City announces street closures and parking limits for Holiday Tree-lighting & Parade Dec 4

November 29, 2021

The City’s 2021 Holiday Tree-Lighting, Illuminated Holiday Parade and Food Drive will be held on Saturday, December 4 (rain/snow date is Sunday, Dec 5) at 6 pm. Portsmouth’s Illuminated Holiday Parade takes place on the first Saturday in December following the annual Tree Lighting ceremony from 5 to 5:30 pm.

The parade route begins at Plaza 800 on Islington Street at 6 pm and proceeds downtown via Congress Street, continuing through Market Square and crossing State Street to Pleasant Street, before concluding at Junkins Avenue. Therefore, on-street parking bans and road closures will be in effect on Saturday, December 4, 2021 (or the rain date). Police Chief Mark Newport will invoke his emergency powers to prohibit parking and vehicular travel on certain streets in the City due to the parade.

NO PARKING – No parking is allowed on the parade route, including all of Congress Street, all of Market Square, all of Pleasant Street, Islington Street from Darleen’s to the intersection with Congress Street. Cars found parked on these streets after 3 pm on December 4 will be towed at the owner’s expense to the Lower Lot at City Hall.

Residents, business owners and employees located inside the parade route are advised that vehicles will not be permitted to cross the parade route except in an emergency. Other areas in and around the event will be restricted. Police officers, event volunteers, signs and/or barricades will be in place for these areas.

ROAD CLOSURES – The following streets will be closed or restricted to local traffic from 4 to 8 pm on December 4 (or the rain date). Police Officers, signs and/or barricades will be in place for these streets.

  • Islington Street – from Plaza 800 to Maplewood Ave and most adjacent side streets
  • The intersection of Middle Street, Congress Street, Maplewood Avenue and Islington Street
  • Daniel Street – from Penhallow to Market Square
  • Market Street – from Hanover Street to Market Square
  • Fleet Street – from Hanover Street to Congress Street and State Street to Congress Street
  • State Street – from Fleet Street to Pleasant Street
  • Court Street – from Fleet Street to Pleasant Street and Washington Street to Pleasant Street
  • Porter Street – from Fleet Street to Pleasant Street
  • Pleasant Street – from Junkins Avenue to Market Square
  • Junkins Avenue – from Parrott Avenue to Pleasant Street
  • Parrott Avenue – from Rogers Street to Junkins Avenue

DETOURS -- Persons wishing to travel between Maplewood Avenue and Middle Street are directed to use I-95 or Borthwick Avenue. There will be significant traffic delays in the parade route area and motorists are strongly urged to seek alternate routes away from affected streets.


  • Foundry Place Garage (Special $3 flat fee covering 3 pm to 11 pm. Drivers will receive discount stickers upon entry into the garage.)
  • High/Hanover Street, Worth Lot, Bridge Street Lot – normal rates

For more information on the Holiday Tree Lighting and Illuminated Holiday Parade, visit:


Illuminated Holiday Parade (David J. Murray/