Labor Day Weekend is expected to bring a record number of visitors to New Hampshire — to the tune of about 620,000 people, according to news reports. But don’t let the crowds (or the possible rainfall) keep you home. There are enough cool events happening this weekend for everyone to have a good time. Here are some of the most notable upcoming happenings.
Art ’Round Town
It’s the first Friday of the month, and that means it’s time to get your art fix in Portsmouth. Art ’Round Town takes place tonight from 5-8 p.m.; several downtown galleries will introduce new exhibits while offering free snacks and wine.
Among the highlights is a new exhibition at the Gallery at 100 Market. “Too Many Wonderful Themes” features more than 100 works by more than two-dozen regional artists, spread across four floors of the building at the intersection of Market and Hanover streets. The opening reception takes place from 5-7 p.m., and the show will remain on display through Nov. 18.
Another highlight is Nahcotta’s 20th Enormous Tiny Art Show, featuring more than 300 pieces by a blend of local and international artists. The work includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, paper-cuts, encaustics, and more, all served small and affordable. According to the gallery, it’s the biggest tiny show to date.
Yet another noteworthy show opening during Art ’Round Town is “Oceanic: Paintings of the Isles of Shoals.” The exhibition at the Todd Bonita Gallery marks the 100th anniversary of the Star Island Corporation, and the 50th anniversary of the Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island. The opening reception is tonight from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and a gallery talk with local artist and writer Christopher Volpe follows a week later on Friday, Sept. 9.
For more on Art ’Round Town, click here.
“Arcadia” at the Ring
The Players’ Ring kicks off its 25th season with a production of Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” which opens tonight and runs through Sept. 18 at the small theater in Prescott Park. Directed by Jennifer Henry and featuring a large cast of local actors, the show jumps between the early 19th century and present times, focusing on the life and work of a young math genius named Thomasina Coverly.
Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. For more information, click here.
Continuing the theme of anniversaries, local band Truffle celebrates 30 years of rootsy funk and blues with a show at Grill 28 on Sunday. Truffle and its front man, Dave Gerard, have been staples of the Seacoast music scene for three decades and continue to gig relentlessly. At the anniversary show, they’ll play a full electric set with guests Conor O’Brien and Big Blue World.
The show takes place from 1-6 p.m. at Grill 28, located at the Pease Golf Course in Portsmouth. For more on Truffle, click here.
Two new exhibits at UNH
The UNH Museum of Art opened two new exhibits this week, both of which will remain on display through Oct. 16. Marking the University of New Hampshire’s 150th anniversary, both exhibits celebrate the success of UNH students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
The first exhibit, “7,000 Miles from Durham,” curated by Catherine Hunter, features work highlighting African and Indian material culture. The works were donated to the museum by two scholars with ties to the university. The second is an alumni photography exhibition with 55 prints by UNH grads.
An opening reception for both exhibits will be held on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 6-8 p.m. For more information, click here.
The Dawg at Prescott Park
Yet another living legend is on his way to Portsmouth to perform at the Prescott Park Arts Festival. Bluegrass mandolin player David Grisman — known to fans as the Dawg, a nickname given to him by Jerry Garcia —plays at the park on Saturday. The David Grisman Sextet released a self-titled album in the spring and is touring heavily this fall.
The show at Prescott Park, which begins at 7 p.m., is the second-to-last show in the festival’s River House Restaurant Concert Series, which concludes with a performance by blues legend Taj Mahal on Friday, Sept. 9.
For more information, click here.
Exeter UFO Festival
The town of Exeter has a proud tradition of UFO sightings and alien abductions, and they’ll celebrate that tradition with two days of curiosities this weekend. The annual Exeter UFO Festival takes flight Saturday at 9 a.m. and continues through Sunday with lectures, presentations, kids’ activities, and more. There’s also the third annual Extown Space Jam tonight at the bandstand from 4-7 p.m.
Most lectures and presentations take place at Exeter Town Hall. For more information, click here.
Final shows at Birdseye Lounge
After a short but admirable run, Birdseye Lounge announced this week that it will soon be closing its doors. However, there are still a handful of killer shows taking place at the downtown Portsmouth venue over the next week.
Tonight, Cambridge-based band Billy Wylder joins local favorites Gretchen and the Pickpockets at 8 p.m. On Saturday night, Colbis the Creature headlines a CD release show also featuring local rock band Broken Amps at 9 p.m. On Thursday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m., Mayer Kirby Mayer performs at Birdseye’s final show.
For more information, click here.
The 11th Barnstormers Music and Art Festival takes place at The Stone Church in Newmarket on Saturday. At least 10 area bands will perform at the event, which will also feature local artwork. The festival begins at 6 p.m. and continues past midnight; for more information, click