Alright Portsmouth party people...

It is time to get in the Christmas spirit. The Portsmouth, New Hampshire, holiday parade is happening this weekend on Saturday, December 2, 2023, with a brand new, late-night element.

If you haven't been to the Portsmouth Holiday Parade, this has to be your year. My wife and I decided to go last minute two years ago, and now we have it calendared.

The city of Portsmouth (and everyone who plays a role in making this parade possible) does an amazing job.

Market Square and all of downtown Portsmouth will be flooded with Christmas lights, floats, dancers, spectators, and Christmas spirit.

But there is not just a parade. It's a full evening of festivities.

Starting at 5 PM, you can enjoy Music in Market Square by the Portsmouth Middle and High School Holiday Ensemble.

Following that, there will be a tree lighting downtown at 5:30 PM. What a fun way to get a Christmas rush. One tree lights up, and BOOM, you're as jolly as Saint Nick himself.

After the tree lighting, the parade will step off at 6:00 PM.

This year, there will be a theme for the evening. According to the city of Portsmouth:

The annual Illuminated Holiday Parade celebrates this year’s Portsmouth NH 400 anniversary by sharing the theme “History Lights Our Way.” The parade route begins at Plaza 800 on Islington Street at 6 pm and proceeds downtown via Congress Street, continuing through Market Square to Pleasant Street, crossing State Street before concluding on Junkins Avenue.

Also, for the first time ever, there is a new element of the holiday evening: a "shop and stroll."

The first “Shop & Stroll” event will take place immediately after the parade, with Market Square and surrounding side streets kept closed to vehicular traffic until 9 pm to allow for wider pedestrian access to shops and restaurants. Retail shops will stay open later and create welcoming environments to connect with shoppers in a festive and more personal way.

Merry Christmas, Seacoast and Portsmouth friends. I'll see you there!

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