Portsmouth 400’s Grand Parade Steps Off Saturday Morning
🔴 The Portsmouth 400 Grand Parade is part of several major events on Saturday
🔴 The forecast calls for a near-perfect day, weather-wise
🔴 Volunteers are still needed for the parade
The countdown is on to Saturday's Grand Parade to celebrate Portsmouth's 400th anniversary.
The parade, which steps off at 11 a.m. on Islington Street, is one of several major events planned for Saturday in Portsmouth.
The 97.5 WOKQ Chowder Festival inside Prescott Park starts at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m., and the Piscataqua RiverFest at Strawbery Banke Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Portsmouth Fire Department will host the first of three open house events at the fire house on Court Street.
A very early look at the forecast from the National Weather Service for Saturday calls for sunny skies and a high in the upper 60s after a cold front from Canada passes through the Seacoast region.
Much of downtown Portsmouth will be closed to parking on Saturday, with free shuttle service provided from the Connect Community Church located at 200 Chase Drive near Exit 7 (Market Street) off I-95, the rear parking lot of Islamic Society of the Seacoast (ISSA) at 355 Spinney Road (access from Middle Road), and the Little Harbour Elementary School located at 50 Clough Drive (off South Street).
A Grand Parade
Portsmouth 400 Managing Director Valerie Rochon said a total of 73 groups will be part of the parade, plus a variety of vintage fire trucks and classic model T's and a float carrying Portsmouth's former mayors. The official anniversary float will "amaze" and be incredible, Rochon promises.
The Portsmouth High School Clippers marching band will end the parade with over 200 current students and alumni giving the parade a powerful finale.
One of those alumni is Russ Grazier, CEO at Portsmouth Music and Arts Center and a member of The Rockingham Groove. He said on his Facebook page that he grabbed his sax and practiced with the band for the first time since 1986.
Also marching are the Leftist Marching Band and the Soggy Po Boys. The NH Air National Guard and the HMS Minerva, which was a part of the 350th anniversary parade in 1973, will also march.
Portsmouth 400 is still looking for volunteers to help with the parade, including volunteers to help with traffic and parking, and people to help visitors navigate leaving after the parade. Click this link on the Portsmouth 400 website to sign up.