There is a helluva lot going on during the first official weekend of autumn, including a folk festival, a fall festival, a Westival, and more. So instead of mourning the end of summer, celebrate the beginning of fall. Here are some of the highlights.
Maritime Folk Fest
Though the city keeps changing, maritime folk music still encapsulates the spirit of Portsmouth. Perhaps that’s why the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival has endured for nearly two decades. The 18th annual festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23 and 24. All weekend, local and regional musicians will perform traditional American and English folk songs at downtown restaurants, pubs, cafes, churches, and streets. All events are free, though donations are accepted. For a schedule and more information, click here.
Team Fall Equinox Fest
Some of the Seacoast’s top artists will perform at the third annual Team Fall Equinox Fest at Swasey Parkway in Exeter on Saturday Sept. 23, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Local singer-songwriters will play hourly sets under a tent, while five local bands entertain on the main stage. There will also be artist vendors, a local food court, cultural exhibits, and kids activities throughout the day. There is a $10 suggested donation. For more information, click here.
Portsmouth’s West End neighborhood has become a satellite hub of local art, food, and beer. The annual Westival event encourages people to celebrate that community with BBQ, live bands, and fresh brews. This year’s Westival takes place Saturday, Sept. 23, from 1-4 p.m., in the Mojo’s parking lot at the Malt House Exchange on Brewery Lane. When it’s over, guests can stroll down the street to a nearby motorcycle show (more on that shortly). For more information, click here.
Welcome East Moto Show
See a cavalry of unique bikes, sip local craft beers, and mingle with riders at the annual Welcome East Motorcycle Show. Presented by Port City Mopeds and TriggerHouse, this year’s event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Liars Bench Beer Company in Portsmouth’s West End. Awards will be presented in close to a dozen different categories. It stretches from 4-11 p.m. — immediately following Westival. To register a bike and get more information, click here.
Chris Cornell tribute show
Dozens of local and national musicians will pay tribute to late singer Chris Cornell at Wally’s Pub in Hampton on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 6-11 p.m. Cornell, the former front man of Soundgarden and Audioslave, committed suicide in May. Performers will play songs spanning his entire career during three full sets. Tickets are $20-$25; proceeds benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Child and Family Services of New Hampshire, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Learn more here.
To see a full calendar of events, click here.