Summer fairs and festivals
Save the date for the best family-friendly summer fairs and festivals in New Hampshire
New Hampshire agricultural fairs
When: Thursday, July 19 – Sunday, July 22, 2018
Where: Stratham Hill Park
Route 33 in Stratham, NH
More information: www.strathamfair.com
North Haverhill Fair
When: Wednesday, July 25 – Sunday, July 29, 2018
Where: 1299 Dartmouth College Highway in Haverhill, NH
More information: nohaverhillfair.com
When: Wednesday, August 2 – Sunday, August 5, 2018
Where: Monadnock Highway in Swanzey, NH
More information: http://cheshirefair.org
Belknap County 4-H Fair
When: Friday, August 10 – Sunday, August 12, 2018
Where: Mile Hill Road in Belknap, NH
More information: www.bc4hfair.org
When: Friday, August 17 – Sunday, August 19, 2018
Where: Town House Road in Cornish, NH
More information: www.cornishfair.org
Hopkinton State Fair
When: Friday, August 31 – Monday, September 3, 2018
Where: State Fairgrounds in Contoocook, NH
More information: www.hsfair.org
When: Thursday, August 30 – Monday, September 2, 2018
Where: 516 Main Street in Lancaster, NH
More information: http://lancasterfair.com/
Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair
When: Friday, September 7 – Sunday, September 9, 2018
Where: 15 Hill Dale Lane in New Boston, NH
More information: www.hcafair.com
When: Thursday, September 27 – Sunday, September 30, 2018
Where: Deerfield Fairgrounds
Route 43 in Deerfield, NH
More information: www.deerfieldfair.com
When: Friday, October 6 – Sunday, October 8, 2018
Where: Sandwich Fairgrounds
Route 109 North in Center Sandwich, NH
More information: www.thesandwichfair.com
Family-friendly annual festivals
Wildquack Duck River Festival & Jackson Cake Boss Competition
When: Sunday, May 27, 2018
Where: Jackson Village, Jackson, NH
More information: visit www.jacksonnh.com or call 603-383-9356
About: More than 3,000 yellow ducks float their way down the Wildcat River to the finish line where those holding winning tickets compete for $2,500 and great prizes like spa packages. Jackson’s Cake Boss contest draws bakers and pastry chefs from around the region competing with their most outlandish cake creations. Food vendors, kids’ games.
Market Square Day
When: Saturday, June 8, 2018
Where: Market Square in Downtown Portsmouth, NH
More information: www.proportsmouth.org or call 603-433-4398
About: This event has all of the things you love about a street fair – food, live entertainment, hundreds of craft booths and much more. The event kicks off with the Market Square Day 10K Road Race.
Master Sand Sculpting Competition
When: Thursday, June 14 - Saturday, June 16, 2018
Where: Hampton Beach, Ocean Boulevard, Hampton, NH
More information: www.hamptonbeach.org or call 603-926-8717
About: Watch sculptors transform sand into magical works of art. This three-day event also features sand sculpting lessons, live music and fireworks.
Market Days Festival
When: Friday, June 21 - Sunday, June 23, 2018
Where: Downtown Concord, NH
More information: intownconcord.org
About: This three-day street festival draws thousands of people to Main Street for food, artisans, vendors, live entertainment and more.
Hillsborough Balloon Fest & Fair
When: Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 15, 2018
Where: Grimes Field in Hillsborough, NH
More information: www.balloonfestival.org or call 603-464-0377
About: More than 30,000 people attend the annual Balloon Festival & Fair. Balloon flights, carnival midway, parade, road race, food, live entertainment and fireworks.
American Independence Festival
When: Saturday, July 14, 2018
Where: American Independence Museum
1 Governor's Lane in Exeter, NH
More information: independencemuseum.org
About: Step back in time as your family roam the Museum’s grounds to see colonial living in action, learn to muster, play colonial games, enjoy re-enactments, explore the artian's village and more.
Suncook Valley Rotary Hot Air Balloon Rally
When: Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5, 2018
Where: Drake Field on Route 28 in Pittsfield, NH
More information: facebook.com/PittsfieldRotaryBalloonRally
About: This is a free event with free entertainment. Check out the hot air balloons, super night glow, pancake breakfast, carnival and midway rides,food, live entertainment and fireworks.
League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair
When: August 4 through August 12, 2018
Where: Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, NH
More information: www.nhcrafts.org or call 603-224-3375
About: More than 350 crafts-people showcase their work at the Craftsmen’s Fair. If it’s made by hand, you can find it here — jewelry, textiles, wood, furniture, glass, pottery and much more. Don’t forget to pick up a limited-edition annual holiday ornament.
Jaffrey Festival of Fireworks
When: Saturday, August 16, 2018
Where: Jaffrey Airfield in Jaffrey, NH
More information: jaffreyfireworks.com
About: Live entertainment, food, games, 35-minute firework show; $8-$325 depending on group size and vehicle.
Hampton Beach Children’s Festival
When: Monday, August 13 – Friday, August 17, 2018
Where: Ocean Boulevard (Hampton Beach boardwalk) in Hampton, NH
More information: hamptonbeach.org/events/childrens-events/
About: A week's worth of free fun and events for the kids all leading up to a costume parade on Friday.
North Country Moose Festival
When: Friday, August 24 – Saturday, August 25, 2018
Where: Downtown Colebrook, NH
More information: www.northcountrychamber.org or call 603-237-8939
About: The North Country Moose Festival weekend-long event includes craft booths, classic car show and a moose-calling contest along with food and live entertainment.
Auburn Day and 26th Annual Duck Race
When: Saturday, September 8, 2018
Where: Auburn Village (by the school and library) in Auburn, NH
More information: www.auburnhistorical.org
About: In addition to the famous duck race, visitors can enjoy the Salmon Falls apple pie contest, Duckling Dash 5k, Pretty Chicken Contest, New Hampshire artisans, crafters and vendors, children’s activities, food and more.
New Hampshire Highland Games
When: Friday, September 21 – Sunday, September 23, 2018
Where: Loon Mountain on Route 112 in Lincoln, NH
More information: www.nhscot.org
About: Watch traditional highland games as well as enjoy live music, demonstrations and special kids events like storytelling, crafts, games and the junior games.
Annual Fairy House Tour
When: Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23, 2018
Where: The grounds of the Governor John Langdon House, Strawbery Banke Museum, Prescott Park and Pierce Island in Portsmouth, NH
More information: portsmouthfairyhousetour.com
About: Bring your kids and enjoy the world's largest fairy house tour.
Food and drink events
29th Annual Chowderfest & Brews
When: Sunday, May 27, 2018
Where: Waterville Valley Town Square in Waterville Valley, NH
More information: www.waterville.com or call 603-236-8175
About: Area restaurants compete for the coveted Golden Clam for the best chowder. Regional brewers serve locally made beer. Live music.
34th Annual WOKQ Chowder Festival
When: Saturday, June 2, 2018
Where: Prescott Park in Portsmouth, NH
More information: prescottpark.org
About: Each year, more than 4,000 people help kick off the Prescott Park Arts Festival summer season by enjoying more than 500 gallons of piping hot chowder served up for tasting.
17th Annual Best of NH Party
When: Thursday, June 14, 2018
Where: Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 1 Line Drive in Manchester, NH
More information: www.bestofnh.com
About: The annual Best of NH Party is a tasting event that celebrates New Hampshire Magazine's readers' poll and editor's pick winners. More than 60 booths will have award-winning food and beverages and there is also live music and entertainment.
When: Friday, June 15 through Sunday, June 17, 2018
Where: Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Merrimack, NH
More information: www.ribfestnh.com
About: The Rock’n Ribfest has local “ribbers” serving up barbecued ribs and other specialties, competing for the New Hampshire State Barbeque Champion title. Live music, children’s activities.
Fire on the Mountain Chili Fest
When: Sunday, August 19, 2018
Where: Pat’s Peak Ski Area, Flanders Road, Henniker, NH
More information: http://chilinewhampshire.org
About: Head to Pat's Peak for a celebration of all things spicy and hot. This is an annual fundraiser for the Henniker Rotary Club.
Hampton Beach Seafood Festival
When: Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9, 2018
Where: Hampton Beach on Ocean Boulevard in Hampton, NH
More information: www.hamptonbeachseafoodfestival.com
About: The only place you’ll find fresher seafood and more variety is in the ocean itself! This festival features 60 of the Seacoast’s top restaurants serving everything from fried clams to lobster along with landlubber fare like BBQ ribs, onion blossoms and desserts. Craft vendors, music and fireworks add to this not-to-miss event.