Hampton Beach 25th Annual Seafood Festival

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Seafood Festival at Hampton Beach. From the sea to the sky, Hampton Beach will be the hot spot September 5-7, 2014. More than just food and friends, the festival features skydiving, contests, entertainment, and fireworks. The festival hours are 4pm to 9pm on Friday, 10am to 9pm on Saturday, and 10am to 6pm on Sunday.

Admission for this event is as follows:.

Friday- $5 Per Adult
Saturday- $8 Per Adult
Sunday- $5 Per Adult
Children Under 12 get in free!

A portion of admission proceeds go to support the Hampton Rotary Club. Parking is also free.

The Seaside Festival features:

  • 60 of the Seacoast’s top restaurants serving an abundance of mouthwatering seafood.  Choose from favorites like fried clams, shrimp, and lobster (steamed, fried, or in a roll) to non-seafood items like BBQ Ribs, “Blooming Onions” and sumptuous desserts.
  • 80 Arts & Crafts vendors promoting locally made products and hundreds of Ocean Boulevard merchants offering end-of-the-season Sidewalk Sales.
  • Continuous Entertainment on two stages featuring 15 Bands and Orchestras playing a variety of music — Blues, Jazz, the Oldies but Goodies, and even a little Rock & Roll!
  • Kiddie Land – Featuring the best in Children’s Celebrities, Magicians, Jugglers, Clowns, Face Painting & Games.
  • Spectacular fireworks display — Saturday at 8:15 PM.
  • A “Don’t Miss” thrilling Skydiving demonstration, Sunday at 5 PM.
  • Pat Whitley Culinary Chef Demonstrations Saturday and Sunday 11 AM to 2 PM.
  • A 200 foot beverage tent serving beer and wine!
  • A beach cabana bar in the sand!
  • 4th Annual Lobster Roll Eating Contest Saturday, 2:00 pm

For more information call the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce at (603)-926-8718 or click here.


Pay What You Weigh at the Mall of New Hampshire

The Mall of New Hampshire’s Simon Kidgits Club wants families to come together and join the Mall of New Hampshire every Tuesday night at 5:30pm for some yummy fun!

Children will weigh themselves at the mall’s Kidgits Pay What You Weigh table and pay one penny per pound for dinner and one penny per pound for dessert, with a $.50 minimum, for meals offered by participating food court tenants including Bertucci’s, Gloria Jeans’s, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Arby’s, Regina Pizzeria and D’Angelo’s.

Kids must be a Simon Kidgits Club member to participate. Non-members can sign up with $5 annual membership fee the night of the event or at Simon Guest Services. The last day of this event is August 12th.



33rd Annual Pittsfield Rotary Hot Air Balloon Rally is this weekend

It’s that time of year again. The time when hot air balloons fill the skies above Drake Field in Pittsfield, NH. 18 hot air balloons are scheduled to fly this weekend starting Friday, August 1st through Sunday, August 3rd. Pilots and their balloons will be traveling from all over New England and as far away as Dayton, OH to participate in this years rally.

As always the hot air balloons are the main attraction at this event but there are plenty of things to do between launches. From a pancake breakfast, a midway carnival, craft and vendor fair, tethered hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides (Provided by JBI Helicopters), various food vendors, live acts and music, a 5K memorial road race, fireworks, and a spectacular hot air balloon night glow. You won’t be bored at this great event.

Picture of hot air balloons inflating on Drake Field.
Last year I went up in JBI’s Bell 206-B III Jet Ranger (N803JB) to see if I could get some pictures of the field with balloons inflating. Unlike 2012, last year I had much better luck getting shots of balloons from the air as you can see above. The view from the helicopter is great you can see breathtaking views of Drake’s Field, the Suncook Valley and surrounding area. For a $25.00 per person donation it’s one of the best rides you can go on. If you are adventurous ask for a “HOT Ride” which will give you more of the roller coaster feel.

View of Drake's Field in Pittsfield from JBI Helicopter's N808JB

I have found the best times to view the balloons is during the early AM launches. The balloons typically take off around 5:30AM which means you probably want to leave around 4:00AM from Londonderry so you can stake out your spot as it’s just under an hour to get there. I’ve taken some spectacular shots on that super calm Suncook River where it’s like a mirror reflecting the balloons. Unfortunately the kayaks disturb the usually mirror like water with their wake.

When many balloons are in the air at once it makes for a dramatic picture. This is why I get up at 3:00AM on a Saturday in August. The peacefulness of seeing these balloons glide over the water and through the air is amazing.

The night glows on Friday and Saturday nights are a sight to be seen. The balloons are inflated but do not leave the ground. The burners which put out 7 to 10 million BTU’s an hour are put into a special mode to produce more light into the envelope instead of heat to generate lift. This makes for a unique sight. The balloon can look dramatically different during a night glow than it does during the day.
Balloon Night Glow

Saturday night is capped off by a spectacular fireworks show!

    ***Full Schedule***

Friday, August 1
3:00PM – Midway Carnival Rides Open
* 4:00PM – 6:00PM – Helicopter & Tethered Balloon Rides
* 5:30PM – Hot Air Balloons Liftoff (weather permitting)
6:00PM – Live Entertainment on Main Stage
* 8:30PM – Hot Air Balloon Night Glow (weather permitting)
7:00PM – 9:00PM – Live Entertainment on Main Stage

Saturday, August 2
* 5:30AM – Balloons Liftoff
5:30AM – Pancake Breakfast
10:00AM – 3:00PM – Antique & Classic Car Show
10:00AM – 8:00PM – Craft & Artisans Show
11:00AM – 9:00PM – Midway Vendors & Carnival Rides
* 2:00PM – 8:00PM – Helicopter Rides
* 4:00PM – Tethered Balloon Rides Begin
* 5:30PM – Hot Air Balloons Launch
6:00PM – 9:00PM – Live Entertainment on Main Stage
* 8:30PM – Hot Air Balloon Night Glow!
9:30PM – Fireworks Extravaganza!!! (Fireworks sponsored by Rotary & Corporate Sponsors)

Sunday, August 3
* 5:30AM – Hot Air Balloons Final Liftoff
5:45AM – Rotary Scrambled Egg & Bacon Breakfast
9:00AM – Frank Donovan Memorial 5K Road Race
* Weather Permitting

Drake’s Field Pittsfield New Hampshire via Google Maps

Click HERE for a larger Map of Pittsfield including Drake’s Field and parking locations

Entrance: FREE ($5.00 suggested donation)
Parking: FREE
Shuttles between parking lots and field: $1/Person (Each Ride)
Food, Beverages, Carnival Amusements, Helicopter Rides, & Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides all have separate charges.

The Sizzler

No Smoking, NO PETS, except service animals (due to food being served) . Bags, coolers, backpacks and other containers except for childcare and medical needs are not allowed. No: cans, glass, alcohol, skateboards, bikes or weapons. are allowed. All bags subject to inspection.

Morning Launch over the Suncook River

Morning Launch over the Suncook River

***Hot Air Balloon Launch Schedule: (Weather Permitting)***
Friday: 5:00 – 6:00 pm Afternoon Hot Air Balloon Liftoff
Saturday: 5:30 – 6:00 am Dawn Hot Air Balloon Liftoff
Saturday: 5:00 – 6:00 pm Afternoon Hot Air Balloon Liftoff
Saturday: 8:30 pm Night Glow (Hot Air Balloons Light Up On Ground, No Launch)
Sunday: 5:30 – 6:00 am Dawn Farewell Mass Ascension Balloon Liftoff

About JBI Helicopters
Located in Pembroke, NH, JBI Helicopter Services has been providing reliable, safe, professional services to customers in the Northeast and throughout the country since 1983. Their fleet includes 5 Bell 206 B-III Jet Rangers and a Garlick OH-58A. They also manage, maintain and operate other privately owned aircraft.

JBI is a Bell Certified Customer Service Facility and an FAA Certified Repair Station. Their professional, factory trained technicians perform high quality maintenance on a variety of Bell airframes at their on site state-of-the-art repair and maintenance facility.

All JBI pilots are FAA certified, instrument rated and are OAS / USFS carded. Each pilot completes Bell Factory Recurrent Training annually.

Here are some previous articles on the Pittsfield Rally with other pictures.
2011 Article
2012 Article
2013 Article

Pete Langlois lives in Derry with his wife and two children. Pete’s day job is in information technology as a systems administrator. He is an accomplished photographer and loves to shoot at air shows and balloon festivals. He also enjoys shooting waterfalls, nature and macro photography. You can view and purchase his outstanding images on his website http://www.petelanglois.net


Children’s Festival at Hampton Beach

Starting Monday, August 11th is the annual Children’s Festival at Hampton Beach. This event lasts until August 15th. Enjoy five days of free activities for your kids including sandcastle contests, costume parades, Magic Show, and Children’s Entertainment on the Sea Shell Stage. A Giant Costume Parade that marches almost the length of Hampton Beach will be on Friday, August 15th. Every child gets a prize just for being in it! There will also be free ice cream and Coca-Cola for you to enjoy.

The Children’s Festival will kick off with a magic show by BJ Hickman and building up to a giant costume parade that stretches almost the length of the beach. Have some summer fun with the family at the beach!

Click here for a full schedule of activities for the week. All Children’s Festival activities are free and open to the public. For more information call the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce office at (603) 926-8717.

There is also a chance to win a new bike! Write a creative Kid’s Slogan for Hampton Beach! It will be used for a Summer 2015 Bumper Sticker.


Hillsborough Balloon Festival Starts this Thursday!

The Hillsborough Balloon Festival and Fair is a major four day event held in Hillsborough, New Hampshire each summer. Featuring an Artist’s Fair, parade, and of course hot air balloons, the event was created by merging the former Hillsborough Firemen’s Weekend and Hillsborough Balloon Festival.

Along with the typical thrill rides and games of the Carnival Midway, the Festival also features music groups, demos, dancers, and fireworks. Special balloon liftoffs, a Balloon Night Glow, and balloon demonstrations are also planned throughout the weekend.

The festival and fair begins this Thursday night, July 17, 2014, at 6 PM with special ticket prices for the carnival rides and performances on stage. The fair closes 10 PM Thursday, but reopens Friday, July 18, 2014 at 5 PM. Along with more deals on rides and performances on stage, the Balloon Night Glow (weather permitting) will take place at 8 PM Friday night; the fair closes at 11 PM Friday.

Parking for the event is $5, but admission into the festival is free; some activities do require additional fees, however. The festival will be held at Grimes Field in Hillsborough, NH.

For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit the Hillsborough Balloon Festival and Fair website!


Reserve Tickets for 4th of July Party Train

The Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire will be hosting a special Fourth of July Family Party Train on Friday, July 4th. Tickets are just  $20, and free for ages 2 and under. Voted Best Ride for Kids by New Hampshire Magazine, the Hobo Railroad is fun for all ages. The train is by reservation only. Boarding starts from the Hobo Junction Station in Lincoln at 6:30pm, leaving at 7:00pm.

One ticket includes a 1 hr and 20 minute train ride including hot dogs, chips, a cold beverage, and ice cream with also party favors on the train. Entertainment on the train is provided by Hobo Buddy the Clown. After the train ride the Lincoln-Woodstock fireworks show will start off from the parking lot at 9:30pm.

For additional information or to purchase tickets, click here.