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Maritime Folk Festival sailing into Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH — With time drawing short for the 14th Annual Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival, organizers confirmed that it is full speed ahead for this year’s celebration of the New Hampshire Seacoast’s maritime tradition. The free festival takes place each year during the last weekend of September, with this year’s festivities taking place on Sept. 28 and 29.

Once again, artists from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. will gather to perform music from “the Days of Sail” at several locations in and around Market Square in Portsmouth.

The 2013 festival features more duos than in years past, including Bob Webb and Dave Peloquin of Maine; Audi and Peter Souza of Gloucester, Mass.; Andrew McKay and Carole Etherton of South Wales, U.K.; and Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat from the Pacific Northwest. Several individual performers are making their debuts at the festival this year as well, including Ian Robb of Ottawa, Canada; Nicole Singer of Northampton, Mass; and Barry O’Brien of Essex, Mass.

Many crowd favorites will also be returning, including Jeff Warner, Chris Maden, Linn Schulz and Tom Hall, Emery Hutchins, Great Bay Sailor, Mudhook, London Julie and Bob Stuart.

Festivities officially begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, when a collection of singers will meet in Market Square to wander the streets of town singing traditional shanties, or work songs that were used on sailing ships. At 10:30 a.m., Jeff Warner will offer a special children’s maritime music concert sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council at the Discover Portsmouth Center.

Three noontime concerts will run simultaneously at The Warner House, The Moffatt-Ladd House and The Discover Portsmouth Center.

From 2:30 to 5 p.m., there will be two open singing sessions taking place at The Press Room on Daniels Street and Ri Ra’s Irish Pub in Market Square. Those sessions will feature festival performers and lots of audience participation.

A Saturday evening concert at the United Methodist Church on Miller Avenue will feature Emery Hutchins, Audi and Pete Souza, and Ian Robb. The concert, which begins at 7 p.m., is once again sponsored by Celtic Crossing gift shop on Congress Street in Portsmouth.

On Sunday afternoon starting at 1 p.m., continuous performances will occur in several downtown restaurants and coffee shops, as well as at the Portsmouth Athenaeum and the lobby of Oppenheimer & Co. on Penhallow Street. The festival concludes at 5 p.m. with a massive Shanty Sing in Market Square, featuring all the festival performers.

All events are free to the public, although donations will be accepted. A full list of performers and the complete festival schedule is available online at newenglandfolknetwork.org/pmff and facebook.com/PMFF.NH.

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Maritime Folk Festival sailing into Portsmouth