Dancing With the Concord Stars
Ten dancing duos picked from community institutions doo-wop, cha-cha and shimmy to raise money for NHTI scholarships.
Looking back: Monitor ad sales rep Jeanne Lester and her husband, Mark, won best costumed with “At the Hop.” The judges top pick was Kristin Clark and Anthony Poore with “Think” and people’s choice was Emily Ricard and Sam Durfee with “Spybeat.”
Looking ahead: The 10th year will be held Jan. 25 from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. at NHTI. There will be food, drinks, dancing to the Club Soda band, and watching as 10 dance couples compete for top honors.
Dancers this year are Eric Reingold and Carolyn Mallon, Kaleena Guzman and Chad Johnson, Karen Welch and Tom Raffio, Tammy Amnot and Shawn Buck, Amanda Orlwskyj and Craig Thibaudeau, Heather and Keith Wilding, Kathy and Jeff Mathis, Suzi Pegg and Keith Nyhan, Kristin Clark and Anthony Poore, Emily Ricard and Sam Durfee.
Tickets are $85, votes for people’s choice can be bought for $10.
Black Ice Hockey Championships
The 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship’s mission is to maintain and expand ice skating opportunities locally, as well as, celebrate and honor the rich hockey heritage that has occurred in Concord. The event hosts 95 teams and close to 700 hockey players. The event also provides a wide array of family activities which include interactive games, a rock wall, bonfires, live entertainment, fireworks, food trucks and ice and snow sculptures.
Looking back: After several years of too warm Januarys postponing the festival a few weeks, 2019 saw a return to January, though it did start a day late due to the weather. The winners for the various divisions include Concord Budmen, N.H. Taphouse Avalanche, CHS 92-The Hotel Concord, So Sick Swamp Rats, Mr. Rooter, Lyndon Lumberjacks, Rick’s Last Ride, Landforms and TC’s.
Looking ahead: The fun for 2020 is planned for Jan. 23 to 26 with games from 8 a.m. to after dark at White Park. Teams that played last year can register again at blackicepondhockey.com; new teams can sign up for the waitlist.
Created to expand the family-friendly fun from the Black Ice Tournament at White Park to downtown, there’s ice carving demos, s’mores and cocoa, corn hole, relay games and more to enjoy.
Looking back: This was the first year of the Winter Fest scheduled to coincide with the Black Ice weekend.
Looking ahead: Activities are planned Jan. 24 from 3 to 9 p.m. and Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A complete schedule isn’t ready yet, but it should be soon. Stay tuned!
N.H. Presidential Primary
Looking back: It comes by but once every four years; 2019 was not one of them.
Looking ahead: Voters have your candidate in mind by Feb. 11. Poll times vary from city and town, but generally are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
N.H. Maple Weekend
Hosted by the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, March is Maple Sugaring Month, and Maple Weekend is when dozens upon dozens of maple operations all over the Granite State – from commercial size to hobby size – open up their sugar shacks to let visitors in and check out the process. This is always a family-fun weekend steeped in New Hampshire’s long history of producing all kinds of things from maple sap.
Looking back: The Insider headed to Mapletree Farm in Concord and Beaver Brook Maple in Bow for a peek into the action, but there are nearly 100 sugar houses in New Hampshire, so we couldn’t possibly visit them all in one weekend.
Looking ahead: In our opinion, there’s never a bad time to taste-test one of New Hampshire’s sweetest products, but if you make the rounds March 21 to 22 to your local sugar shack, there will likely be bonus activities including tours and free samples. Yum!
As part of the festival, everyone can enjoy fantastic concerts with a lineup of musicians whose mastery showcases the range and expressive qualities of the mandolin.
Looking back: Concord’s 17th annual March Mandolin Festival featured two days of workshops at Concord Community Music School and two concerts featuring world-class musicians from near and far.
Looking ahead: The upcoming year’s festival will take place from March 6 to 8. This year, the festival features Radim Zenkl, Maddie Witler, Steve Roy, David Surette with special guest vocalist Susie Burke. This two-day event offers group lessons and workshops on a variety of topics, jam sessions, and an evening concert. As in past years, the festival will present a March 6, Friday night concert featuring the same performers over on the Seacoast; this year the show will be held at The Dance Hall in Kittery, Maine, one of the Seacoast’s premier venues for live roots music.
Steel Chef Challenge
Okay, so this technically is in our neighbor to the south, Manchester, but often a Concord area chef will be among the contestants, so here it is again. Plus, the whole thing is a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Food Bank.
Looking back: St. Paul’s School Certified Executive Chef Bradley Labarre was among the chefs selected to compete.
Looking ahead: The March 9 competition takes place at the Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel and will be hosted by Food Network’s Michael Symon.
N.H. Veg Fest
Celebrate veganism with a free day of food, speakers, a drum circle and shopping.
Looking ahead: The 8th annual festival will be April 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at NHTI. Go super-eco-friendly and bring: a reusable shopping bag, plate, cloth napkin and utensils. Feel free to bring your old vegan cookbooks to add to a “share and take” table.
This popular event features the products and services of Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce members from a variety of industries in a friendly, local atmosphere that makes networking easy. Showcase is open to the business public.
Looking back: Attendance typically exceeds 400, facilitating excellent business and networking opportunities.
Looking ahead: Save the date of April 14 at 4 p.m. at the Grappone Conference Center.
Concord Mom Prom is part of a fun and affordable “Ladies’ Night Out” nationwide event started in 2006 by Betsy Crapps. Organizer Michelle Myler brought the Mom Prom to Concord because she wanted a fun way for women to give back to their community.
Looking back: The theme was “Let’s Glow Disco” with the proceeds benefiting Hearts for Kindness.
Looking ahead: The fun returns May 15 with a “Roaring ’20s” theme night for ladies only.
Looking back: Rain on Friday and Saturday morning made for a slow start to the festivities and some of the outdoor performances moved or were eliminated, but that didn’t stop the crowds from filling a closed off Main Street to see three stages of musical acts, munch on tasty treats and shop at the multitude of booths.
Looking ahead: Three days in June, the 25 through 27 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Intown Concord says it will be the event of the year with more vendors, more music, more entertainment and more fun.
Fourth of July
The city’s celebration of the United States’ fight for independence.
Looking back: Fireworks were lit over Memorial Field following a concert by the Nevers’ Second Regiment Band. There were food trucks and odd traffic patterns to access the field.
Looking ahead: Expect the same.
N.H. Brewers Festival
This “For the Brewers, By the Brewers” Festival is a one of a kind event, featuring 45 breweries showcasing their craft brews.
Looking back: Among the breweries represented were several “friends of the Insider,” such as Concord’s own Lithermans Limited and Concord Craft Brewing, as well as Henniker Brewing Co., Canterbury Aleworks and Oddball Brewing.
Looking ahead: On July 11, the VIP portion will open at noon, and 1 p.m. for everyone else, and run until 4 p.m.
Rock On Fest
The festival is the brainchild of Concord native Luke Bonner, who runs the Rock On Foundation, a nonprofit that serves to increase community artistic and athletic opportunities in the community. The nature of the festival ties into two of Bonner’s biggest passions – music and basketball.
Looking back: The festival was condensed to one day and moved from White Park to Main Street to increase access for people. In addition to music and basketball, there was yoga, stationary cycling and an outdoor movie.
The Concord Criterium is an annual cycling race that has been held at White Park. The race is a one-mile course starting at the corner of White and Washington streets and goes clockwise around the streets surrounding the park, from Washington Street to Centre Street, to Liberty Street, to Franklin Street, to Beacon Street and back down White Street. In a criterium-style format, race officials time the first 10 laps of the leaders and take the average lap time to determine about how many laps the leaders can finish in the span of an hour.
Looking back: For the 39th year, Concord’s Rebecca Fahringer bested the rest of the Women’s Category 1/2/3 field. In total, 310 cyclists were entered across the 12 divisions, up from the 200 cyclists who registered last year.
Looking ahead: The upcoming year will be the bike race’s 40th anniversary. Typically, the race is held on the first Saturday in August, and while that hasn’t yet been confirmed for 2020, it seems likely.
Funds for Education Golf Tournament
The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s tournament raises money for the Capital Area Student Leadership programs.
Looking back: Team Norton Asset Management placed first; longest drives were by Ellen Raffio from Team Northeast Delta Dental (women), Ryan Morse from Team Chappell Tractor (men); and the putting contests were won by Kelly McGrath from Team Northeast Credit Union (women) and Dan Villemaire from Team Northway Bank (men).
Looking ahead: Save the date for Aug. 5 at 8 a.m. for more golfing.
Upstairs Downtown Tour
View historic downtown Concord as we trek up staircases and climb through windows to take in the wonderous and beautiful skyscape of Concord’s Main Street.
Looking back: Tourgoers visited the attic at City Hall, the Sheraton Building, the Statesmen Building, the Hotel Concord and the Kearsarge Building.
Looking ahead: Check out the little-seen spots of downtown on Sept. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Capital Arts Fest
The League of N.H. Craftsmen partners with the city of Concord, the Concord Chamber of Commerce’s “Creative Concord Committee” and the Capitol Center for the Arts to produce the third annual Capital Arts Fest. This is a one-of-a-kind craft fair featuring the work of selected League juried members and invited artists.
Looking back: This was the second year of the festival, which was kicked off by Creative Concord before being brought under the purview of the League of N.H. Craftsmen. The idea is to highlight the capital city’s cultural offerings and attract visitors.
Looking ahead: The festival will run Sept. 25 to 27. The Exhibition Gallery at League Headquarters will feature a guest exhibition in 2020: the Furniture Masters: 25th Anniversary Exhibit.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
While the event asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes, the Crisis Center of New Hampshire’s annual fundraiser is for everyone.
The annual breast cancer walk is one of 200 in the country connected the American Cancer Society.
Looking back: Concord raised $348,513 to fund research and support patient services and had more than 5,000 people complete the 5k loop.
Looking ahead: The 28th annual Concord Making Strides will take place on Oct. 18.
Looking back: Hundreds of children and their parents swarmed downtown on Friday for Intown Concord’s annual Halloween Howl. There was dancing in the street and a haunted bus. Businesses opened their doors to long lines of trick-or-treaters, too.
Looking ahead: Halloween Howl will be held on Gate Night, Oct. 30, in 2020.
N.H. Open Doors
Open Doors is an annual event where crafters and artisans open their studios (or join forces with another location) to show off their work and demonstrate their craft for visitors.
Looking back: With more than 100 stops, and dozens just in the Greater Concord area, there was plenty of crafters to visit.
Looking ahead: The full list of locations evolves over the year with new faces. Check back with the League of N.H. Craftsmen as November approaches.
SNOB Film Festival
The Somewhat North of Boston Film Festival has been around since 2002, and its purpose is to showcase and support independent filmmaking while bringing films to the area that local audiences might not get to see otherwise.
Looking back: The festival featured 12 feature-length films and five separate blocks of short films. In 2019, there were fewer short movies than there usually are with more feature-length offerings.
Looking ahead: Organizers are looking to hold the festival Nov. 12 to 15, but still are working to finalize date. Check back in during the fall.
Looking back: This festive and family-oriented event kicks off the holiday season and offers a variety of holiday fun and activities. More than 5,000 people visited downtown to shop, socialize, eat and have fun. As a free, family and community-driven event, Midnight Merriment helps to build and maintain community well-being, which is vital to a healthy downtown.
Looking ahead: Mark your calendar for Dec. 4 from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Of course, we couldn’t fit all the cool events Concord does in just one issue. Plus, not all events have settled on their plans for 2020. Keep reading each week for more stuff to do and things to see.