Kittery PTA and the Pam Hoyt Sanborn Scholarship Fund. For information, visit kittery375th.com.
Comedian Eugene Mirman at 3S Artspace
Comedian and actor Eugene Mirman will perform in Portsmouth on Friday, September 23 at 8 p.m. at 3S Artspace. A hugely popular stand-up, many fans also know Mirman as the voice of “Gene” in the animated TV show “Bob’s Burgers” and “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” and the new movie “Confess, Fletch.” have known him since the now infamous moment he visited Portsmouth and received a parking ticket, then turned the experience into one of his best jokes that went viral. Tickets are $30 for members; $35 GA for this show for all ages and available at 3Sarts.org.
See an Elvis impersonator in Newmarket
JC and the Elvis experience will perform at the Rockingham Ballroom on Friday, September 23 at 7 p.m. The show includes Elvis’ bodyguards, known as The Memphis Boys, as well as jokes and stories told by the one and only king of rock and roll. Tickets cost between $25 and $30 and are available at portsmouthnhtickets.com.
King Kyote at the press room
Representing the entire state of Maine, King Kyote participated in the live television show “American Song Contest” this year. You can see it now this Friday, September 23 at the Portsmouth press room. The show is at 9 p.m., doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $20 at pressroomnh.com.
Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival this weekend
The 22nd edition Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival will hit the streets of the city this weekend. The festival features maritime folk musicians and chanty singers at five outdoor locations around Portsmouth during the day from 10am to 3pm on Saturday September 24 and noon to 5pm on Sunday September 25. Group events are a Saturday night concert at 7 p.m. and Chanty Blast on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Market Square. See who is playing where and when pmffest.org/2022-schedule. You can also virtually view live streamed performances. For more information on the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival, go to
pmffest.orgon Facebook at PMFF.NH, or via email
Portsmouth Fairy House Tour
The visit to the fairy house will take place on Saturday September 24 and Sunday September 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. There will be hundreds of enchanting fairy houses on display on the grounds of the Strawbery Banke Museum, Governor John Langdon House, Prescott Park Arts Festival and the Gundalow Company. Presented by Friends of the South End, all proceeds benefit local schools and non-profit organizations. Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater will perform a 20-minute excerpt from “Fairy Dance Ballet” on the Prescott Park stage at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. both days. Tickets are for one-day admission and include admission to each of the historic museums and their grounds: Family (4 people, any combination of children ages 3-12), $30 in advance, $35 at the entrance; Adults, $12 in advance, $15 at the door; Seniors, $8 advance, $10 gate; Children 3-12, $5 advance, $7 at the door; children 3 and under free at FairyHouseTour.com. Ticket entrance gates on the day of the tour will be located near the Tyco Visitor Center); at Langdon House and the Merch Booth at the Prescott Park Arts Festival.
Hampton Beach Oyster Festival
The second annual Coastal Oyster Festival will take place on the deck of Bernie’s Beach Bar in Hampton Beach on Saturday, September 24. Along with live music, craft beer and cocktails, at least six different oyster farms will be on hand to shuck their tasty shellfish. New this year are seafood samples from Gulf of Maine Conservas in Rye as well as spicy hot sauce from Pogo’s Peppers in Rye. The fun starts at 1 p.m. and lasts until the Seacoast favorite bivalves run out.
Taste of Kittery scheduled for Saturday
The 2nd Annual Taste of Kittery will take place on Saturday, September 23 as part of the town’s 375th anniversary celebration and will showcase Kittery’s rich restaurant culture. There will be food, beer, music and fun at Post Office Square, 10 Shapleigh Road, from 1-4 p.m. Advance tickets are $35 for food only; $45 for food and up to five vendor beers, ID required. Tickets at the door will cost $45 for food only; $50 for food and five beers. Tickets and information available at kittery375th.com/taste-of-kittery.
Brew Fest In The Orchard at Lee
In the sprawling apple orchard of DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, Stripe Nine Brewing Co. will present Brew Fest In The Orchard on Saturday, September 24 from 1-5 p.m. or noon-5 p.m. with a VIP ticket. The festival will feature 38 breweries, live music and food trucks. Tickets are $50 GA, $80 VIP and $15 for designated driver at eventbrite.com.
Great Bay Philharmonic Orchestra Concert
The Great Bay Philharmonic Orchestra will perform an evening of uplifting orchestral music featuring French pianist Mathilde Handelsman on Saturday 24 September. The program begins with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major and ends with Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky’s formidable masterpiece for strings, the Serenade in C major. The concert will take place at 8 p.m. at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. Tickets cost between $45 and $68 and are available at themusichall.org.
New England BIPOC Festival
The New England BIPOC Festivalsponsored by Service Credit Union, will be held outside Vida Cantina on Route 1 in Portsmouth on Sunday, September 25 from noon to 6 p.m.
Admission to the event is free, but donations can be made upon entry. Restaurants serving food and drink for purchase will include Rose’s Spring Rolls, Sassy Biscuit, Habibi and Southern Girl Bakery. There will be a mariachi band, reggae artists, Marienela’s Zumba, DJ Skooch and the Seacoast West African Dance and Drum group, in addition to other cultural dances and rituals.
Porchfest ’22 in Rochester
PorchFest is a free outdoor music festival featuring over 30 bands of all genres on outdoor stages in downtown Rochester. There will also be food, vendors and dancing in the Union Street parking lot. Participating restaurants and stores will offer specials and discounts to attendees wearing all-access wristbands, which cost $10 and can be purchased online or at the main booth on Union Street. The full access pass also grants you access to the after party at the Garage. Proceeds from this event directly support music scholarships for Rochester Performance & Arts Center students. More info, rochesteroperahouse.com/porchfest22.
Flag Hill launches a new whiskey
On Sunday, September 25, Flag Hill Winery and Distillery in Lee will launch its new American Single Malt Whiskey with a Highland Games themed party. The new whiskey will be available for sale in the Tasting Room and Store after release.
Returning to Scottish and Irish roots, Flag Hill’s American single malt is made from 100% malted barley. Crushed, fermented, distilled and aged on their property in Lee, it also nods to the American style of whiskey with the spirit aged in new charred American oak barrels for six years.
On the launch party which runs from 2pm to 7pm, there will be the New Hampshire Pipes and Drums, followed by Celtic Beats, then entertaining Rebel Collective Music and plenty of food stations. Tickets are $75 and are available at eventbrite.com.