Portsmouth Resumes Preparations for Portsmouth NH 400th Celebration in 2023

August 3, 2021

City Manager Karen Conard announces the City’s return to planning for the Portsmouth NH 400th celebration in 2023.

After the interruption of planning during the pandemic, “Portsmouth NH 400th” has a new organizational structure and non-profit status for tax-deductible fundraising and grant purposes.

The Executive Team is comprised of Managing Director Valerie Rochon, Community Engagement Officer Susan Labrie and City Manager Conard, with City Finance, Legal and Public Information resources in support. The Portsmouth NH 400th Board will include that Executive Team, along with additional members.  

The goal of Portsmouth NH 400th is to give the community an inclusive opportunity to tell the stories that are important to them, through programs, events, exhibits and legacy projects. Portsmouth NH 400th will celebrate the diverse and animated social, political, intellectual, cultural, economic and spiritual history of Portsmouth from before settlement in 1623 to the present. Portsmouth NH 400th will soon invite individuals and organizations considering programs and events for the Portsmouth NH 400th Anniversary celebration to join the collaborative effort. A key intention is for the Portsmouth NH 400th team to engage the next generation(s) in exploring what the City’s 2023 legacy might be and how they might steward Portsmouth and its history beyond 2023. 

“I accepted the job as Portsmouth’s City Manager knowing that we were looking ahead to 2023 and how the community might celebrate its accomplishments, past, present and future,” said Conard. “Then the pandemic year hit, with its dramatic refocusing around the need to bring the community together in the common task of taking care of each other. Speaking for the City as well as personally, I am excited to see how the Portsmouth NH 400th team will guide us in interpreting how our history can inform our future.”

The Executive Team is convening a Task Force to support the Portsmouth NH 400th organization and to guide signature events and projects, including a parade. Individuals, businesses and organizations who want to join the team who will help steer the programming for the 400th are invited to contact Valerie Rochon at hello@PortsmouthNH400.org

Portsmouth Athenaeum, Market Square