With so many great events coming up, and such pleasant weather in the forecast, we couldn’t resist boosting our usual top five to a top 10 this week. Here are some of the highlights coming to a venue near you.
Virtual Market Square Day
For 42 years, Market Square Day has been held in downtown Portsmouth in June. Circumstances have altered the tradition this year, but there will be a virtual street festival from Friday to Sunday, Sept. 25-27. Live-streamed events include musical performances, demonstrations, and chats with booth hosts and artisans. Event links and information will be posted on Pro Portsmouth’s website beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday. Learn more here.
Loading Dock Concert Series
Two beloved local bands will each play two sets at 3S Artspace’s outdoor loading dock in Portsmouth this weekend. Mainesqueeze brings its mix of roots, swing, folk, R&B, and country to the stage on Friday (early show 6-7:30 p.m.; late show 8-9:30 p.m.). Bitter Pill demonstrates its dark brand of “rhythm and bluegrass” on Saturday (early show 6-7:15 p.m.; late show 8-9:15 p.m.). Table reservations to each show are “pay what you choose.”
2020 Virtual BioBlitz
The Seacoast Science Center’s annual BioBlitz goes virtual this year for a full week, beginning Saturday. Normally held at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, the community science event will now feature live social media feeds. Experts will help guide families on scientific adventures through their own back yards, nature trails, or state parks. Participants will learn about local plants and animals and collect data to track biodiversity. It runs through Oct. 2.
Oktoberfest Pop-Up in Exeter
Sawbelly Brewing in Exeter is hosting a special Oktoberfest weekend, featuring a brand new beer release. As part of the festivities, the brewery joins forces with TEAM (Town Exeter Arts Music) on Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. to present a pop-up celebration featuring live music, art vendors, Oktoberfest-style food, full bar service, contests, and more. Entry is free, but reserving a table in advance is recommended. For more information, click here.
PopUp NH concerts
Local pianist Ray DeMarco will join some friends at PopUp NH on Saturday afternoon from 1-3 p.m., kicking off a weekend of concerts at the outdoor Portsmouth venue. Grateful Dead tribute act Bearly Dead follows from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday brings two sets by the PTF Duo, featuring members of triple-tribute act Pink Talking Fish. The early show is 3-5 p.m.; the late show is 6-8 p.m. Tickets for all shows are sold by the table.
Concerts in Kittery
The Dance Hall presents two outdoor concerts on the lawn of the Kittery Community Center this weekend. First up on Saturday from 3-4 p.m. is The New Nihco Gallo Trio, featuring vibraphonist Gallo, bassist Scott Kiefner, and tap dancer Ayan Imai-Hall. Singer-songwriter Ariana Hodes, a N.H. native based in Nashville, performs on Sunday from 3-4 p.m., along with her parents, Peggo & Paul, and their sidekick Kent Allyn. Tickets to each show are $15.
High Range at The Stone Church
Local folk and bluegrass group High Range plays an outdoor show at The Stone Church in Newmarket on Saturday from 6-9 p.m. Featuring guitar, upright bass, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and drums, these Stone Church favorites play a mix of originals and covers in a style that has drawn praise from several national publications. Tickets are sold by the table; a table of four is $40 and a table of six is $50. For tickets and more information, click here.
Word Barn Comedy ft. Ray Harrington
Headlining the next installment of The Word Barn’s stand-up comedy series is regional comic Ray Harrington, who earlier this year performed on “Conan.” He’ll take the outdoor stage at The Word Barn Meadow in Exeter with guests Chris D, Phoebe Angle, and Cris Machado, along with local hosts Josh and Sara Day, on Saturday from 7-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 — and the venue now offers food from Ohana Kitchen (must order in advance)!
Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra: The Soldier’s Tale
Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale” tells the story of a soldier who makes a deal with the devil. Seven members of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, under the music direction of John Page, will join with four actors from Tufts University, under the stage direction of Carol Mastrodomenico, to perform the concert at The Music Hall’s historic theater in Portsmouth on Saturday from 7:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $30. Learn more here.
Tom Rush at The Music Hall
He’s been touring for more than half a century, he survived Covid-19 in March, and he turns 80 this winter — and yet folk legend Tom Rush is still on the road. The Portsmouth native returns to the city of his birth for a concert at The Music Hall on Sunday from 4-7 p.m. Tickets are $55; seats will be spaced at a safe social distance in the theater. (If you miss this show, Tom will be at The Word Barn Meadow for two concerts on Oct. 11.)
See our full calendar for more local events.