It happens every so often that there are so many worthy events occurring over the same weekend that we cannot narrow it down to five and are forced to boost our weekly roundup to a top 10. This is one of those weekends.
Seacoast Extreme Country Fair
The first ever Seacoast Extreme Country Fair features bull riding, barrel racing, horse shows, motor cross, lumberjack competitions, live music, line dancing, helicopter rides, monster truck rides, and much more. Created by former rodeo star Kenny Churchill, the fair takes place at the New England Dragway in Epping from Thursday to Sunday, Sept. 13-16 (3-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday). Tickets are $7-$12, or $15-$35 for a four-day pass. Learn more here.
Tiny Writes Poetry Project
Tiny Writes is a two-part project involving an interactive exhibit and poetry reading at the Millspace center in Newmarket. In the spring, writer and artist Carand Burnet set up an exhibit during which guests were invited to write lines in response to poetry-themed dioramas. Those lines were distributed to regional poets, who used them as inspiration for new verse, which they’ll read during a celebration at the Millspace on Friday, Sept. 14, from 5-9 p.m. Learn more here.
Drift Gallery :: REDUX
The Drift Gallery has drifted between several homes over the years, starting in Kittery and later moving to the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth. Founder Ali Goodwin (above) is temporarily reviving Drift at the Portsmouth Music and Arts Center with a collection of works by local painter Kate Crowell. A reception takes place Friday, Sept. 14, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Goodwin will offer a talk on the art of curation at PMAC on Sunday, Sept. 16, from 3-4 p.m. Learn more here.
Telluride by the Sea
The 20th annual Telluride by the Sea festival presents nine films, most of them fresh off their debuts at Telluride in Colorado. Among the big names in this year’s lineup are Melissa McCarthy, Hugh Jackman, and Emma Stone, among others. It takes place Friday to Sunday, Sept. 14-16, with screenings at The Music Hall and The Loft in Portsmouth. Individual film tickets are $20; weekend passes are $100. For more information and a full schedule, click here.
New England Fall Astronomy Festival
You don’t have to leave the Seacoast to explore outer space. The New England Fall Astronomy Festival is Sept. 14 and 15 at the University of New Hampshire Observatory in Durham. Guests can gaze through a telescope and get a laser-pointer sky tour, play AstroGames, and engage in other astronomy activities. Planetary physicist Dr. Fran Bagenal kicks things off with a keynote address at 7 p.m. Friday; the festivities resume Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Learn more here.
Long before “The Happytime Murders,” raunchy puppets were getting laughs on Broadway in “Avenue Q.” The Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth presents its adaptation of the show Sept. 14-30, using the same cast and set as its 2015 production — including 98 puppets handcrafted by the Mad Men of Oopsie Daisy Inc. Show times are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25-$38; learn more here.
For nine years, the annual Takedown festival has served as a sprawling showcase of rising talent. This year’s event takes place Saturday, Sept. 15, from 12-10 p.m., at Rock Maple Woods in Strafford. Presented in collaboration with Sue’s, the festival features live music, theater, and circus performances by local and regional acts from around New England, as well as food, art, and the great outdoors. There is a $20 suggested donation; for more information, click here.
Passport Craft Beer & Food Pairing Tour
Food and beer are both vital to life on Earth, and they’re at their best when enjoyed together. The 10th annual Passport event returns to Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 5-7 p.m. More than 20 craft beers in various styles will be paired with dishes prepared by area chefs and food purveyors. There will also be live music from Martin England and the Reconstructed. Tickets are $80 ($40 for designated drivers); learn more here.
All Night Thing III
Dozens of local musicians will unite at Bernie’s Beach Bar in Hampton on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m., to help raise money and awareness to fight addiction and depression. The show will pay tribute to singers who have lost their lives, including Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, Kurt Cobain, Scott Weiland, Chester Bennington, Andrew Wood, Shannon Hoon, and Brad Nowell. Tickets are $20, with proceeds going to NAMI-NH and Child and Family Services of New Hampshire. Learn more here.
Composer, pianist, and singer Gabriel Kahane is touring North America in support of his new album (his first on Nonesuch Records), “Book of Travelers.” The tour includes a show in 3S Artspace’s gallery in Portsmouth on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 7-10 p.m. What makes this show really exciting is that it’s a collaboration with The Press Room, giving us reason to believe the illustrious Portsmouth pub will soon reopen its doors. Tickets are $18-$22; learn more here.
For a full calendar of local events, click here.