The New England Coffee Festival Celebrates Laconia, Coffee, and the Great Outdoors for its Second Year
After a fun and enriching first year that was estimated to have attracted 5,000 attendees and visitors, the New England Coffee Festival (NECF) will be returning to historic downtown Laconia on May 19-20th, 2023. While this event focuses on specialty coffee, it’s about so much more, too: celebrating all that Laconia and the Lakes Region have to offer and engaging a wide variety of visitors and residents in interactive learning and experiences. Festival founder and local business owner Karen Bassett describes the festival as a “hybrid event for both coffee professionals and coffee consumers that is also great for the whole family.” The festival will feature beginner and advanced workshops, panel discussions, a block party with free craft beer samples, 50+ vendors including coffee related products and services, local artisans, outdoor recreation organizations, food trucks, live music, and – of course! – plenty of coffee.
For the second year in a row, UNH Extension Belknap County staff are helping to support the NECF’s organizers in their mission. This year, Extension is taking the lead in bringing together a group of outdoor recreation related organizations and businesses for the Outdoor Adventure Experience fair. This free, family-friendly component of the festival aims to spread awareness and excitement for the region’s outdoor offerings, from bicycling to disc golf and so much more. A highlight of the Outdoor Adventure Experience will be Highland Mountain Bike Park’s Interactive Ride Zone, a mountain bike pump track that youth and adults can try for free. Attendees can ride to the festival on their own bikes or try one of Highland’s once they get here.
A new addition to the fair this year will be UNH Extension’s Nature Groupie. This program aims to connect NH adults and families to outdoor volunteering and citizen science opportunities throughout the state. Attendees will also be able to learn more about NH’s natural environment through NH Audubon Centers, another exhibitor new for 2023.
The Outdoor Adventure Experience will be held on Saturday, May 20th from 10 am to 3 pm next to the Laconia City Hall (45 Beacon St E, Laconia, NH). Come say hi to Extension staff, try out a variety of games and activities, and enjoy live music by the historic Belknap Mill.
For the full festival schedule, visit: www.newenglandcoffeefestival.com/schedule
To access all of the NECF’s many workshops, events, and offerings, you can purchase a festival pass at www.newenglandcoffeefestival.com.
To learn more about the origins of the festival, check out this 2022 interview with founder Karen Bassett.