Portsmouth Annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Parade

Greg Gagalis

Portsmouth 2023 holiday parade and tree lighting: What to know before you go

Details for event click here

Here's a summary of the key information for the Portsmouth 2023 holiday parade and tree lighting:

  1. Event Date and Time: The holiday tree lighting and illuminated parade will take place on Saturday, December 2, regardless of weather conditions. The tree lighting is at 5 p.m., followed by the parade at 6 p.m.

  2. Parade Theme and Route: Celebrating Portsmouth's 400th anniversary, the parade's theme is "History Lights Our Way." It starts at Plaza 800 on Islington Street at 6 p.m., moving through Congress Street, Market Square, Pleasant Street, and ending on Junkins Avenue.

  3. Accessibility: A wheelchair-accessible viewing area is provided along Islington Street. Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis. Public parking is nearby, and Access Navigators will offer assistance.

  4. Shop & Stroll Event: Following the parade, a “Shop & Stroll” event will occur with Market Square and nearby streets closed to vehicles, facilitating pedestrian access to shops and restaurants.

  5. Parking Restrictions and Road Closures: On December 2, on-street parking bans and road closures will be in effect along the parade route from 4 p.m. Cars parked on restricted streets will be towed. Several streets will be closed or restricted from 4 to 7 p.m. (some until 9 p.m.).

  6. Traffic and Transportation: Expect significant traffic delays in the parade area. The free Vintage Christmas Trolley will operate before and after the parade, with service suspended during the event. COAST Bus service around Market Square will also be suspended during the road closures.

  7. Holiday Tree Details: The city's 40-foot holiday tree, donated by Pease Development Authority and located downtown, was installed on November 20. The Parks and Greenery Division plans to replant it next spring with a 10-foot evergreen.

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