Concord's annual fun, family-friendly festival, Market Days, is set to hit the streets of downtown this week, July 19-21. Are you ready? Of course not! That's why we've put together this awesome guide to everything that's happening at Market Days - and this year, that's more than ever.
Aside from the usual fun events, there are a couple new additions to the festivities. First of all, we'd be lying if we didn't say we're excited for Market Days' first-ever beer tent! The tent will feature several craft beers on tap (don't forget your IDs) as well as demonstrations from the Concord Area Homebrewers Association. We'll certainly be checking that out - in moderation, of course.
Another super-cool new addition is the ice skating rink that will be located on the State House Plaza. That's right, ice skating. In July. We can't believe it either - but it's true! How cool is that?
To make sure everyone has a safe and happy experience, we talked to Concord police chief John Duval for some tips, tricks and rules to follow during the craziness of Market Days. Have at it, Chief!
What are the best ways to get in and out of town?
Centre Street can be accessed from all points heading north from the surrounding streets near the market days event. Traffic will be diverted around the Main Street area to other main arteries, such as North State Street and Storrs Street. Patrons can also head south by way of South State Street, Storrs Street and South Street and exit the city by way of exit 13.
All right, let's talk parking. The Capital Commons parking garage will be open, right?
Yes. The Capital Commons Parking garage, Durgin garage, Firehouse Block garage will have available parking. Parking will be free after 5 p.m. Patrons can also use the state Legislature parking garage on Storrs Street.
What other parking tips do you have for us?
Please follow all parking laws and be mindful not to violate handicapped parking restrictions, too close to intersection, too close to fire hydrants, private parking, et cetera.
Speaking of safety, what sort of tips can you offer to festival goers?
This is a very hot time of the year. Stay hydrated. I recommend leaving pets at home. Also, no bicycles, skateboards, roller blades in the market area of Main Street.
What are the most common kinds of calls you get during Market Days?
Bikes, skateboards, and roller blade usage. Occasional lost children.
Have there been any changes to your approach now that there is a beer tent in the mix?
Other than being aware of the tent, no. The permitting process and permit requirements are geared toward permitting responsible groups of individuals. I do not expect any problems.
Last but not least, fill us in on what's available in the way of public restrooms:
The restrooms at Bicentennial Square will be available. There will be portable restrooms on Capitol Street near North Main Street.
For your eclectic entertainment needs, the intersection of North Main and Pleasant streets will be an especially lively place during Market Days, thanks in large part to the newly-formed Spank Alley Skate Demo Team.
The group was formed to brainstorm ideas on how to improve the Concord skate park and develop the city's skateboarding culture, and members will be performing some of their best moves on their biggest stage yet.
Demonstrations will take place on Thursday at 2 and 6 p.m. and Friday at 6 p.m. The skaters will be broken into age groups - U-12, 12-17 and 18-and-over - with each group spending about 10 to 15 minutes demonstrating their skills before breaking into a free skate. (next page »)