Portsmouth will kick off its 400th anniversary celebration with a party on January 6 at several sites around the city.

The party starts in the public forum area of Prescott Park with the lighting of Memorial Bridge at 4 p.m. in "PNH400 blue." A procession called “History Lights Our Way”, with walkers holding light sticks, will makes its way to South Church where the Portsmouth committee will reveal what is planned for the year. Hot cocoa and cookies will be served after the presentation.

PNH400 Managing Director Valerie Rochon called the kickoff a celebration of all the hard work by the committee's pillar teams. The pillars represent seven specific themes for the celebration: arts & culture, commerce & trade, community & neighborhoods, education, maritime and military, signature events, and legacy projects.

“The party is for everyone – our volunteers, our sponsors and most of all, our community. The 1.6.23 event sets the mood for a calendar of special events being created in all corners of the community, by many diverse organizations, that lasts from First Night 2023 to First Night 2024. PNH400 invites everyone to come see why we’re so excited about what’s to come!”

The festivities get underway New Year's Eve with two events: Pro Portsmouth's First Night Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Champagne Pops at The Music Hall. The orchestra event includes guest tenor Ben DiScipio and guest conductor Dr. Dirk Hillyer.

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

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