It’s another lively weekend full of notable events on the Seacoast, including the annual Black New England Conference, the grand opening of a new art museum, a season-opening theater performance, a variety of pre-Halloween festivities, and lots of live music.
Black New England Conference
The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s 15th annual Black New England Conference will explore the role of spirituality in Black healing, paths forward from legacies of racism, efforts to gain reparations, and more. There will be online panels and tours all day Friday and Saturday. Registration is $45-$125. Learn more here.
Ghosts on the Banke
Strawbery Banke Museum hosts a scary (but family-friendly) Halloween event this weekend. Guests will walk trails lit by Jack-o’-lanterns as they trick-or-treat among the historic houses on Friday and Saturday from 5-8:30 p.m. There will also be storytelling, spooky plays, and more. Tickets are $8 (free for kids under 2). Learn more here.
Concerts at The Stone Church
The Not Fade Away Band, New Hampshire’s premiere Grateful Dead tribute, jams at The Stone Church in Newmarket on Friday from 6-9 p.m. ($15). Then, on Saturday, The Rockingham Groove plays big-brass swing and R&B with guests The Rumblekats from 4-8:30 p.m. ($15 general admission; tix also available by the table). Get tickets here.
Concerts at The Word Barn
Iconic bluesman Chris Smither, a master songwriter and acoustic guitarist, performs at The Word Barn in Exeter on Friday from 7-8:30 p.m. ($55). Acclaimed indie songwriter Will Dailey, who has shared stages and studios with Eddie Veddar, Willie Nelson, and many others, follows on Saturday from 7-8:30 p.m. ($20). Get tickets here.
‘The Uncertainty Principle’ at NHTP
Created from more than 30 interviews with community members, “The Uncertainty Principle” kicks off New Hampshire Theatre Project’s new season this weekend in Portsmouth. Show times are Friday and Saturday from 8-10 p.m. and Sunday from 2-4 p.m., with a streaming option on Saturday night. Tickets are $20, available here.
Portsmouth Halloween Parade Benefits
Two festive fundraisers for the Portsmouth Halloween Parade take place this weekend. The annual Pumpkin Smash occurs during the Portsmouth Farmers Market on Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. ($5 per pumpkin). The SPC Halloween Costume Paddle Contest is at the Peirce Island Boat Ramp on Sunday from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ($10).
MONA Grand Opening
This just in: Portsmouth has an art museum! The Museum of New Art, located on the first floor of Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club, opens to the public on Saturday with a grand celebration for its inaugural exhibition, Markus Linnenbrink’s “THEREARESPACESTHATBREATHE,” from 6-8 p.m. The show runs through February. Learn more here.
Concerts at The Dance Hall
The Soggy Po’ Boys have been regular performers at The Dance Hall since it opened, and they return to the Kittery venue for a concert on Saturday from 7:30-9 p.m. ($15). On Sunday from 3-5 p.m., pioneering cellist Mike Block leads an all-star trio featuring mandolinist Joe K. Walsh and bassist Zachariah Hickman ($20). Get tickets here.
The New England Mafia at WSCA
A brand new supergroup has come together to rock the region. The New England Mafia, featuring retro rockers Kurt Baker, Brad Marino, Geoff Palmer, and Zack Sprague, takes the Button Factory Stage at WSCA Portsmouth Community Radio on Saturday from 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $12, and they’re in short supply. Learn more here.
Habibi w/Dead Gowns at The Press Room
Brooklyn-based surf-rock band Habibi — a ’60s-style girl group with a psychedelic twist, returns to The Press Room in Portsmouth to headline a hot show on Saturday at 9 p.m. To sweeten the deal, Portland, Maine-based indie-folk group Dead Gowns has been added to the bill as an opener. Tickets are $15-$18. Learn more here.
See the full calendar for more local events.