Eat with Santa

Join Santa for North Hampton’s annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the North Hampton Town Hall.

There will be three seatings, 8, 9:15 and 10:30 a.m.).

The cost is $8 per person.

Reservations are required; register at

Or enjoy a breakfast buffet and see Santa at Ashworth by the Sea in Hampton on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

Take a selfie with Santa and enjoy a festive breakfast buffet, which includes traditional favorites at The Breakers.

The cost is $18.95 for adults and $12 for kids 5 to 12 (plus tax and gratuity); children 4 and under eat free.

Reservations are suggested: 926-6762 x610.

Holidays in Hampton: Tree lighting and parade bring festive fun to downtown

A fun-filled holiday-themed weekend in downtown Hampton will kick off with a tree lighting on Friday, Dec. 6, at Marelli Square.

The tree lighting event runs from 6 to 8 p.m., with the lights flipped on around 7 p.m., and will feature music, a photo booth, hay rides and a surprise visit from Santa Claus.

Local businesses will be open during the event offering treats such as hot chocolate and popcorn.

“It’s definitely a fun night,” said Dean Merrill, the president of Experience Hampton, which collaborates with Hampton Parks and Recreation to put on the tree lighting.

Experience Hampton also hosts the annual Main Street Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The organization has been putting on the parade since 2010, a few years after the Hampton Chamber of Commerce put it on the back burner.

Experience Hampton was founded specifically by a group of business owners to host the parade every December.

“It’s bigger than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Merrill joked.

“It’s one of the largest [local] Christmas parades and a lot of people come out for it.”

The parade begins at 1 p.m., kicking off at the bridge in North Hampton and ending on Winnacunnet Road.

This year’s theme is “Main Street Christmas” focusing on the Hampton community.

There will be 10 marching bands.

Some are high school bands, such as Bedford, Winnacunnet and Salem, but there will be other local bands performing, such as the Boston Firemen’s Band, NH Pipes and Drums, NH Police Association Pipes and Drums, and the UNH Winter Guard.

As for floats, some featured are the Hampton Rotary Club, Miss Hampton Beach 2019, Seacoast Powersports, Great Bay Limousine, and The
Old Salt.

This year, the Grand Marshals of the parade will be the New Hampshire Seacoast Greenway, a local chapter of the East Coast Greenway.

They have been working on bringing the Rail Trail to the Seacoast, turning former railroad tracks into a network of state trails for hiking, biking and more.

“With the theme of Main Street Christmas, it seemed fitting to highlight the effort of the New Hampshire Seacoast Greenway, dedicated to making Hampton’s downtown corridor more pedestrian-friendly and accessible,” Nicholas Bridle, vice president of Experience Hampton, said in a press release.

Merrill said Experience Hampton begins planning for the parade in March and organizes a lot of fundraisers to raise money for it.

The biggest fundraiser is a golf tournament at the Pease Golf Course, where they raise money from sponsors, golfers, businesses and people in the Hampton area and host a golf raffle.

“All of the work needed to ensure a successful event is a lot of time and effort. We really couldn’t put on this event without the help of the volunteers and the support of the town,” said Merrill.

This year’s parade is dedicated to the memory of Nancy Waddell, who died earlier this year.

She was the Parade Committee Chair for Experience Hampton for many years.

“She was like ‘parade central,’ so we thought it would be a neat way to honor her,” said Merrill.

“Nancy connected all the dots and kept us on task. We thought dedicating this year’s parade in her memory would help keep us focused and hopefully put on an event that she would have been proud to take part in,” said Bridle.

Crowds for the parade are large; an estimated 20,000 people came out in 2018.

People start lining up for the parade anywhere between half an hour to an hour beforehand, and Merrill said they have recently added a few new components to that time before the parade starts.

“The downtown area will have the Hampton Academy choir and Winnacunnet High School chorus performing prior to the parade, to put you in the Christmas spirit,” he said.

Merrill hopes that everyone will have a fun day in town if they decide to attend the parade.

For him, the crowd size isn’t as big a deal as it is to see the positive reaction from children and families.

“As long as I make a little child happy that day and they get to meet Santa at the end, I think that’s more important to us [than how many people attend],” he said.

The weather isn’t a factor for this parade either, as they never have a makeup date and once put it on during a snowstorm.

“We’ve got all our ducks in a row and we’re excited to have a fun Saturday, rain or shine,” Merrill said.

The annual Christmas tree lighting will happen from 6 to 8 p.m. at Marelli’s Square Gazebo on Route 1 in Hampton on Friday, Dec. 6.

The Main Street Christmas parade will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the North Hampton bridge.

It will end at Winnacunnet Road, so there will be plenty of space along Lafayette Road throughout Hampton to find a perfect viewing spot.

Both events are free for everyone to attend.

“Hampton is our community, and we hope that everyone comes out and enjoys both days,” Merrill said.

— Danielle Roberts

Shop local

The Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce and many local businesses will be promoting Shop Local Week from Friday, Nov. 29, through Friday, Dec. 6. Get a jump on your Christmas shopping, as many of the local shops are having special deals and incentives.

Each of the participating locations will be hosting a raffle, and the more places you visit, the more chances you have to win.

If you would like to participate in a larger raffle, pick up a “Passport” at the following locations: the Chamber office, Harp’s Variety, Wicked Flannel or Your CBD Store.

Once you have one, when you go to each location, get them to stamp your passport.

All Passports must be turned in to the Chamber office no later than 4 p.m. on Dec. 6 to be entered into the drawing.

Whoever has visited the most locations and gets a stamp will be the winner. In the event of a tie, the winner will be drawn from a hat.

Vintage shopping

The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Edition will be held Friday, Nov. 29, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 30, and Sunday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lafayette Plaza in North Hampton.

Seventy vendors will offer decorated and curated booths with vintage treasures, holiday treats, upcycled salvage styles and unique handmade gifts.

Tickets are $10 at

Free admission for children under 16.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, the 2019 Hampton Winter Antique Show will be held at the Best Western in Hampton from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Check out the vendors displaying and selling 18th- and 19th-century furniture, Americana, ceramics, paintings, silver, toys, folk art, jewelry, nautical and more.

Admission is $10.

Music, basket making and more

The North Hampton Public Library is holding the following events:

The Mike Rogers Trio will perform a free concert on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m.

Mike, a blind songwriter, guitarist and poet is a master of storytelling through music about his life of traveling.

Learn to weave a small basket Thursday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m. Ages 12 and older may sign up for this free basket making workshop with Carol Sanborn.

Seasoned aquarium owner Jeff Cote presents Aquariums for Beginners Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m. for all ages.

Call 964-6326 or visit

Holly Days Fair

The annual Parish Holly Days Fair at the Sacred Heart School Gym in Hampton will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Shop among craft vendors, visit the Mrs. Claus Bakery and the Kafe Kringle for goodies, coffee or lunch, and get your gifts wrapped at the Elf Stop Wrapping Station.

Kids can write a letter to Santa and sing along to Christmas songs, and at 10:15 a.m., a folk tale will come to life.


Sound the trumpets: Winnacunnet alum returns for concert

If you are looking for an afternoon of entertainment and good music, check out “From Stardust to Penny Lane” featuring trumpeter Jay Daly on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 3 p.m. at Winnacunnet High School.

Daly graduated from Winnacunnet in 1975 and has been part of the music industry since.

“I got the music bug when I started working with a funeral home to play taps [on the trumpet],” he said.

“They’d hire me to go into the cemetery and play, and it was an emotional tune. And they were paying me for it!”

Being able to connect to people through music made Daly want to continue playing the trumpet.

After taking lessons and being part of the music program at school, Daly attended the University of New Hampshire and studied music education.

“My [band] director said it was tough to make it to the business, so [he advised] me to get my music education degree and put it in my back pocket. You can always fall back on teaching,” he said.

Daly ended up using his degree as a middle school band director in Merrimack for three years.

While he was teaching, he still wanted to play the trumpet and eventually began to pursue a career as a musician full-time.

He has performed with the Seacoast Big Band and the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and has also been a part of many theaters and pit orchestras.

He worked with The Book of Mormon in Hartford, Conn., and most recently did a two-week run with the musical The Bodyguard in Boston.

“I’m a freelancer and pick up work, and I hope it’s good and plentiful. I’m not a soloist that often, so this concert is kind of special,” Daly said.

Daly was approached for this upcoming concert at Winnacunnet by the church he was a part of growing up.

The Hampton United Methodist Church was looking into ways to raise money for the church and families in need, and contacted Daly about doing the concert.

Daly had the freedom to decide what he wanted to do for the show, and decided on a tribute to five decades of music.

“This is all the trumpet solos that were [in popular music] from the 1920s through the 1980s.

It’s a whole medley of tunes that … will be nostalgic for anyone who wants to go back and remember it, and there will be a whole group of people who haven’t heard this music and it won’t be familiar,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to play at my alma mater, and now I’m back at my high school and the concert is being produced by my hometown church.”

There will be plenty of famous solos performed by Daly at the concert, backed up by the Seacoast Big Band.

“Stardust” by Hoagy Charmichael and “Penny Lane” by The Beatles (which features a trumpet solo) are the title tracks of the concert.

Daly also plans on performing “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and the theme song from the Rocky series by Maynard Ferguson.

There will be many other songs featured as well for guests to enjoy.

“Everyone kind of enters a musicaltime capsule, where they walk in andare transported to another era.

It’s so important to have culture and arts and creativity in life,” Daly said.

The concert will also have a special meaning to him.

Not only did he graduate from Winnacunnet High School, but his late younger brother also attended high school there.

His mother was the secretary at the school for more than 20 years.

“I’m dedicating this concert for their memories, and it’s special that I get to make a dedication,” he said.

Daly has unique ties to the Seacoast Scene.

His father, Jack, founded the newspaper and owned it for 40 years before selling it to Hippo Press.

“My dad would tell me to just take it over for him, but I’m a trumpet player!” Daly said.

“From Stardust to Penny Lane” starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, and will take place at the Winnacunnet High School Auditorium in Hampton.

General admission tickets are $30, while tickets for seniors 65 years and older and youth 18 and under are $25.

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time on and will be available at the door for $35, cash or check only.

— Danielle Roberts

Book talk

Join the Hampton Historical Society History Book Group on Sunday, Nov. 3, to delve into the 19th Amendment by discussing The Woman’s Hour by Elaine Weiss. In it, Weiss
details the great fight to win the vote for American women. The meeting will be at 4 p.m. at the Tuck Museum of Hampton History in Hampton. Barbara Tosiano will lead the discussion and is making banana pudding, a quintessential southern dessert, to serve at the meeting. All are welcome to attend.