The City of Portsmouth has a strong commitment to arts and culture and to being a place that offers a variety of diverse events and activities for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. On average, there are roughly 70 events in the City each year that require some City approval and some form of municipal services support. While these various events add to the overall community vitality and diversity, the City recognizes the need to manage the number and logistics of events to assure each event meets health, traffic, parking and safety regulations and that there is not an unreasonable disruption to residents and businesses.
Things to Consider When Planning Events
- Avoid events on significant religious days or holidays that generate traffic to religious institutions located downtown.
- Promote use of public transit and remote parking for event participants and attendees.
- To the extent possible, street closures should be avoided and alternate event venues (i.e. Vaughan Mall) such as private property should be considered.
Administrative Process for Events Management
- Event organizers must write a letter to the Mayor and City Council, with a copy to the City Manager, requesting permission to hold an event in the city. Letter should include the date, time, location, and a brief description of the event and if there is a need for street closure. A map and or route is required for submission.
- Following City Council consideration of the request and depending on the nature and logistics of the event, the City Manager invites representatives from various City departments to the meeting with event organizers to discuss logistics and municipal support of the event. Considerations include event location, anticipated attendance and the type of event management required such as traffic control, street closure, food vending, parking needs, and police, fire, ambulance or health department support/oversight, as well as other events taking place in the city on that day.
- If the event is approved, the City Manager issues her approval for the event via letter to the event organizer.
- Large events that require street closures must receive approval from the City Council three months in advance of the event. Request letter should be submitted four months in advance of event to allow adequate lead time for City Council consideration.
- All event organizers are required to submit a certificate of insurance in the amount of $1,000,000.00 and that names the City as certificate holder as well as an additional insured for the duration of the event.
- If an event requires street closures or generates significant traffic, police must be hired for traffic control at the organizer’s expense. This arrangement and cost will be discussed at the event meeting cited above.
- Event organizers are required to pay for use of metered parking spaces that are taken out of service during events.
- Event organizers are required to pick up trash on public streets following events.
- Prior to hosting any event, an event permit must be purchased from the City Clerk's office for $50.00.
See the calendar below for community events that have been currently approved by the City Manager.
For more information about other types of events happening in and around Portsmouth visit these arts and entertainment calendars: