The unveiling of this year's Children's Day logo could unofficially symbolize the start of the first fully "normal" summer season since 2019, or that the season has already started.

Pro Portsmouth' Children's Day is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 from noon- 4 p.m., with 5,000 children expected to partake in an afternoon of family-friendly activities, entertainment, and fun.

This year's logo was designed by Aidan Dargenio from Rye. It will be featured on the volunteer t-shirts, Children’s Day map, social media, and the Pro Portsmouth website.

It's the first event of a full summer schedule for Pro Portsmouth, which includes the races that comprise the Seacoast Road Race Series like the Market Square 10K.

A full blown Market Square Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 11. The performances of the Summer in the Street series on Pleasant Street from Porter Street to Market Square kicks off on July 2.

Portsmouth fireworks looking up Chestnut St. by the Music Hall
Portsmouth fireworks looking up Chestnut St. by the Music Hall (Shawn St.Hilaire)
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An Early Clue

Ben VanCamp, Chief Collaborator & President of the Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth, believes that the summer will be a strong one in Portsmouth and on the Seacoast.

"Every weekend in February, downtown hotels on a Saturday night were full. We've never seen that before, ever," Van DeCamp told Seacoast Current. "All the early indicators are there. Unless something wild and crazy happens, we are going to have a very busy summer."

Van DeCamp added that he thought it would be one of the busiest ever.

"I think it's probably going to be one of the busiest summers we've had. Everything that hasn't been able to happen is going to be back and in full swing. That's going to create a lot of interest in our community," Van DeCamp said.

Van DeCamp senses a lot of pent-up demand that can be let loose for both locals and visitors to the Seacoast. He ticked off events coming up in Prescott Park, which kicks off on Saturday, June 4 with the 36th annual WOKQ Chowder Festival, Josh Ritter in concert on June 16, live performances of Footloose, plus movies in the park.

Portsmouth Restaurant Week is already underway, not only in Portsmouth but at restaurants in Durham, Hampton, Kittery, New Castle, and Rye. The participating restaurants offer prix-fixe lunches and dinners at a very reasonable cost. All costs are the same at every restaurant.

Help Wanted sign in the door
Help Wanted sign in the door (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media)
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Will There Be Enough Help?

A lingering impact from the pandemic is the staffing shortage that forced many restaurants, hotels, and retailers to cut hours and close off entire sections.

"There's been an interesting strategy. Some people are looking at what days they're taking off and asking 'how is that going to affect my neighbors?' It's not that people aren't going to go out to eat, they're just going to out to other places. Sort of pushes the business to other places."

VanCamp said there are signs nationwide that people are returning to the work force, and that some workers from other countries who come to the U.S. on J1 work visas will also be back on the job again.

WOKQ's Logan contributed to this report.

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

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