A guide to living local in New Hampshire

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The Season of Festivals

By Tom Long / Fiddlehead Contributing Editor

Need a reason to celebrate? You’re in the right place. In coming weeks Fiddleheads can look forward to local celebrations of apples, mushrooms, pickles, pumpkins, sausages, Scottish culture and even a river in flames.

New Hampshire beloved poet-in-residence Robert Frost celebrated well-piled rocks and forks in the road, but how about brined cukes? The 21st annual Winchester Pickle Festival will be held in Sept. 22 on Main Street in Winchester. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with the pickle parade.

There will be barrels of pickles for noshing, a canned pickle contest and dozens of vendors with at least one pickle, or pickle-related item for sale. Prizes were awarded last year to Marilyn Worcester for her pickle shakers and Marvin Bentley for his pickle fudge.

One sour note, German food mavens are “schnit” out of luck. After 15 years the Greater Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce has decided not to have its annual Schnitzelfest this September.

You get all mushy about ’shrooms? The fourth annual Fantastic Forage Mushroom Festival will be held in Laconia on Sept. 29 and 30. Activities center at Tavern 27 on Parade Road and include mushroom identification walks, cooking demonstrations and a wine and mushroom dinner.

Earth Eagle Brewing on High Street in Portsmouth is having a real-life Sausage Fest Sept. 16 from noon to 6 p.m. It’s the 5th annual. There will be specially made sausages, hot dogs, veggie dogs, kraut, pretzels and music by the Mad Bavarian Brass Band.

If you toss a mean caber, have an ear for bagpipes and an appetite for all things Scottish, you’ll want to attend the New Hampshire Highland Games Sept. 21 to 23. The celebration of Scottish art and culture has been held at Loon Mountain Resort for more than 40 years.

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey for leaf peepers who motor over hill and dale seeking a view of dead leaves to die for, but, if you need a place to stop, you can’t do better than the Warner Fall Foliage Festival Oct. 5-7. There is an arts and crafts show and sidewalk sales as well as oxen pulls, street performers and other agricultural contests.

Go get squashed at the Milford Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 6-8 or the New Hampshire Pumpkin festival in Laconia on Oct. 12-13.

Dover celebrates Apple Harvest Day on Oct. 6. More than 400 artists, artisans and food vendors are expected to participate this year at the annual festival that draws about 50,000 visitors downtown.

The Hollis Apple Fest will be held Oct. 7 on Monument Square with apple pie, homemade ice cream and other confections as well as a performance by the town band.

Jaffrey has a celebration that is really quite a fright - the Scarecrows on the Common on Oct. 6, which brings dozens of the hard-working dummies to its downtown.

The Granite State’s own answer to burning man, RiverFire will be held Oct. 13 in Berlin. The celebration of the Androscoggin River and its logging heritage begins during the day at the Service Credit Union Heritage Park with an ATV poker run, musical entertainment, and hay rides. Fires are burned starting at dusk on the boom piers in the middle of the river, which were once used to guide timber downstream during the great log drives.

Visitors are invited to walk across an iron bridge over the river lined with hundreds of carved and lighted pumpkins to create an otherworldly, “Halloweeny” spectacle.


Click here to check out the Fairs & Fall Festivals!