History & Mission


J-River2-06The Newmarket Mills
from the Lamprey River
21st century

MillsSmall-P7280165The Newmarket Mills
19th century

guyHISTORY:The Heritage Festival, now in its 15th year, is a celebration of the arts, culture, history, and community spirit—rooted in a small New England mill town. Produced by the Newmarket Main Street Corporation, the event has grown into a popular annual event packed with multicultural music and dance, artisan demonstrations, historic walking tours, narrated boat tours, kayak excursions, a model railway, hands-on children’s activities, fine arts and crafts, strolling performers, vendor booths, and more. The festival is organized by a small group of dedicated volunteers, who spend all year planning for the weekend. Known as the Seacoast’s favorite international block party, the festival has gained a reputation for its eclectic mix of entertainment and activities, as well as its friendly atmosphere. We hope you enjoy this lively celebration, which takes place in the shadow of Newmarket’s historic mills, where laborers once worked so hard–and where a sense of community continues to thrive.

Keeper of the Heritage: Each year, the festival planning committee selects a recipient of this special award, introduced with these words: “As a community grows, it is especially important that it not lose sight of its historical, cultural, and natural resources.” The “Keeper of the Heritage” award honors those who, “without thought of thanks, praise, or worldly reward, render outstanding service that benefits all residents of the community”–and so preserves the richness of our heritage.

Past recipients:
1998: Sylvia Getchell & Forbes Getchell*
1999: Handtub Association
2000: Richard Schanda* & Priscilla Schanda
2001: Judy Ryan
2002: Isabel Donovan
2003: Nick Popov*
2004: Michael Provost
2005: Jennie & George Griswold
2006: Karl Gilbert*
2007: David LeGault & Ethel MacIntosh
2008: Wilfred “Tidoe” Beaulieu*
2009: Suki Casanave
2010: Phil LePage
2011: Arlon Chaffee
* Deceased

MISSION: The mission of the Newmarket Heritage Festival is to bring people together for a celebration of the arts, culture, history, and community spirit. Rooted in the diversity of Newmarket’s past and present, the festival is produced by the Newmarket Main Street Corporation, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening and revitalizing the historic and cultural characteristics of the community and to preserving the legacy of Newmarket for future generations.

The festival mission includes three goals:

*to educate residents of the region and visitors about the cultural, historical, and natural heritage of Newmarket through performances and demonstrations of traditional arts, educational talks and tours, and hands-on learning opportunities;

* to inspire young people to learn more about Newmarket’s heritage and the riches of our diverse cultural heritage through hands-on exposure to the arts, learning experiences, and performance opportunities;

* to foster cooperation and collaboration among town committees, organization, businesses, and residents in an effort to educate and strengthen our community and its commitment to the value of culture and the arts.

The NMSC is a 501 (c) (3) organization and all contributions are tax deductible (Tax ID #02-0497634).

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Keep up with us
  • Introducing…Heritage Festival 2014!

    LET THE FESTIVAL BEGIN! Heritage Festival 2014 is all set up and ready to go in the Newmarket Mills at 55 Main Street. See you there! Thanks to our incredible volunteer team, who spent the entire day setting up for the big event. A special shout-out to our talented stage decorating duo, Austin and Barbara. And to two great area nurseries, Churchill’s Gardens and Stratham Circle Nursery, who supplied our fabulous stage decor. Let the international block party begin!

  • Volunteering is Fun!

    FREE ADMISSION! Want to help set up for the festival? Or help out in the admissions booth? It’s easy! It’s fun! And you get free admission to a whole day of fabulous music, artisans, and more. Your day of guaranteed fun is just a click away: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B4AA8AD28A6FB6-festival

  • Foot-tapping!

    IRISH DANCING! The McDonough-Grimes Dancers make their debut at the Heritage Festival on May 31!

Heritage Festival 2010 Pictures!