Catch of the Day
Hampton Beach Seafood Festival offers fun, good food
In short, the three-day festival aims to please.
Before the ribbon was formally cut Friday night, more than 60 restaurants were already going full steam, with lobsters, clam chowder, scallops and other foods from the sea available at every turn. And it wasn't just about seafood; there were also bloomin' onions, pizza and lots of desserts, too - from cupcakes to chocolate-covered strawberries.
Eileen Richardson visited from northern England along with friends Bernie and June Battle of Chelmsford, Mass. Eileen first came to Hampton Beach in 1990 with the Battles.
Richardson attended her first Seafood Festival in 2004 when her friends invited her to come for the three-day weekend along with a group of former teachers and administrators from Chelmsford High School. It has become a tradition for the group of friends, who usually spend Saturday at the festival - only to return to their rented cottage to cook lobster and steak.
That year, 1989, the one-day event was a much smaller affair. In 1990, the festival moved to the new location on Ocean Boulevard and began drawing larger and larger crowds.
Along with friends from Concord, they all enjoyed a good laugh at that. True, the beer tent was a hit, taking up a large space in the tent city on Ocean Boulevard. With so many craft breweries in the Granite State, the beer tent is where it's at, and they had their own stage set up for live music catering to the over-21 crowd.
Stanton has been coming to the festival since the first one and remembers when it was held at the state park.
On Friday, the main stage - the Seashell Stage - saw festival-goers enjoying music by Joey Scott & the Connection, followed by a Hampton Beach favorite, the Reminisants.
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