images of the monadnock region through the seasons
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Fairs and Festivals in NH

Enjoy a year of fesitivals, events and fairs. The fairs and festivals in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire are varied and include music festivals, art fairs, folk festivals, hot air balloon festivals, fair rides at the county fair, health fairs and art festivals. Plenty of festival foods are available to enjoy at the events or in the surrounding communities. Listed below are some of the prominent Festivals and Annual Events in the region. Also see our calendar of events.



13th Annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival
13th Annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival
Location: Keene
Approximate Date: February 7, 2015
Come with the whole family to see ice carvings, snow sculptures, children's craft at Snowman Central, participate in the snowball throwing contest, lil'tot snow slide, enjoy hot chocolate & food, Magician Ben Pratt, Musical Entertainment,take a train ride. Pictures with Snowman, Polar Bear and Ice Princess, face painting by Emily Sodders and much more! 10am to 4pm Follow us on Facebook at Keene Ice & Snow Festival for updates.
www.monadnocktravel.com
Cemetery Tour
Location: Walpole
Approximate Date: October
Winter Fest
Winter Fest
Location: Winchester
Approximate Date: Late January-Early February
www.winchestertrailriders.org
Winter Carnival
Location: Jaffrey
Approximate Date: 2nd Sat of February
The return of an old tradition in town.
www.jaffreychamber.com
Monadnock Music Festival
Monadnock Music Festival
Location: Peterborough, and throughout the region
Approximate Date: July-August
Monadnock Music is a meeting place where listeners, performers, and composers come together each summer to nurture a vision of what our collective musical life can be. The ideal of making the best in music available to everyone is the driving force behind Monadnock Music. Of the thirty-plus concerts, fully half of them are free of charge and occur in the central meetinghouses and churches of the many small towns that dot the region. In the central town of Peterborough, a weekend ticketed series presents music of many genres, from recitals to choral and orchestral concerts, even the occasional opera.
www.monadnockmusic.org
Artisan's Fair
Location: Hillsborough
Approximate Date: July
Celebrate Tradition! Costumed staff welcomes visitors to the President Franklin Pierce Homestead as you travel back in time for a day of traditional crafts and arts demonstrations and sales on the shaded grounds and gracious interior of the 1804 Homestead.
www.hillsboroughnhchamber.com
Riverfest
Location: Jaffrey
Approximate Date: Last Sat. of July
A downtown event with crafts, music, hot air balloon rides and much more.
www.jaffreychamber.com
Pickle Festival
Pickle Festival
Location: Winchester
Approximate Date: September
An old-fashioned town fair. The Winchester’s annual Pickle Festival is fun for all. Downtown Winchester becomes the fairgrounds, with Main Street (Route 10) the parade route. Kids march along with the parade, which features local pickle-themed floats, plenty of pickle costumes and marching bands. Along the route are craftsmen (many demonstrating), food booths, and a lively competition among local cooks for the best jar of pickles. There are free pickles for everyone. Live music goes on all day, with everything from blues and country-western to a barbershop quartet and violin ensemble. To Find the Pickles All events take place on Main Street (Route 10) in Winchester. Winchester is south of Keene – just follow Route 10 south from the Route 101 intersection.
www.picklefestival.org
Home and Harvest Festival
Home and Harvest Festival
Location: Antrim
Approximate Date: September
Antrim’s Home and Harvest Days just keep getting better and better. It features 2 days of activities including a parade, community breakfasts and suppers, live music, one of N.H.’s old acting troupes, and fun and games which are free to all kids.
www.antrimcc.com/Home---Harvest-Festival.html
Monadnock Wellness Festival
Monadnock Wellness Festival
Location: Peterborough
Approximate Date: Last Sat. in September
This event is designed for young and old alike to promote wellness to all. There are free health screenings, exhibitors, live entertainment, healthy food, and demonstrations all capped by the hilarious Shopping Cart Parade down Grove Street at Noon.
www.monadnockrotary.org/wellness
Candle Lit Open House
Location: Hillsborough
Approximate Date: October
Annual October Candlelight Dessert and Open House. More details are available on the Hillsborough Chamber web site when the date is set.
www.hillsboroughnhchamber.com
Annual Open Studio Art Tour
Annual Open Studio Art Tour
Location: Dublin, Marlborough, Harrisville, Hancock, Peterborough and Jaffrey
Approximate Date: October (Columbus Day weekend)
The Open Studio Art Tour happens each October on Columbus Day weekend during the peak of the beautiful foliage season in southwestern New Hampshire. Each year, around 50 artists who live and work in the towns around Mount Monadnock - Dublin, Marlborough, Harrisville, Hancock, Peterborough and Jaffrey - participated in the Tour, representing the remarkable range and diversity of the visual arts in our region.
www.monadnockart.org/art-tour.php
Peak into Peterborough
Peak into Peterborough
Location: Peterborough
Approximate Date: October
Each year, at the height of the fall foliage season in New Hampshire, the town of Peterborough is awash in bright gold and orange banners signaling the Annual "Peak Into Peterborough" celebration. The name of the event is a play on words that is intended to capitalize on the "Peak" of the fall foliage season. But hearing the name suggests that you give Peterborough a quick glance. Either way, the Monadnock Region is the place to be for spectacular fall foliage.
www.greater-peterborough-chamber.com/peak-into-peterborough.php
Tree Lighting Festival
Location: Putnam Park - Downtown Peterborough
Approximate Date: 1st Sunday in December
Make merry to start the season - caroling, milk & cookies at the Historical Society (yes - coffee and cocoa,too!), the excitement of the downtown tree being lit and a visit from Old Saint Nick. A true small town holiday evening
Fireworks Display
Fireworks Display
Location: Peterborough
Approximate Date: July 4 (or nearest Saturday)
With acres of wide open fields, the location gives spectators an up-close-and-personal connection with the amazing pyrotechnic display by Atlas PyroVision. Over the years, this event has become an outing for the entire family, with concession stands serving hamburgers, hotdogs, and soft drinks.
www.greater-peterborough-chamber.com/fireworks-nh-firework-display.html
The Old Homestead Play
The Old Homestead Play
Location: Swanzey
Approximate Date: 3rd Weekend in July
Annual outdoor theatre production of Denman Thompson's spectacular realistic drama about life in 19th century America.
www.oldhomesteadswanzey.com
Tree Lighting Festival
Location: Keene
Approximate Date: End of November or start of December
The Tree Lighting Celebration is the community's way of welcoming the magic and joy of the Holiday season, climaxing with the lighting of the giant Christmas tree in Keene's charming Central Square,visiting with Santa and singing carols. The festivities start at 5:30pm with Animaterra multi-cultural singers and the Keene Cheshiremen entertain you with holiday songs followed by the reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by the mayor.
www.centerstagenh.com
W.H.A.T.'S. KEENE!
Location: Keene
W.H.A.T.'S. Keene = Wine, Hospitality, Arts, Tastes & Shopping! Keene, NH (HGTV's "Pumpkin Wars" winner) invites you to their delightful hometown. W.H.A.T.'S Keene offers discounts and travel packages to entice you to visit their fair city during ten days of wine tastings, live music, film festival, gourmet restaurant cooking demonstrations, hotel, restaurant, gift, craft and art gallery discounts and more. Come visit the “nicest Main Street in New Hampshire”.
6th Annual Spring into Summer Artisan's Fair
6th Annual Spring into Summer Artisan's Fair
Location: Historic Hillsborough Center
Approximate Date: June 8 & 9, 2013
The Hillsborough Area Artisans Spring Into Summer Faire takes place under tents & in studios in the Historic Hillsborough Center and features HAA artisans as well as many juried guest artisans. The faire will include baskets, jewelry, blown glass, fabric art; paintings, pottery, photography; woodburning, blacksmithing, and more. In addition to artist displays in outdoor tents there will be artisans in the Center Club. Also several artisans at hosted in the Gallery at Wellsweep. Gibson Pewter and Sissi Studio, both located in Hillsboro Center, will also be open during the faire. Refreshments will be available in the Center Club: Coffee, tea, cold drinks, pastries, German soft pretzels and a special lunch menu will be served by German John's Bakery.
www.hillsboroughartisans.com
48th Annual Gilsum Rock Swap & Mineral Show
Location: Gilsum Elementary School & Community Center
Approximate Date: 4th weekend in June
The annual Rock Swap and mineral Show where more than 60 dealers, swappers, distributors, and collectors can buy, sell, or swap beryl, quartz crystals, semi-precious stones,jewelry, fossils and more.Displays range from newly found specimens in the rough to fossils, prized collector’s pieces and even hand crafted jewelry. Activities: Panning for minerals, Sat. annual ham & bean dinner-homemade pies, chicken barbeque on Sunday. 603-377-9636
www.gilsum.org/rockswap
Hillsborough Balloon Fest & Fair
Hillsborough Balloon Fest & Fair
Location: Grimes Field, Hillsborough, NH
Approximate Date: July 18-21, 2013
More than 30,000 people attend the annual Balloon Festival & Fair. Each year new events are added. Balloon flights over New Hampshire's beautiful Monadnock Region are available to the general public along with tethered flights for the more cautious. Saturday night's fireworks extravaganza is one of the premier fireworks displays in all of New Hampshire. A true hot air balloon festival featuring balloon lift offs at 6am & 6pm (weather permitting), carnival midway, parade, road race, fireworks (Sat. night weather permitting), food, live entertainment and fun for the entire family. FREE admission.(603)464-0377
www.balloonfestival.org
Chesire Fair
Chesire Fair
Location: Swanzey
Approximate Date: End of July- EarlyAugust
From animals to zucchini, fairgoers find something for every family member – Horse Pulling for Dad – Country Music for Mom – Carnival Rides for the Kids – and a Demolition Derby for the whole family.
www.cheshirefair.com
6th Annual Living History Event
6th Annual Living History Event
Location: At 4 sites in the Hillsborough area
Approximate Date: August 16& 17, 2014
Experience the 1700's, 1800's, and early 1900's as you interact with period musicians, reenactors, historical figures, artisans, craftsmen, and children's activities where history comes alive.George Washington portrayed by Dean Malissa pays a visit.Sample mouth-watering traditional foods.For more information E-mail: LivingHistoryEvent@gmail.com visit:www.LivingHistoryEventNH.com, or write to Living History Event 2011, P. O. Box 703, Hillsborough, NH 03244-0703.
www,LivingHistoryEventNH.com
Antrim Home Harvest Festival
Antrim Home Harvest Festival
Location: Antrim, NH
Approximate Date: Mid Sept.
This classic small town festival ramps it up with skateboard competitions throughout the weekend. Food, fun & games, food, arts & crafts, food and lots of fun all day Saturday, with skateboard activities Fri/Sat/Sun and other special events.
http://www.antrimnh.org/Pages/AntrimNH_About/home_harvest_2010.pdf
11th Annual Hillsborough Open Studio Tour
Location: Hillsborough area
Approximate Date: September 21-22, 2013
The annual Open Studio Tour is a two day event and is a self guided tour of artist studios all within a 20 mile radius of the downtown Hillsborough area. Many of the artist will be demonstrating their craft. The hours of the studio tour on Saturday and Sunday are 10am -5pm
www.hillsboroughartisans.com
Pratt Christmas Fair
Location: Jaffrey
Approximate Date: December
(603)532-7863
www.jaffreychamber.com
Monadnock International Film Festival
Monadnock International Film Festival
Location: Keene State College & Colonial Theatre(Main Street, Keene)
MONIFF seeks to continue the stong tradition of the arts in the Monadnock region by adding a world-class film festival to our regional arts community. The festival combines the areas twin traditions of great art and social awareness. This festival will bring quality cinema to the Monadnock Region that will inspire as well as reinforce the beauty and power of film and offer local, state, national and international film makers a venue to share their vision and art. The festival will offer film screenings, open and closing night festivities, and opportunities for the public and the film community to learn from each other through panels and discussions. The Jonathan Daniels Award will be awarded to the best film in show demonstrating a film that has inspired us of great artistic merit and offer festival participants the chance to vote for their Festival Favorite. 603-757-3929 monadnockiff@gmail.com Find us on facebook! facebook.com/Monadnock Interntional Film Festival
www.moniff.org
Children and the Arts Festival
Children and the Arts Festival
Location: Peterborough
Approximate Date: May (usually 3rd Sat.)
An annual festival celebrating art for, by, and of the children of our community. Streets are closed to vehicular traffic and filled instead with song, laughter, parading Giant Puppets, food, fun, dancing, chalk art, the Art Walk, and something for everyone who loves art and children.
www.childrenandthearts.org
40th Fitzwilliam Strawberry Festival
Location: On the Historic Town Common Rte 119
Approximate Date: Last Saturday in June
Fitzwilliam Historical Society's Annual Fundraiser on the historic town common rain or shine. Luscious strawberries, fresh whipped cream, warm biscuts, homemade lemonade and music. Free guided tours of the Amos J. Blake House Museum. (603)585-7742 local calls only returned. fitzh@peoplepc.com
http://www.fitzwilliam.org/index.html
Keene Music Festival
Location: Keene
Approximate Date: Last Sat August or 1st Sat. September
The Keene Music Festival began in the summer of 2001. Its mission is to lend support and inspiration to local musicians through the creation and production of an annual, outdoor performance event.
www.keenemusicfestival.com
Art in the Park
Art in the Park
Location: Keene
Approximate Date: Labor Day Weekend
In the early autumn of 1958 a loose knit group of fine artists numbering fewer than a dozen, gathered on the town common in Keene to display their paintings and art work. The city of Keene provided wooden snow fencing around the Central Square and the artists hung their work on the reddish slats for all to see. The sun filtered through the turning Autumn leaves and a tradition painted itself into the town's history.
www.keeneartassoc.org/pages/ArtinthePark.html
Hillsborough Schnitzelfest
Hillsborough Schnitzelfest
Location: Hillsborough
Approximate Date: September 27, 2014
Come & taste the most authentic German food you'll find outside of Germany at the Annual Schnitzelfest in Hillsborough. Enjoy Schnitzel (breaded or grilled), Bratwurst, Knackwurst, Wieners, Homemade German Potato Salad,Desserts, Beer & Wine. Live Umpah Band & other entertainment. Crafters. Under the tents, rain or shine, in downtown Hillsborough from 12Noon to 5:00pm. FREE admission, fun for the entire family! Come & taste the difference.
www.hillsboroughnhchamber.com
Pumpkin Festival Let it shine!
Pumpkin Festival Let it shine!
Location: Keene
Approximate Date: October 18, 2014
Keene and the Monadnock Region are full of fascinating things to see and do - especially during Pumpkin Festival time! While the festival is a single day, you can easily fill a week or more taking advantage of all our region has to offer - whether you like hiking mountains, visiting historical sites, or sampling fine dining. The Keene Pumpkin Festival not to be missed during New Hampshire’s brilliant foliage season… reason enough to come for a visit!
PumpkinFestival.org