It was a busy Friday night for Portsmouth Police, who had to handle a large car meetup and a bomb threat over the course of several hours.

The evening began with a car meet up at the Marshall's and Market Basket shopping center on Woodbury Avenue with 600 cars on display and nearly 1,500 people in attendance. Portsmouth Police said they were aware of the meetup, which was promoted on social media, and worked with the organizer to keep the event safe for participants, the businesses, and their employees.

Video posted by NEWS 603 on their Facebook page show a large crowd in the parking lot, multiple police vehicles patrolling, and revving engines.

No arrests were made during the event.

"We realize there were some concerns about vehicles speeding and driving erratically and we would like to make it clear that we made every attempt to enforce motor vehicle laws and safe operation of these vehicles," Portsmouth Police said in a statement.

New Hampshire State Police along with Greenland, New Castle, Newington, Rye, and the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office all assisted Portsmouth.

Car meet up on Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth
Car meet up on Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth (Portsmouth Police)

Call About an Explosive Device

Police then closed off Market Square around 10 p.m. after a call was received about an explosive device placed in a trash can near North Church.

Individuals within an established perimeter were moved away and the State Police Bomb Squad brought in, according to police. After a sweep of the area that included K9 Officer Werner and Explosives Ordinance Detection K9 Frankie, no device was found and the all clear was given around 12:15 a.m.

No arrests were made, and an investigation is ongoing. Police asked anyone with information to contact Seacoast Crime Stoppers at 603-431-1199 or 207-439-1199.

Police investigate a bomb threat in Portsmouth's Market Square
Police investigate a bomb threat in Portsmouth's Market Square (Portsmouth Police)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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