Forest, Whale and Water Festival, Exeter Arts and Music Festival: things to do

We’re well into mid-May and the coast is bursting with life and entertainment. Head to Greenland this weekend to attend the Walter Burn Memorial Fishing Day historic event for children with special needs, attend Portsmouth’s second annual Forest, Whale and Water Festival, or enjoy the 2024 Exe Special Arts and Music Festival.

Read on for details on things to do:

Sapphic Factory: a dance party of modern queer joy

What: Come dance to music by Muna, Fletcher, Phoebe Bridgers, Boygenius, Kim Petras, Marina, Elio, Ashnikko, Girl in Red, Tegan, Sara and more. The Sapphic Factory: queer Joy party has partnered with PLUS1 so $1 from each ticket will support the LGBT National Help Center.

when: Friday, May 17, 10 p.m.

Where: Press Room, 77 Daniel St., Portsmouth

cost: $16-$25

More information:

Walter Byrne Commemorates Fishing Day for Children with Special Needs

What: The Piscataqua Fish and Game Club sponsors Walter Byrne Fishing Day for special needs children, providing food, games, medals, trophies, fish ponds, fishing poles and more.

when: Friday, May 17, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Sanderson Pond, Greenland

cost: free

More information: Bridget Pollock: or 603-944-3433.

Rye Driftwood Garden Club Annual Plant Sale

What: From sun-loving flowers to shade-loving plants, favorite pollinators to fragrant herbs and everything in between, this plant sale offers a treasure trove of botanical delights at affordable prices.

when: Friday, May 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to noon.

Where: Rye Driftwood Garden Club, 261 Central Road, Rye

cost: free

More information:

Woods, Whales and Water Festival

What: The second annual Woods, Whales & Water Festival will feature Blue Ocean Society’s life-size inflatable whale “ladder.”

when: Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to noon.

Where: Forestry Association Education Center at Creek Farm, 400 Little Harbor Road, Portsmouth

cost: free

More information:

Tributary Brewery and Blue Buddha Band team up to support Creeksmart

What: The Tributary is hosting a concert by Paul Hodes and the Blue Buddha Band. Hotz is a former New Hampshire congressman and a lifelong songwriter and guitarist. He calls the band an original “old-school rock” band, a little retro, a little folk, all rock and roll. Tributary will highlight their Gose, an ancient Hefeweizen style beer. Oysters will be shucked at Fox Point in New Hampshire’s Little Bay (part of the Big Bay Estuary).

when: Saturday, May 18, 3-6 p.m.

Where: Tributary Brewing Company, 10 Shapleigh Road, Kittery, Maine

cost: free

More information:

Excite Arts and Music Festival 2024

What: Live music, artist vendors, yoga, dance performances, food trucks, children’s activities, cultural exhibits

when: Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Swashy Avenue, Exit

cost: $10-$20

More information:

Let’s Sing Taylor – A live band experience celebrating Taylor Swift

What: Let’s Sing Taylor – a live band experience – is the ultimate tribute to Taylor Swift’s music.

when: Saturday, May 18, 8 p.m.

Where: Music Hall, 131 Parliament Street, Portsmouth

cost: $35-$58

More information:

Shaker Harmony: Celebrating 250 Years of Shakers in America at St. John’s College

What: St. John’s College’s choral music program will collaborate with renowned choral composer and interpreter of Shaker music Kevin Siegfried to present Shaker Harmony: Celebrating 250 Years of Shakers in America.

when: Sunday, May 19, 3-4:30 pm

Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 101 Chapel St., Portsmouth

cost: Suggested donation $30

More information:

Magical Date Night: Balloon Twister by Sages Entertainment

What: For a cozy date night filled with laughter and creativity, you and your partner will embark on a whimsical journey into the world of balloon twisting. Your instructors, Kali and Wayne, are a husband-and-wife team of balloon artists who twist simple balloon designs at major fairs and festivals, but also enjoy creating larger-than-life sculptures.

when: Sunday, May 18,

Where: Sages Entertainment at Fox Run Shopping Center, 50 Fox Run Road, Newington

cost: 50 U.S. dollars

More information:

Rug Hooking Workshop at The Word Barn

What: Rug hooking workshops are suitable for all skill levels.

when: Sunday, May 19, noon – 2 p.m.

Where: The Word Barn, 66 Newfield Road, Exeter

cost: $60

More information:

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