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Top 20 New Hampshire Events for 2011

Top 20 New Hampshire Events for 2011
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by in May 2011

JUNE 18-29: HAMPTON BEACH, Master Sand Sculpting Competition. Participation is by invitation only, but beachgoers have a great time watching, and get to vote for the “People’s Choice” award, too. Marvel at how 300 tons of imported sand are transformed into elaborate storybook characters, historical figures, classic and abstract artworks, architectural masterpieces, fantasy creatures, and, yes, turreted castles and forts. hamptonbeach.org

JUNE 21-AUG. 23: NELSON, Apple Hill Chamber Music Concerts. World-class guest soloists join Apple Hill’s string quartet at the Louise Shonk Kelly Barn during the summer on Tuesday evenings. Free and open to the public. 603-847-3371; applehill.org

JUNE 22-26: PINKHAM NOTCH, Climb to the Clouds. The high point of this motor-sports festival is a race up the 7.6-mile Mount Washington Auto Road to the summit of the tallest peak in the Northeast: a terrific challenge for both car and driver, a serpentine route over tarmac and gravel past dramatic dropoffs. Visit the Web site for additional events all season long–including guided “Bicknell’s Thrush Tours” for dedicated birders–celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Auto Road. 603-466-3988; mtwashingtonautoroad.com, climbtotheclouds.com

JULY 7-10: HILLSBOROUGH, Hillsborough Balloon Festival & Fair. Entertainment on the ground and in the sky at Grimes Field: hot-air balloons, midway, music, parade, road race, artists’ fair, and Saturday-night fireworks extravaganza. 603-464-0377; balloonfestival.org

JULY 14-16: CONCORD, Market Days & Summer Music Festival. Sample the offerings of local merchants and restaurants. Listen to local bands and performers on the “Homegrown Talent” stage; two bands take to the main stage each night. 603-226-2150; mainstreetconcord.com

JULY 16: FITZWILLIAM, Fitzwilliam Historical Society Antiques Show & Sale. Set on the picturesque village common, this annual event features dealers from many states. Refreshments will be available, along with special exhibits among the collections at the Amos J. Blake House Museum. 603-585-7742; fitzhistoricalsociety.org

AUG. 6-14: NEWBURY, League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair. Held under a village of white tents on the grounds of Mount Sunapee Resort, this annual event offers 200 individual booths of traditional and contemporary wares by juried league members. Fiber arts and furniture to jewelry, glass, pottery, and more; plus exhibitions, demonstrations, and workshops. 603-224-3375 (League office), 603-763-2416 (Fair office); nhcrafts.org

AUG. 11-13: MANCHESTER, New Hampshire Antiques Show. Explore wares from more than 60 dealers, all arranged in room settings at the Radisson Hotel. Country and formal furniture, clocks, folk art, paintings, prints, textiles, woodenware, metalware, glassware, nautical and scientific instruments, pottery, garden ornaments, and more. 603-876-4080; nhada.org

AUG. 14: PETERBOROUGH, Medal Day at MacDowell Colony. Hidden away in the quiet countryside, this well-known artists’ colony welcomes the public for one day each summer to celebrate the presentation of a lifetime achievement award. After the ceremony, meet the artists when the various studios open their doors. 603-924-3886; macdowellcolony.org

SEPT. 9-11: HAMPTON BEACH, Hampton Beach Seafood Festival. Top restaurants serve lobster, fried clams, shrimp, ribs, steak tips, blooming onions, BBQ, and more. Plus craft vendors; live jazz, oldies, and rock; skydiving; and storytelling. 603-926-8718; hamptonbeachseafoodfestival.com

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