LACONIA — The Main Street Initiative aims to wake up downtown by staging the first ever New Hampshire Coffee Festival sponsored by the Bank of New Hampshire on Saturday, September 14.
John Moriarty, president of the organization, said yesterday that as home to three coffee roasting enterprises, Laconia was the ideal venue to celebrate one of the most popular beverages in the world. Altogether nine coffee roasters will be among the more than two dozen vendors at the event offering coffee in all its many guises as well as "everything coffee," including popcorn, cup cakes, ice cream, gelato and even soap.
Entertainment will feature the music of the Jonathan Lorentz Trio playing their own brand of what Moriarty called "coffee house jazz." The Grace Capital Church will stage the "Java Games," a series of coffee sack races, coffee bean bag tossing and coffee tic-tac-toe capped by a coloring contest. "There is something for ages," Moriarty said.
A symposium, headed by Claudia Barrett of CQ Coffee Roasters of Bedford, New Hampshire, a licensed Q grader accredited by the Coffee Quality Institute who will explain the chemistry and alchemy of coffee while offering advice on how to brew the perfect pot. D Squared Java of Exeter, New Hampshire will present an exhibition and host a competition of "latte arts," or carving decorations to embellish a cup of latte.
Moriarty said that "building community before commerce" is the mantra of the Main Street Initiative and a festival celebrating the most social and convivial of drinks provides an occasion for people to come together and share a common experience. At the same time, he said that the festival is part of the Main Street Initiative's fundraising campaign, which aims to enhance the holiday lighting downtown as well as provide a scholarship to a start-up business.