What a weekend. School is out, Father’s Day is coming up, and summer officially begins next week. Here are some ways to celebrate.
Secret Gardens of New Castle Tour
As part of New Castle’s 400th anniversary celebration, you can explore the town’s secret gardens this weekend. Presented by the Great Island Garden Club, participants can wander the charming streets and discover oases behind historic homes on Friday from 5-7:30 p.m. or Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets are $20. Learn more here.
Opening receptions at 3S Artspace
Two new exhibits open with receptions at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth on Friday from 5-8 p.m. In “Why Am I Here?,” Mexican-American artist Natalie Fisk utilizes the symbol of Papel Picado in various media. In “If You Knew, Let it Be Us,” McKinley Wallace paints, draws, and collages to tell stories of power manifested in resilient peoples.
Somersworth Children’s Festival
Somersworth will become a kids’ paradise this weekend. The Somersworth International Children’s Festival begins with entertainment and fireworks at Somersworth High School on Friday from 6-10 p.m. and continues with food, crafts, exhibits, and performances on Main Street on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn more here.
2023 Halcyon Music Festival
More than 20 world-class musicians are in Portsmouth for the annual Halcyon Music Festival, taking place from June 15-24. St. John’s Episcopal Church will host six unique chamber music programs, including “Summer Sounds” on Friday at 7 p.m., and “Youthful Genius” on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10-$25. Learn more here.
Concerts at The Word Barn Meadow
Two great concerts are slated for The Word Barn Meadow in Exeter this weekend. Upstate, who have garnered favorable comparisons to early Lake Street Dive and Phox, perform on Friday from 7-9 p.m. ($25). Local favorites Old Hat Stringband will be joined by violinist Joyce Andersen on Saturday from 7-9 p.m. ($20). Learn more here.
Live shows at The Dance Hall
It’s another eclectic weekend of music at The Dance Hall in Kittery. Local soul and funk powerhouse Trade starts things off on Friday from 7:30-9 p.m. ($15). The Guthrie Girls, featuring siblings Cathy and Sarah Lee (daughters of the great Arlo Guthrie) follow opener The Rear Defrosters on Saturday from 7:30-9 p.m. ($20-$25). Learn more here.
Live music at The Stone Church
Dan Blakeslee and The Calabash Club kick off a weekend of local music at The Stone Church in Newmarket on Friday from 8-11 p.m. ($15). Truffle radiates its positive vibes on Saturday from 5-8 p.m. ($20). Wizzardess headlines a night of rock with guests Granite Danes and Crooked Cash on Saturday from 8:30-11:30 p.m. ($15). Learn more here.
Kittery Block Party
An annual celebration of local art, culture, and food returns to Kittery Foreside on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The 2023 Kittery Block Party will feature live music under the big tent, The Great Maine Lumberjack Show, the Pony X-Press petting zoo, and more, plus loads of vendors offering food and all kinds of wares. Learn more here.
2023 Juneteenth Celebration
The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s 2023 Juneteenth Celebration is underway. Highlights in Portsmouth include a reggae festival at Strawbery Banke Museum on Saturday from 12-10 p.m. ($60-$100), and a performance by Camille A. Brown & Dancers at The Music Hall on Sunday starting at 4 p.m. ($30-$70). Learn more here.
Loud & Proud Drag Show at the Ring
New England’s top drag royalty is coming to The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month. Host Christmas Carol and performers Giri Spades, Lady CAR, Puddin’, and Summer Rhaine will present singing, lip-syncing, comedy, and glamour at the Loud & Proud Drag Show at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $17. Learn more here.
See the full calendar for more local events.