The Lebanon area offers many more festivals, fairs, performances, and parades throughout the year than we are able to list, but several events are worthy of special note. Here are a few not-to-be-missed annual happenings:
The HomeLife Expo has been a staple of spring in the Upper Valley for more than three decades. Held at Dartmouth’s Leverone Field House, the event is a great opportunity for consumers to get acquainted with local businesses’ products and services. A stroll through the exhibition always offers ideas galore for home and lifestyle improvements.
The Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Craft & Music Festival, held every June in Quechee, Vermont, draws people from all over the country to enjoy the breathtaking sight of hot air balloons ascending over the Quechee Valley and beyond. The event also includes a continuous schedule of live entertainment and the opportunity for tethered balloon rides.
The Annual Prouty Bike Ride & Challenge Walk has become a favorite summer tradition not only for Upper Valley residents, but for visitors from all over the country. Benefiting the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the course includes scenic towns and countryside on both the New Hampshire and Vermont sides of the Connecticut River.
The Hanover Street Fest is a highlight of mid-July, when downtown Hanover transforms into a pedestrian mall and local businesses offer some of their best bargains of the year. The event also features great food and live music and entertainment.
The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl brings together the top senior football players from Vermont and New Hampshire for an annual all-star game each summer. Preceded by the popular Shrine Day Parade, the event raises money for burned and disabled children at the three Shriners Hospitals in New England and Canada.
The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen presents the nation’s oldest crafts fair every August at Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, N.H. The 9-day exhibition features more than 200 booths, showcasing both traditional and contemporary fine craft work by juried members of the League.
The Christmas Revels, held at Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center, and the Summer Solstice Celebration, staged on the green in Norwich, Vermont, have become Upper Valley institutions. These two community celebrations of traditional music, dance, and drama are staged each year by Revels North and include professional and amateur performers of all ages.
Late summer brings harvest festivals to towns throughout the Upper Valley. Visitors can experience the flavor of a real New England agricultural fair at the Cornish Fair in Cornish, New Hampshire, including tractor pulls, animal exhibits and contests, a midway, and live entertainment.
The Lebanon Farmers Market offers vegetables, meat, cheese, honey, eggs, a diverse menu of prepared foods, and pottery, furniture, jewelry and other items by local artisans and crafters on summer Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. in Colburn Park. The Norwich Farmers Market offers the finest in homegrown and homemade products every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. throughout the summer on Rt. 5 in Norwich, Vermont.