May 17, 2023
The City of Portsmouth announces road closures, parking bans and parking alternatives for Saturday, June 3, 2023, the date of the Portsmouth NH 400 Grand Parade (starting at 11 am), the 97.5 WOKQ Chowder Festival at Prescott Park (11:30 am to 2 pm) and Piscataqua RiverFest at Strawbery Banke Museum (10 am to 4 pm). The City is expecting an influx of thousands of visitors and significant limitations on road access to the locations where these large events are taking place.
Parade Road Closures and No Parking Zones
The Portsmouth NH 400 Grand Parade route travels from Islington Street (Goodwin Park block) to Congress Street, through Market Square, where it turns right on Pleasant Street, right on Junkins Avenue and ends on Parrott Avenue, South Mill Pond, and lower City Hall parking lots.
No Parking – No parking is allowed on the parade route and side streets, including all of Congress Street, all of Market Square, all of Pleasant Street and Islington Street from Plaza 800 to the intersection with Congress Street. Cars found parked on these streets after 8 am June 3 will be towed at the owner’s expense to the National Wrecking Company lot at 295 West Road.
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 starting at 10 am on June 3. Police Officers, signs and/or barricades will be in place for these streets.
- Islington Street – from Plaza 800 to Maplewood Avenue and most adjacent side streets
- The intersection of Middle Street, Congress Street, Maplewood Avenue and Islington Street
- Daniel Street – from Penhallow Street to Market Square
- Market Street – from Bow Street to Market Square
- Fleet Street – from Hanover Street to Congress Street and State Street to Congress Street
- State Street – from Middle Street to Pleasant Street
- Court Street – from Middle 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 –Those who need 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.
ADA Accessible Parking & Viewing
In addition to other designated spaces downtown the City will reserve five parking spots on Marcy Street near the intersection with State Street solely for guests with ADA-credentials. Space at this location is limited and is offered on a first come/first served basis. In addition, ADA accessible viewing of the parade (including accompanying family members) will be reserved in the Bridge Street Lot.
Because traffic will not be able to cross the Islington/Congress/Daniel Street corridor, and because Hanover Garage has 300 fewer spaces at this time due to ongoing construction, the City has made the following arrangements to provide additional parking options.
The Parking Division has contracted to operate two separate shuttle loops with 14-passenger ADA-equipped shuttle vans that will drop passengers at downtown points close to the activities. The shuttles will operate continuously from 8 am to 4 pm and visitors are asked to remove their vehicles by the end of the day on Saturday, June 3.
North Loop for those arriving from north and west of Portsmouth (I-95 South, Rte 16, Market Street)
Dropoff-Pickup Point: Russell & Deer Streets intersection (Sheraton Portsmouth Hotel)
South Loop for those arriving from south and west of Portsmouth (Rte 1/Lafayette Rd., Rte. 33, I-95 North)
Parking Lot/Pickup-Dropoff Point: Connect Community Church, 200 Chase Drive (adjacent to I-95 Exit 7)
1st Parking Lot/Pickup-Dropoff Point: Rear parking lot of Islamic Society of the Seacoast (ISSA) at 355 Spinney Road (access from Middle Road).
2nd Parking Lot/Pickup-Dropoff Point: Little Harbour Elementary School, 50 Clough Drive (off South Street).
Dropoff-Pickup Point: Behind Portsmouth Middle School at Rogers Street.
The City of Portsmouth thanks Connect Community Church, the Islamic Society of the Seacoast, Little Harbour Elementary, and Portsmouth Middle School for their support of the shuttle program through the donation of their parking areas for these events.
Those who would like to ride their bicycles into town and leave their cars at home can take advantage of Seacoast Area Bicycle Riders (SABR)’s Bike Valet. SABR volunteers will staff the bike corrals at the Middle School on Parrott Avenue so people can safely leave their bikes while they enjoy the parade. There is also a bike repair stand located next to the Middle School at Portsmouth Public Library. For more information about the June 3 Bike Valets, please email email@example.com.