🔴 The Portsmouth400 grand parade steps off Saturday, June 3, at 11 a.m.

🔴 The Prescott Park Arts Festival, WOKQ ChowderFest and Summer Social, the third annual Piscataqua Riverfest, and the Portsmouth Fire Department Open House take place the same day

The first of three big summer events for the Portsmouth 400th anniversary celebration is the grand parade in June.

The parade with the theme "History lights our way" will step off on Saturday, June 3 at 11 a.m., taking the place of the Memorial Day parade. The parade committee is made up of veterans of Portsmouth's other parades in hopes of following in their footsteps of success.

"Listen, everyone loves a parade, but Portsmouth's relationship with its parades cuts a little deeper," said Trevor Bartlett of the Halloween Parade. “The Portsmouth Halloween Parade invites wild individual and collaborative creativity, while our Illuminated Holiday Parade showcases the great pride we have in our local institutions, community groups and businesses. They're both fantastic. We're hoping to marry both those sentiments by inviting all our neighbors here, both civic and corporate, to celebrate all that they bring to our vibrant, welcoming community."

Applications are being accepted on the Portsmouth400 website for floats, bands, antique cars, street performers, and Scout troops from community groups and organizations that would like to participate.

“Walking, driving, bike riding, skate boarding, dancing, and general merriment" are all allowed in the parade.

Following a Familiar Route

The parade route will follow the path of the Illuminated Holiday Parade: from Plaza 800, down Islington Street to Market Square, turning right on Pleasant Street, and ending on Junkins Avenue.

“The June 3rd Grand Parade is the best opportunity for our residents and businesses to show their pride in our town. This is not the Rose Bowl or Macy’s Parade, this is how Portsmouth wants to celebrate our heritage, our history, our neighborhoods, our arts, cultural, culinary, and fun community. I can’t wait to see how we all come together on this day,” Managing Director Valerie Rochon said.

Other events are planned for June 3 including the Prescott Park Arts Festival WOKQ ChowderFest and Summer Social from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., the third annual Piscataqua Riverfest, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Strawbery Banke Museum and on the waterfront, and the Portsmouth Fire Department Open House at Fire Station #1 on Court Street, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

The other big Portsmouth 400 summer signature events include the Little Italy Carnival on August 6 and by street.life!400 – Celebrating Commerce and Community Since 1623 – with a New England lobster bake under the stars on August 15.

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

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