What to do in the Queen City (this week and beyond)

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1 MAY 23 article header. Credit Brian Chicoine filesScreen Shot 2015 11 013

I love Manchester!

I love living in the city because there is always so much to do. And living in the north makes this time of year through the fall an especially great time for us to come out and celebrate at the many events in our city. 

Of course we all know that Manchrester has issues, but those issues should not have us hiding out in our homes. We need to be out participating in all that our city has to offer. Yes we should be working on solving the issues that our city has, but the fact that our city has issues should not stop us from taking some time and enjoying life here in Manchester. 

Let’s start with everyday stuff. For example, my family and I love to walk downtown and take in the sites, maybe eat at one of the many eateries located Downtown, and spend some time perusing through books while sipping a drink at the local bookstore. Sometimes we like to take pics of some of the 19th and early 20th-century architecture that exists Downtown – the contrast of the old and the new. (We tend to skip “urban renewal” that took place in the late 20th century. We’re not fans of urban renewal). We also like to take pics of the public art in our city, including the recently completed murals, the steps at Arms Park, the sculptures that have been erected throughout our city, and of course Cat Alley. (And we are looking forward to the future painting of the columns under the otherwise sterile-looking Notre Dame Bridge next to Arms Park). 

Aside from exploring our city, there are a few notable things that we like to do now through September.

Tacos MHT Taco Tour Brian Chicoine file
Taco Tour returns May 4, 2023. Photo/Brian Chicoine

The first, which is happening this week, is Taco Tour Manchester. From 4-8 p.m. on Thursday May 4th, Downtown will become a taco mecca as the “world’s largest taco tour” takes place with over 60 eateries creating their spin on a taco and selling them for $3.00 each. I’ve also heard that Manchester’s very own taco tour is one of the largest single-day food festivals in the world. I don’t know the official numbers, but I can say that a pedestrian-only Elm Street is packed with a lot of people! 

The second event that we are looking forward to, (that we’re actually hoping returns), is the Chaos & Kindness Skyshow. Last year, the event was held on August 27th, so we’re thinking that if it does return it will be in August. Some may remember that Rock 101 used to hold a Sky Show every Memorial Day weekend to usher in its “101 days of summer.” Like the Rock 101 event, there are fireworks in the evening. However, the Chaos & Kindness event is different in the fact that it is actually a day-long music festival held in Arms Park, complete with food trucks.

Chaos and Kindness SkyShow crowd Photo Credit Stacy Harrison
Chaos and Kindness SkyShow crowd. File Photo/ Stacy Harrison

The final summer must-attend event for us is the Cruisin’ Downtown Manchester car show. This year will be the 22nd anniversary for this staple event here in Manchester. Cruisin’ Downtown will be held on Saturday, September 2nd. There will be cars parked along Elm Street, which will be closed to vehicular traffic, as well as live entertainment, food and other vendors. Cruisin’ Downtown has partnered with NH Muscle Cars to have “Rally on the Bridge” again this year, which promises to be even bigger than last year’s event! 

Cruisin Downtown Manchester Line of cars Brian Chicoine file
Cruisin Downtown Manchester Photo/Brian Chicoine

In addition to these events, there is also the Memorial Day parade and the Independence Day fireworks. One can also catch a Fisher Cats game, (many games are during theme nights, which include fireworks, kids running bases, and other fun events), or some roller skating action at a NH Roller Derby match. Or one can sit and enjoy an ice cream cone while watching youth baseball and softball.

Wait…there’s more! Need to cool off? Try one of Manchester’s public pools or splash pads. Looking for a day camp this summer? There’s the ever-popular Fun in the Sun. Need to spend some time inside? Go to the library! (Manchester has two…the main library and the west side branch. And during the summer there is usually a reading program for kids and adults complete with prizes!). Speaking of reading, the Bookmobile will be traveling the city this summer to bring the joy of reading to kids throughout our city! (Final schedule to be released in early July). 

So there you have it! Share Manchester events that you know about by emailing me at bchicoinemht@gmail.com.  

And let’s all take some time to enjoy all that our city has to offer!                                                                                                                            


About this Author

Brian Chicoine

Brian Chicoine is a New Hampshire native who moved to Manchester from Raymond in 1980. While a student at Notre Dame College here in Manchester, Brian transferred to Rhode Island College in Providence, where he met his now wife, Jackie. Brian and Jackie spent the next 20 years living in Providence and Manchester, returning to Manchester with their two sons, (who are proud Manchester natives), in the fall of 2017. He and his family intend on staying in Manchester and are committed to helping make it an even better place to live, work, and play.