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MAYOR NAMES PARADE GRAND MARSHAL

November 13, 2013

PORTSMOUTH - Mayor Eric Spear has named the Memorial Bridge Illumination Committee as Grand Marshal for the 2013 Illuminated Holiday Parade and Food Drive on Saturday, December 7. The theme of the parade this year is a "Celebration of Lights" in honor of the re-opening of the Memorial Bridge.

"The Illumination Committee has worked tirelessly to bring the illumination project to fruition for the Memorial Bridge" the Mayor said. "This was not an easy task and this group of dedicated individuals worked with businesses, the local municipalities, and the community to ensure that this historic bridge has a bright future."

Committee chair, Peter Somssich, said the committee was honored to be selected as grand marshal and is eager to participate in the parade. "We are grateful for this honor. However, without the strong support of our seacoast community and businesses, along with support from the NH DOT project management, our project would have remained only a nice idea. Instead, because 100% of those who pledged to help also contributed to the idea of illumination of our new historical bridge, it will be a reality that everyone can enjoy".

Mayor Spear would also like to remind everyone that "Parades are about coming together shoulder to shoulder as a community. And in the spirit of community and the season of giving, parade participants and spectators are being urged to help others by donating non-perishable food items to support local food pantries." Stationary food drop boxes will be at designated cross streets during the parade; Pleasant/State, Fleet/Congress and Bridge/Islington. Volunteers from Portsmouth High School's student group, Friends of Rachel, will walk the parade and help gather food from parade-goers.

Festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. with the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Holiday music will be performed by the Portsmouth Middle School Band at the parade platform in Market Square and the official tree lighting switch is flipped at 5:30 p.m. The parade will then kick-off from Plaza 800 on Islington Street, marching towards Market Square and ending at South Mill Pond parking lot. An estimated 9,000 people are expected to line the 1.1-mile parade route.

Parade details can be found on the Mayor's page of the City of Portsmouth website, including street closures and the Vintage Christmas Trolley route and hours at www.CityofPortsmouth.com. The City will offer a set $3 parking fee between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the High-Hanover Parking Facility for those attending downtown festivities. Parking details for the parade can be found at www.parkportsmouth.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Brinn Chute, Parade Coordinator, 610-4433 or parade@cityofportsmouth.com