Holiday Tree-Lighting, Illuminated Holiday Parade AS PLANNED DEC 3

December 2, 2022

The City’s 2022 Holiday Tree-Lighting and Illuminated Holiday Parade will be held as planned on Saturday, December 3 starting at 5 pm. After reviewing the forecast, which calls for temperatures in the 50s and rain tapering to occasional showers by parade time, the City has decided to proceed with plans for the tree-lighting and parade on Saturday evening.

The parade route begins at Plaza 800 on Islington Street at 6 pm and proceeds downtown via Congress Street, continuing through Market Square to Pleasant Street, crossing State Street before concluding on Junkins Avenue. On-street parking bans and road closures will be in effect on Saturday, December 3, 2022 (or the rain date Dec 4).

The City is working with Access Navigators to provide a wheelchair-accessible seated viewing area for the parade. Reserved for people who have difficulty standing, along with their companions, the reserved area is on the sidewalk along Islington Street between Maplewood and Bridge Street. Space and seating is limited and available on a first-come basis. Nearby public parking includes the Bridge Street Lot, Worth Lot and Foundry Garage. Access Navigators are the hosts of this first-time effort, providing assistance and holiday cheer while collecting comments from users about accommodations for future events. For more details go to Or @Access Navigators on Facebook.

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 and Islington Street from Plaza 800 to the intersection with Congress Street. Cars found parked on these streets after 3 pm on December 3 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 3 (or the rain date). 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 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 will offer a 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

FREE VINTAGE CHRISTMAS SHUTTLE, DEC 3-4, 10-11 and 17-18 -- The free shuttle provided by TransAction Corporate Shuttles. compliments of the City of Portsmouth, is making a 15-minute loop connecting the parking lots, garages, downtown and key holiday events including Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke, “Elf” at The Music Hall and the Gingerbread Contest Exhibition at Portsmouth Historical Society. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec 3-4, 10-11 and 17-18 between 1:30 and 10:30 pm (except 4-8 pm on Sat. Dec 3 because of the Holiday Parade). There will be thirteen stops along the downtown route, all of which will be marked with sidewalk signage. Go to the Vintage Christmas Shuttle map and a summary of Vintage Christmas events. 


Portsmouth Illuminated Holiday Parade (Image: David J. Murray/