It’s going to be a busy weekend on the Seacoast with many Juneteenth events, an arts festival in Exeter, the Prescott Park concert series and Halcyon Music Festival kicking off and, as if that wasn’t enough, the Somersworth International Children’s Festival will fill the small city with family fun.
Josh Ritter opens Prescott Park concert series
On Thursday, June 16 at 7 pm, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter will open the Prescott Park Arts Festival summer concert series on the banks of the Piscataqua River in Prescott Park. Suggested donation is $10 per person. All reservations for the tables and blankets closest to the stage are full, but you can still bring your own blanket or chair, and get your summer of fun started.
Halcyon Music Festival kicks off
The 2022 Halcyon Music Festival returns to the stage June 16-25 with six unique chamber music programs. Halcyon Music Festival brings 21 world-class musicians together to live, rehearse and perform over the span of just 10 days. The performances are held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth at 7 pm Concerts begin Thursday, June 16 with “Music and Strife,” works by Strauss, Shostakovich, and Dvořák, and run June 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 with concerts each evening. Visit halcyonmusicfestival.org/concerts for tickets and program info.
More:Halcyon Music Festival returns to in-person performances this June
New Hope Baptist Church to hold Juneteenth celebration
On Friday June 17, at 5:30 pm, The New Hope Baptist Church, 263 Peverly Hill Road, will hold a Juneteenth Celebration titled “Juneteenth 2022: Acknowledging the Struggle, Celebrating the Resilience.” The program will feature Dr. Shari Robinson, Assistant Vice Provost in Student Life of the University of New Hampshire as the keynote speaker. Come and enjoy music and poetry from The Voices of New Hope Choir, Rock My Soul, T.J. Wheeler and others. A light dinner will be available from 4 to 5:15 pm in the lower fellowship hall. There is no admission fee. Attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item or toiletry item for the Gather food pantry’s “Meals 4 Kids” program. For a complete list of needed items, go to themusichall.org/events/fill-the-hall-2022. Monetary donations will be accepted for the Frances M. Satchell Scholarship Fund.
More:Juneteenth celebrations expanding this year: Here’s what to expect
Somersworth International Children’s Festival this weekend
The 40th Somersworth International Children’s Festival and pre-festival celebration will take place Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18.
Friday night’s celebration starts at 6 pm at Somersworth High School, with live music featuring the popular Wayne from Maine and Bad Breath Microphone, food and fireworks. Bring your blankets and chairs. On Saturday, from 10 am to 4 pm, Main Street in Somersworth will be transformed into a vibrant street festival filled with lots of fun for the kids, yummy food, craft and retail vendors, educational exhibits, and more.
Main Street will have two stages with music and performances from 10 am to 4 pm The Main Stage will feature popular local bands and the World Cultures Stage will feature Islandside starting at 10 am, Carol Coronis at 11 am, McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance at noon , Indonesian music and dance from 12:30 to 2:30 pm, and the Burlington Taiko Group from 2:30 to 4 pm The trolley will provide free transportation back and forth from Main Street to the Noble Pines Park, where from 10 am to 3 pm, there’ll be kids’ activities and performers. The City Splash Pad will also be open.
For information, visit the Somersworth Festival Association’s Facebook page or nhfestivals.org.
Kittery Block Party is back
The Kittery Block Party will return this Saturday, June 18 after taking two years off due to the pandemic. The free street carnival celebration will run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and feature 140 vendors, food served by Rose’s Spring Rolls, a food truck well-known in the Kittery Food Truck Pod circle, as well as by The Black Birch and Ore Nell’s Barbecue , and live music all day. Visit kittyblockparty.org.
More:Kittery Block Party is returning in June: Here’s what you need to know before you go
Check out the Sand Sculpting Classic at Hampton Beach
This weekend, 200 tons of sand will be transformed into amazing sculptures on Hampton Beach during three-day sand sculpting competition. The 10 best sand sculptors in the world will vie for $25,000 in prizes. The sculptures will remain standing and will be illuminated at night until Sunday, June 26.
More:Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic 2022: ‘Greatest Show in Sand’ returns.
Exeter Arts Fest on Saturday
The Exeter Arts Fest will take place Saturday, June 18 from 11 am to 6 pm in downtown Exeter and on Swasey Parkway. There’ll be 20 art vendors, a Singer-Songwriter Tent featuring Dyer Holiday, Todd Hearon, Darien Castro, Artty Francoeur, Kaia Mack, Christopher Voss; food from Friends 4 Oba; face-painting and kids’ activities; the 5 Freedoms Concert on the Lawn from noon to 2 pm at the American Independence Museum; and a Juneteenth Block Party from 1 to 3 pm on The Pavilion Stage in Swasey Parkway, which will feature Tiffany Colston & Band, Bless Robinson, MZ Starr, Crystal Lezama and TCS Youth Artists. There’ll also be a Juneteenth Jazz concert featuring The Marcus Rabb Quartet at 4 pm in Exeter Town Hall where an art show Juno 2022 will also take place from noon to 6 pm Laura Harper Lake will have a solo exhibition “Vivid & Vulnerable Vessels” from noon to 3 pm at Foundation Art Space. Suggested donation for the festival is $10 per person; $20 per family. Pre-event cashless donations can be made at portsmouthnhtickets.com/events/exeter-arts-music-fest.
More:Juneteenth celebrations expanding this year: Here’s what to expect
Howard University Gospel Choir to perform
As part of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, the Howard Gospel Choir will perform a concert, “Let it Shine: The Howard Gospel Choir Sings The Gospel” at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.
The Howard Gospel Choir is unique in that it is the first collegiate choir of its kind in the world, comprising more than 70 students, alumni and community members of Howard University in Washington, DC The concert is at 4 pm and tickets are available at themusichall .org.
‘Uproar’ performance at African Burying Ground
On Sunday, June 19, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will present a step dance performance program produced by Najee Brown’s Theater by the People company, entitled, “Uproar: A Celebration of African American Creativity.” “Uproar” is a high- energy performance that introduces audiences to the unique lineages of African American dance demonstrating how enslaved people on American soil used stepping as a vehicle for communication, self-expression, and joy. The 2 pm performance is free and open to the public and will be livestreamed. For information about how to watch online, visit blackheritagetrailnh.org/juneteenth-celebration-2022.
Participate in creating a public art mural
Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will close its Juneteenth celebration on Monday, June 20, with the creation of a public art piece in a program entitled, “The Art of Erasure: Gone But Never Forgotten.” Award-winning public artist Napoleon Jones-Henderson will lead a community workshop and street art project where participants will create a piece that the community will paint on a Portsmouth street. As the art fades, a video recording will be made to document its erasure. Participants will attend workshops to develop the piece on Thursday and Friday, June 16 and 17 from 4 to 6 pm at Portsmouth Music and Arts Center. Visit blackheritagetrailnh.org/juneteenth-celebration-2022 to register for the workshops. On Monday, the public can join participants beginning at 8 am to paint the mural in the parking lot at People’s United Bank, 325 State St., Portsmouth. For more info, visit blackheritagetrailnh.org/juneteenth-celebration-2022/
Paul McCartney tribute concert
On Sunday, June 19 at 6 pm, there’ll be a celebration of Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday at the Press Room in Portsmouth with Taylor O’Donnell, Chris Klaxton and Meta-Beat members, Mark Shilansky, Eric Byers, Mark Poniatowski and Les Harris Jr. performing the music of The Beatles as well as their solo material with a jazz twist. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Doors for this 18-plus show open at 5 pm Visit pressroomnh.com.