Locals and visitors to the Monadnock region join together throughout the year to celebrate our annual arts and culture festivals! Join the fun with a parade at the Peterborough Children and the Arts festival or the Winchester Pickle Festival! Enjoy performances of the arts at the music-centered Thing in the Spring or community creations and crafts at all three. These annual festivals span different seasons, giving you, your friends, and family a chance to check out the big events Monadnock has to offer!
The Children and the Arts Festival in Peterborough has been engaging children and families since 1993. The festival attracts an estimated 5,000 people and is completely run by volunteers! Every third Saturday of May, venues across town host performances and activities. Sites include Putnam Park, the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, and the Mariposa Museum, among many others. Events cater to all age groups and range from dance theatre to live music to arts and crafts.The festival’s main event, the Giant Puppet Parade, features the creations of Peterborough students and community members. And of course, face-painting and delicious food vendors make the festival impossible to miss! Each year, the festival centers its decorations and events on a unique theme. Past themes include Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!, Out of This World!, A Pirate’s Life for Me, and Dragon, Fairies & Other Mythical Creatures.
The Thing in the Spring is a multi-day music and arts festival that began in Peterborough in 2008 and made its way to Keene! Festival-goers can enjoy live music from bands and singer-songwriters, dj sets, and even dance performances. The festival is expertly curated to combine familiar sounds and experiences with the new, underground, and eclectic. (Visit this festival to expand your taste!) Artists come from all over (LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, and more) to enjoy the spotlight as they invigorate the region with their style, vision, and talent. Locals perform, too! Nova Arts hosts the event at the coffee shop Brewbakers. In past years, the Thing featured gallery walks, writers, films, and rooftop performances at the Toadstool Bookshop.
The pickle festival
The Winchester Pickle Festival is a free event for families and all ages! Every year, from 10:00am to 4:00pm on the fourth Saturday of September, Winchester residents and tourists alike gather to celebrate this festival of Polish heritage. Farmer’s markets and vendors supply both pickle and non-pickle crafts and delicacies. (Try a fried pickle!) Free pickles of different varieties, such as half-sour spears, kosher dill spears, and red hot crosscuts, are offered by the town of Winchester while supplies last. Don’t miss the pickle parade or the pickle-eating contest! Make sure to catch Mr. Pickle, with his green suit and cane, at the gazebo for a picture! Swing by the United Church parking lot to let your kids loose in the bounce house! All day, local musicians fill the stages by the Town Hall and on Durkee St. with jazz, rock, and blues tunes. Festival-goers can find T-Shirts, pickle plushies, and other fun memorabilia to mark the event.
Other festivals in the religion include the Art is Everywhere/Taste of Keene festival and the Keene Literary Festival! Check out the Discover Monadnock Calendar for these and more events.