(Concord, NH) – On Saturday, May 6, Concord, NH, will celebrate its cultural vitality with a full range of activities for all. The Capital Arts Fest will run from dawn to dusk with more than 20 events, including arts, film, music and festivities, both in and outside with a unique event in the city.
“Concord’s Main Street transformation was the catalyst for planning this event, which celebrates the cultural destination that Concord has become,” said Tim Sink, president of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. “The project transformed Downtown Concord into an even more desirable place to work, live and shop, with its new wide sidewalks, lighting and lots of trees and fresh brick and granite. And in order to celebrate it and to give a voice to an emerging culture, the Concord’s Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Capital Arts Fest to show how many great events take place in Concord on a given weekend. Dozens of locally owned shops and eateries along and around Main Street will offer specials to compliment the day.”
The events are all listed at http://www.concordnhchamber.com. Links to each event allow visitors to buy their tickets. Some events are free, others are ticketed, special lodging packages are being offered by the Duprey Hotels (http://www.dupreycompanies.com), starting at just $119 per room for Friday or Saturday the 5th and 6th of May.
And, Concord Coach (https://concordcoachlines.com) is offering a special discounted coupon code for the weekend on all bus service to Concord from Boston.
Concord Coach has a 20% off on one-way and round-trips tickets between Concord and Boston, South Station/Logan Airport. The coupon code is concordarts, and must be entered using lower case letters only and is available for use now through May 10. The tickets can be purchased with the coupon code at www.concordcoachlines.com and may be used for travel between May 1 and May 10.
The Capitol Arts Fest will be headlined by two free performances by the nationally acclaimed Squonk Opera. They’ll perform two 30-minute shows on City Plaza, at 11:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Squonk is a group of interdisciplinary artists from Pittsburgh who roll up their sleeves and develop work that attacks and celebrates the idiosyncrasies of our world. Squonk has played on 3 continents and in over 30 states, and it strives to create work that is accessible and transformative. They’ll be performing “Cycle Sonic," a unique work that celebrates bicycles with human-powered stages, propelled by the group’s original chamber rock music…and its own legs!
After a six-month hiatus, the Farmer’s Market is returning, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The early morning is a perfect time to shop the best New Hampshire’s produce. After that, take one or more free-guided tours of local sights, destinations, and landmarks. They start at 10:00 a.m. and include two historic walking tours of Downtown Concord, that will run for 45-60 minutes each (the first one starts at 10.30 a.m. and the second at 12 p.m.) and will be led by Jennifer Kretovic, starting outside of Red River Theater, a backstage tour of the Capitol Center of Arts, and a New Hampshire State House tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The New Hampshire Historical Society is also having guided tours every 30 minutes at the Tuck Library (from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) for those who are interested in finding out more about New Hampshire’s past and hear stories about the objects on display that make their story come alive. The exhibitions cover a wide variety of things, from a 500-year-old dugout canoe to Sylvester Marsh’s original model for the Cog Railway. Also, the New Hampshire Historical Society is giving free admission that afternoon in honor of the Arts Fest.
From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., McAuliffe-Sheppard Discovery Center has plenty of gallery activities for all ages, which include Planetarium Shows, and Main Stage Presentations, concluding with the Aerospacefest, a science festival for families and individuals, filled with space and aviation-related events and programs. For those who want to see the sun closer, the telescopes brought by the members of the NH Astronomical Society, can guarantee that experience.
The Mill Brook Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with its original art and contemporary craft created by more than 70 regional and national artists. Check out the gallery’s collection of paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and mobiles. But this isn’t the only open gallery on May 6: McGowan Fine Art, a contemporary art gallery, features a distinctive selection of artists in a variety of styles. The gallery is having an opening reception in the morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the artists in attendance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And the League of NH Craftsmen Gallery open its doors from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for guided tours of their current exhibit and permanent collection as well as a reception in the main gallery.
The Community Players will perform “Other Desert Cities”. This play by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Wayland Bunnell was nominated for a Tony Award and a Pulitzer. It follows a family with differing political views and a long-held family secret. And can be seen from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hatbox Theater is waiting for their next rising stars at their open auditions for their upcoming season starting at 11 a.m. At 2 p.m., Hatbox will host a Performance Lab course and at 7:30 p.m. it’s time to watch the original play “The Truth will Spring Yuh.” Red River Theatres, a nonprofit cinema is celebrating Free Comic Book Day, an event for comic book fans.
The Kimball Jenkins School of Art is launching a large bike project to run in Concord from May to October 2017. All they need are old bikes and bike parts, two and three wheelers and volunteers. Several artists and local groups will create artful bikes that can be welded, painted and displayed along Main Street all summer long.
Canterbury Shaker Village will open for the season on May 6th with a parade of heifers to their first spring grass, as well as maypole dancing, outdoor barn dancing and food from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At Gibson’s Bookstore at 2 p.m. everyone is invited to join the acclaimed author and writing instructor Joni B. Cole as she reads from her new book a books that offers encouragement to beginning and experienced writers. After the reading, an interactive workshop invites participants to write from a “prompt’ and see what happens.
Music is set up to fill Concord’s Main Street during the Capital Arts Fest, starting with Suncook Valley Chorale at 11 a.m. The local chorus, led by Scott Lounsbury, brings quality music to the State House with concerts lasting between two and ten minutes. The Concord Community Music School’s annual Performathon has double the fun this year, with student performances from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on two stages: on Main Street in front of Phenix Hall, as well as at the Music School. The performances are free in both locations and will include student songwriters singing their originals, teenage rock, folk, and jazz bands, cute Suzuki violinists, adult fiddle ensembles, and much more! Also at the Music School will be the well-loved Instrument Petting Zoo, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where visitors can try a multitude of instruments under the expert and encouraging help of experienced musicians.
New England College’s downtown location will feature The Hardtacks, who will be delivering a performance of Civil War era folk and storytelling at 5:30 p.m. At 7 p.m. Concord Chorale is presenting Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem at South Congregational Church. The ticket’s can be purchased online, at Gibson’s Bookstore or at Merrimack County Savings Bank.
The capstone of the Capital Arts Fest is at the Capitol Center for the Arts, where local favorite Juston McKinney delivers a sidesplitting performance at 8 p.m. The New Hampshire born comedian frequently uses the Granite State as its muse and has appeared multiple times on The Tonight Show and on Conan O’Brien. Tickets are $27.50, plus any applicable fees for phone and Internet sales.
The Capital Arts Fest is supported by The Duprey Companies, Grappone Auto Group, Louis Karno & Company, Capitol Center for the Arts, Concord Coach, Lincoln Financial, Merrimack County Savings Bank, Mason and Rich, Nathan Wechsler, Orr & Reno, KnockKnock Social, mega.haus and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. The activities and hours are still subject to change.
Concord has much to offer. The Capital Region offers a quality of living to rival any community in the country. Excellent public and private schools produce a well-educated workforce. Greater Concord boasts one of the finest health care networks north of Boston. If you enjoy the theater, visiting museums and art galleries or browsing well-stocked libraries, you will enjoy our offerings. For more information, go to