Top Events and Festivals in New Hampshire
Explore this selection of the top annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) in the State of New Hampshire.
Please note: Top Events USA does not include every single event on offer in New Hampshire – only those recognized as the best by residents of New Hampshire, visitors to the "The Granite State", the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA and officials of New Hampshire too.
New Hampshire is known as “The Granite State”, a nickname that unfolded from the days when New Hampshire started to enjoy a large industry surrounding the quarrying of granite.
Maple Sugaring in New Hampshire
A statewide event in which more than 50 sugar houses across New Hampshire open their doors to visitors, offering plenty of opportunities to tour maple orchards and sugar houses, learn how maple syrup is made, taste free samples of maple products and fill up on pancake breakfasts. Each year, the New Hampshire maple industry produces close to 90,000 gallons of maple syrup. Maple sugaring time in New Hampshire runs from mid-February to mid-April.
For more information about Maple Sugaring in New Hampshire take a look at:
or visit: http://www.nhmapleproducers.com
Fields of Lupine Festival
early to mid June
Franconia, Sugar Hill and Easton, New Hampshire
Held every summer, this regional festival celebrates the blossoming of the lupine, a captivating and bountiful wildflower. The communities of Franconia, Easton, Sugar Hill, Bethlehem, Littleton and Lisbon join together in this 3-week event to showcase a number of colorful events including a special pageant. There are also a number of events such as historic tours, garden workshops, concerts, contests, and performances. Artists and crafters using all types of media, whose work is inspired by regional flowers and plants, exhibit their work.
For more information about the Fields of Lupine Festival visit:
Laconia Motorcycle Week
Laconia, New Hampshire
The Laconia Motorcycle Week, known as “America’s Original Riding Rally”, has been going strong for 90 years. Honoring every thing to do with two-wheeled motorcycles in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, the event attracts up to 300,000 visitors who come to take part in rides, short track races, meetings, parades, demos and various competitions. Popular parts of the event also include live music, karaoke contests,and even a “hot-legs” contest.
For more information about Laconia Motorcycle Week visit:
Great Waters Music Festival
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
A non-profit summer festival, Great Waters Music Festival presents over eight performances of both classical and popular music highlighting a distinguished array of choral, symphonic, folk, pops, jazz, Broadway, dance, as well as vocal and instrumental artists attracting more than 7,000 music lovers every year.
For more information about the Great Waters Music Festival in Wolfeboro visit:
Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Competition
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
This event began in 2001 with 220 tons of imported sand and a 3-day competition of 10 world class masters creating their own unique sculptures. Since then, this invitational only event has grown in leaps and bounds making it the largest Masters competition in the Northeast United States. Hampton Beach has attracted millions of visitors who come to watch something which is part sculpture part performance art.
For more information about the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Competition visit:
Prescott Park Arts Festival
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
For over 37 years, the Prescott Park Arts Festival has presented music, art, theater and dance on the banks of the Piscataqua River, providing quality family entertainment including the juried exhibition of original artwork by NHAA members and Seacoast Area artists with a fantastic variety of sculpture, painting, pastels, collage, and photography. The art exhibit is located at the historic Sheafe Warehouse, near the waterfront at Prescott Park. Admission is free.
For more information about the Prescott Park Arts Festival in Portsmouth visit:
League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair
Newbury, New Hampshire
The country’s oldest craft fair, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair is one of the finest, most prestigious craft events in the country today. This annual 9-day event features both traditional and contemporary fine craft work by state-juried members of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. Features include more than 200 individual craft booths, the museum-quality Living With Craft Exhibition, the new Sculpture Garden Exhibition, demonstrations, children's, teen & adult Workshops.
For more information about the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair in Newbury see:
Hampton Beach Seafood Festival
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
New England’s largest seaside event features more than 60 of the Seacoast's top restaurants serving an abundance of mouthwatering seafood delicacies. Attractions include 80 arts & crafts vendors promoting locally made products, end-of-the-season Sidewalk Sales, a Kiddie Land with the region's most notable celebrities in children's entertainment, continuous culinary chef demonstrations, and two stages of continuous entertainment with 15 Bands and Orchestras. Highlights of the festival are the spectacular fireworks display and an amazing Sky Diving extravaganza.
For more information about the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival see:
or visit: http://www.hamptonbeachseafoodfestival.com
Canterbury, New Hampshire
Harvest Day, a celebration of fall activities in the Shaker tradition for over 25 years, includes everything from horse-drawn hayrides, demonstrations by spinners, weavers, quilt and basket makers and all sorts of food presentations and contests featuring baked apple treats and chicken barbecues. Fun activities for the children include pumpkin picking and decorating activities.
For more information about Harvest Day in Canterbury visit:
Rochester, New Hampshire
A popular event for over 136 years, the Rochester Fair, believed to be the oldest fair in New Hampshire, features everything from carnival rides, dog shows and rabbit shows, to music, bands, clown acts, food, the ever-popular Hollywood Racing Pigs show, a circus and various other animal contests, and a demolition derby.
For more information about the Rochester Fair visit:
New Hampshire Highland Games
Lincoln, New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Highland Games, the largest Scottish cultural festival in the Northeast, is presented by The New Hampshire Gathering of the Scottish Clans, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the furtherance of the music, dance, athletics and customs of the Scottish people and to the continuance of the Gaelic culture. Known for its diverse program, highlights include the Gathering of the Scottish Clans, with over 60 clans and societies, Massed Bands, Sheepdog Trials, Celtic World Music Concerts, the New England Regional Scottish Fiddle Championship, Heavyweight Scottish Athletics, National Highland Dance Competition, Solo Piping & Drumming, Scottish Harp (Clarsach) and other instrument competitions.
For more information about the New Hampshire Highland Games in Lincoln visit:
Keene Pumpkin Festival
Keene, New Hampshire
The street’s of downtown Keene light up each year as visitors from all over New England (and abroad) carve and illuminate thousands of jack-o-lanterns. The event holds eight world records for “the most illuminated jack-o-lanterns, in one place, at one time”. Other attractions at the festival include a craft fair, food vendors and adventure activities, dancing and live musical entertainment on three stages, a parade and the ever-popular, seed spitting contest.
For more information about the Keene Pumpkin Festival visit:
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
The quaint lanes of Strawbery Banke, New Hampshire's oldest waterfront neighborhood, are aglow with hundreds of candles. The historic homes are festively decorated, and the alluring scents and sounds of the holiday season fill the air. Through its restored houses, its featured exhibits, its historic landscapes and gardens, and its interpretive programs, Strawbery Banke tells the stories of the many generations who settled in the Portsmouth area since the late 17th century. Today, visitors travel from all over the state in December to experience American midwinter traditions past and present.
For more information about the Portsmouth Candlelight Stroll see:
or visit: http://www.strawberybanke.org