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Intown Concord Helps Keep New Hampshire's Capital City Vibrant

By Pamela Sosnowski

For the past several years, Intown Concord has been responsible for bringing events and entertainment to downtown Concord and helping to support its local businesses. The organization's mission is to promote and enhance the business environment, cultural activities, housing, and appearance of historic downtown Concord.

"Intown Concord hosts a wide variety of events and programs that help make Concord a dynamic and fun place to live, work, play, shop, dine, and learn," says the group's Operations Manager, Liza Poinier. "Our events draw visitors from all around New England. While they're here, guests discover and patronize hotels, restaurants, stores, and other services, and more than a few end up deciding that Concord would be a good place to settle."

Despite being a capital city, Concord often gets overshadowed by more touristy parts of the state including the White Mountain National Forest and the New Hampshire coastline. But as Poinier points out, "Concord is a beautiful city, steeped in history, arts, and culture."

The most notable new feature is the recently renovated downtown area, "lined with architecturally preserved historic buildings and boasting more than a hundred independent, locally owned businesses (including) stores, restaurants, galleries, entertainment venues, and (more). The 'new' Main Street is safe, accessible, gorgeous, and a really fun place to hang out."

As a small non-profit organization, Intown Concord's staff consists of two employees that serve the entire Concord community. They rely on donations and over a hundred volunteers that love to help plan and run events throughout the year.

Some of these annual events include the three-day long Market Days Festival, where over 50,000 attendees enjoy shopping and musical entertainment on closed streets. There is also Discover Downtown, the city's annual end-of-summer sidewalk sale and art walk.

Others include an Upstairs Downtown architectural walking tour, the Halloween Howl (which offers safe fun for trick or treaters of all ages), and the Midnight Merriment, which celebrates the holidays. Each Saturday from spring through autumn, the city hosts the Concord Farmers' Market and Concord Arts Market.

Concord has become a major draw not just for tourists, but for residents and businesses as well. Being situated at the intersections of three major highways makes the location easily assessable for visitors and commuters. Poinier explains that a moderate cost of living and nearby colleges are just some of the benefits of residing in the area.

"Concord is a healthy place to live," she states. "(It) has a strong medical hub that offers good jobs and good health care. Being the capital city, it's relatively easy for businesses to stay on top of changes, and we're fortunate to have an accessible, supportive, and service-oriented city government that wants to attract businesses and jobs to the area."

With such a passionate organization promoting it, there's no doubt Concord's downtown area and festivities will continue to thrive for years to come.

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