🔴 The Memorial Day weekend looks great, weather-wise

🔴 Several special events will join staple summer events, bringing even more visitors to New Hampshire

🔴 Increased highway patrols have already started

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer, and New Hampshire public safety agencies say they are ready for what will be an especially busy season.

The weekend forecast looks to be sunny through Monday, with temperatures reaching the low 80s inland and 70s along the coast on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures will drop back to around 70 on Monday.

Hampton Beach, NASCAR racing at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, and the Seafood Festival are summer staples, joined this year by the 100th anniversary of Motorcycle Week, the Portsmouth 400th anniversary Grand Parade, and the Thunder Over New Hampshire air show.

Fireworks are scheduled for Sunday night over Hampton Beach, while a number of Memorial Day events are also planned for Sunday and Monday.

“We have begun to increase our patrol presence and have continued to collaborate with the New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire State Parks, and the Hampton Beach lifeguard staff to prepare for the increase of people and vehicles," Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno said. "We are also working with the New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety and their partners to conduct saturation patrols on our roads to keep motorists and pedestrians safe."

Reno asked that visitors come to Hampton Beach to enjoy the town "safely, lawfully, and respectfully."

Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno speaks at a media event 5/25/23
Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno speaks at a media event 5/25/23 (NH Department of Safety)

District 3 Executive Councilor Janet Stevens noted the Route 125 saturation patrols that have already started between Plaistow and Milton.

32 motorcyclists died on New Hampshire highways in 2022, the highest number since official tracking began in New Hampshire, according to Stevens. She said  Rockingham County has the highest number of fatal alcohol and/or drug related crashes in the state.

“Heading into the summer months, law enforcement throughout the state will be ramping up to enforce traffic safety and the laws of our state with the goal of protecting the public. Our law enforcement professionals can’t tackle this problem alone. Every driver on our New Hampshire roadways needs to step up.”

She said drivers should not drive while impaired, not speed, and keep their eyes on the road.

Hampton Fire & Rescue Chief Michael McMahon said there are things residents and visitors can do to reduce fire danger.

“Please exercise caution with smoking materials. Planters, flowerpots, and other vegetation are not good places to dispose of cigarettes. Hampton has had several fires caused by improper disposal in recent years, resulting in significant property loss and injuries," the chief said. Many of these fires originated on porches and decks. Porch fires can burn for a long time, undetected by occupants or interior smoke alarms, and are a major cause of fast-moving fires that can threaten densely built neighborhoods.”

The Department of Safety offered this advice while enjoying recreational activity this summer:

  • Alcohol is not permitted on Hampton Beach, and fireworks are unlawful within the town of Hampton.
  • Beachgoers should swim in areas where and when a lifeguard is on duty.
  • While on lakes, ponds, and rivers in the state, Coast Guard-approved life jackets are always required for children under 13 years of age, and recommended for all ages, when underway aboard a boat, jet ski or other vessel. Additionally, operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and dangerous.
  • Granite State residents can sign up for NHAlerts to monitor broadcast updates for communications regarding emergencies and severe weather.
  • Hikers should dress appropriately and plan for a variety of situations, including encountering wildlife. Follow the guidelines found at hikesafe.com
  • New England 511 provides up-to-the-minute traffic and transit information.
  • Anyone who experiences an emergency should contact 9-1-1 immediately. Call if you can, text if you can’t.

Note: This report was updated to show 32 motorcycle deaths in 2022, not 23.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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