Newport Winter Carnival celebrates ‘heritage’ Feb. 9-13

This year’s theme is heritage, a fitting choice for the 2011 Newport Winter Carnival that will be held in Newport, New Hampshire February 9 thru 13. This is the town’s 250th anniversary and its 95th Winter Carnival. It is said to be the oldest town winter carnival in the country.

Local organizers have a full and varied line up of activities planned, traditional favorites and new additions: the queen pageant, breakfasts, a strongman competition, the parade, ice skating on the Common, ski jumping, broom hockey, casino night, music, scavenger hunt, and fireworks…to name a few.

New this year: a farmers’ market…and a mustache contest that hopes to break a Guinness World Record.

A themed dinner at the Courthouse Restaurant on Tuesday evening precedes the start of the festival, the torch-lighting ceremony on Wednesday at 5:15 pm, said Ella Casey for the Newport Chamber of Commerce.

Last year’s Winter Carnival was Newport’s largest yet, said Casey, who expects this year to surpass it.

On both Saturday and Sunday, ski-joring will be held at the local airport–Parlin Field. The parade is on Saturday.

New for 2011

The Newport Farmers’ Market is signing up vendors to set up a market on Saturday, February 12 at the Newport Opera House from 10 am to 3 pm. We’re expecting a “great turnout,” said Melissa Saccento, the farmers’ market secretary. Thousands are expected to fill downtown Newport that Saturday—a day that attracts crowds from near and far to enjoy the parade that travels down Main Street to the center of town.

“New for this year, the 250th anniversary of the Town, is an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for number of mustaches. The current record of 250 men is held by a town in the British Isles, and we are trying to break that record with 251 men,” added Saccento. The judging will take place on Saturday.

If you want to sign up for the mustache contest and help Newport break the record, contact the Newport rec department (phone 603-863-1332), said Casey. The rec department has on its website a contest poster and registration information.


A Winter Carnival schedule (tentative – it’s being finalized) is available via the Newport rec department. The Newport Chamber of Commerce also lists events on its calendar. For more info, contact the Newport Chamber of Commerce, phone 603-863-1510 or email

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