As we look ahead to all things spring in the capital area and beyond, it’s important that we don’t overlook the capital itself. After all, let’s face it – there’s plenty of good stuff happening right here.
That’s why we put together this guide for you. We rounded up as many big spring events in the city as we could find. Since we’re pretty early for a lot of these events, some details are still minimal at this point. However, in every case there’s contact information for you to stay in touch and get updates as the events approach.
Discover WILD New Hampshire Day
Bring the family to New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s (11 Hazen Drive) biggest community event of the year on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is a fun, free way to explore New Hampshire’s wildlife resources and legacy of outdoor traditions. Browse educational exhibits presented by environmental and conservation organizations from throughout the state, see live animals, and try your hand at archery, casting, fly-tying and BB gun shooting. You can also watch retriever dogs in action and get creative with hands-on craft activities for the kids.
Dan Zanes benefit concerts
Dan Zanes is coming back to town for two fun shows this spring. On May 5, the Grammy winner and Concord native will perform two shows at Concord Community Music School (23 Wall St.) to benefit The Friendly Kitchen. Joining Zanes will be celebrated Haitian-American vocalist Claudia Eliaza and world-renowned illustrator and author (and folk music hero) Donald Saaf. The trio will perform an interactive, all-ages family show at 10 a.m. featuring music from Zanes’s extensive catalog and an evening concert at 7:30 p.m. for the older crowd celebrating the music of Lead Belly. All proceeds will benefit The Friendly Kitchen. Call Concord Community Music School for more information and tickets at 228-1196.
Concord Farmers Market
The Concord Farmers Market will return to Capitol Street on May 5 at 8:30 a.m. The market features about 40 vendors every Saturday morning from 8:30 until noon, and there’s often live music and artistic demonstrations. Vendors set up in the street next to the State House, and it’s fun for the whole family, even the pups.
Seacoast Cat Club Annual Show
Gather up the family and head out to Everett Arena for the 40th annual Seacoast Cat Club Cat Show on May 5 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and 6 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). One of the favorite events is the “Pet Me Cats” area, where cats are available for petting.
For those who like fast action, the agility ring is the place to be. Come and watch cats who, with the encouragement of their owners, willingly navigate various obstacles such as jumps and tunnels, and weave through poles. In addition to the judging going on both days, there will be vendors, free face painting, a big raffle and a chance to vote for your favorite cat to win the Spectators’ Choice special rosette.
On May 5 at 1 p.m., youngsters can participate in the “Kitty/Kiddie Parade,” in which kids dress to look like their favorite cat and walk around the hall. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children 5 to 12 and seniors, with $1 off if you bring either cat food or a food donation for the N.H. Food Bank. For more information, visit seacoastcatclub.org.Mill Brook opening
Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden (236 Hopkinton Road) opens for the spring season May 3, with an artists’ reception May 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. This is for the indoor exhibition. The outdoor sculpture gallery “officially” opens May 27 with an opening reception from 2 to 4 p.m., owner Pam Tarbell said. The receptions are free and open to the public, and there’s usually plenty of food to go around. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and by appointment. Go to themillbrookgallery.com for more information or call 226-2046 to schedule an appointment.
Rock ‘N Race
Make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families by joining the Payson Center for Cancer Care’s Rock ‘N Race on May 17. More than 5,000 runners, walkers and volunteers participate in this, the largest charity race north of Boston. Registration fees and charitable gifts to the Rock ‘N Race support the Payson Center for Cancer Care. The event has raised more than $3.5 million since 2003. To get involved by joining or starting a team, sponsoring a participant, volunteering or making a donation, go to giveto.concordhospital.org/events /rock-n-race or call 227-7162.
Kiwanis Spring Fair
The Kiwanis Spring Fair is ready for a 63rd year as it rolls into the Everett Arena parking lot May 17-20. Hours are not final yet, but historically they’ve been Thursday and Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 or 6 depending on how many people are still there. The fair will feature all the classics – ferris wheel, fried dough, huge slides and tons of games. There will also be roller derby in the arena Saturday night. For more info, go to concordkiwanis.org or contact Ken Georgevits at 496-1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.H. Shriner Clowns dinner
Join the New Hampshire Shriner Clowns at the Bektash Shrine Center (189 Pembroke Road) on May 19 from 5 to 10 p.m. for a barbecue dinner and silent auction followed by an evening of acoustic music with three of the Granite State’s best performing groups, along with “clown-ertainment” by the famous New Hampshire Shriner Clowns. Scheduled performers include Off The Cuff, The Pine Hill Boys and Cooper & Kenneally. Proceeds will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for kids. Doors open at 5 p.m. Call the Bektash office at 225-5372 for tickets. Go to nhshrinerclowns.org for more info.
Running for Riley
Do something fun and give to a good cause by taking part in the second annual Running for Riley at White Park on May 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Running For Riley is an event put together by the family of Riley Duquette to help raise awareness for families affected by rare diseases, and to celebrate the health of those fortunate enough to participate. The proceeds from the event will go to the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders (thegfpd.org). The GFPD has provided support, guidance, advanced medical expertise and the feeling of family for almost six years now to Riley’s family. Registration is $16-$18. Go to gorileygo.com for more info and to sign up.
Walk for Sight
Head over to Future In Sight (25 Walker St.) on June 2 at 9 a.m. for the Walk for Sight, a community-oriented, noncompetitive walk in Concord. The goal of the walk is to raise awareness for the many advancements in medical care, therapies, treatments and technology that can improve life for the growing number of people with vision loss.
Participants will make a difference in the lives of those who are blind and visually impaired. Forming a team is fun and easy – just ask your family, friends and co-workers to walk with you, as there’s no minimum or maximum to the number of walkers on a team. Anyone interested in joining can register at futureinsight.org and raise money. The cost is $20 for adults, $5 for children under 12. For more info, call 565-2424.