January 15, 2019

First Night® Portsmouth Welcomes in 2019

To the Editor: For over 30 years, the local non-profit Pro Portsmouth has produced a New Year’s Eve celebration that invites all to gather in Downtown Portsmouth. First Night 2019 was no exception as we delighted thousands of revelers with music, dance, fireworks, and the sense of community that one can only experience by being there.

Despite the forecast, we definitely kept calm and carried on: Ice sculpture? Check. Fireworks? Yes, indeed, and they were terrific!

To all of our supporters and participants: thank you! Together we created yet another wonderful community event. To those who joined us as sponsors and shareholders: Thanks go out to our First Night® Portsmouth supporters: Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Bottomline, Meredith Village Savings Bank, Atlas Pyrovision, Sheraton Harborside, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Lyons Law Offices, Mall at Fox Run, Piscataqua Landscaping, Piscataqua Savings Bank, Portwalk Place, Cummings, Lamont & McNamee, Infinite Imaging, Ad Cetera Graphics, Ricci Lumber, Blue Dolphin and the City of Portsmouth. You are Pro Portsmouth!

Thank you to our First Night® “hosts”: Middle Street Baptist Fellowship Hall, North Church, Saint John’s Episcopal Church & Fellowship Hall, Temple Israel, UU/South Church, and The Rep. Each year, these groups generously give us the keys to their buildings, allowing us to present wonderful performances to all. You are Pro Portsmouth!

Thank you to the City Council and City Staff – you are Pro Portsmouth.

To those who assist with Button Sales – we are truly grateful. This includes Carey & Giampa Realtors, Hannaford/Islington Street, Diversions Puzzles & Games, and G. Willikers.

Thanks, too, to our Major In-Kind Donors: Ceres Bakery, Portsmouth Pizza Factory, Moe’s and Starbuck’s at Market Square. Thanks for fueling our efforts – you are Pro Portsmouth!

Thanks to all of the Volunteers, including service clubs from both Dover and Portsmouth High Schools, who spend New Year’s Eve with Pro Portsmouth. By giving us the gift of your time, you are indeed Pro Portsmouth.

And if you bought a First Night Button, well, lots of people thank you. Your purchase went towards the support of everything from the sound company to the Ryder Truck rentals, from the ice sculpture and fireworks to each and every performer. Buying a button meant that you walked the talk of “I support the arts.” Profound gratitude to you since your generosity and belief helps Pro Portsmouth make this happen.

Finally, to all those Pro Portsmouth Board and Staff members who have played a part in 30 plus years of celebrations, thank you. All of us realize that we are stewards, charged with the responsibility of carrying on an important tradition.

Now, we turn our attention to the 42nd Annual Market Square Day Festival & 10K Road Race, as well as Children’s Day, and Summer in the Street. We hope you can join us. We are Pro Portsmouth.

Barbara Massar Executive Director Pro Portsmouth, Inc.

June 20, 2018

Market Square Day: A beautiful day in the neighborhood!

To the Editor: To produce an event the size and scope of Market Square Day truly takes not only the financial support of individuals and businesses, but the support of people giving their time. We want to thank everyone who made our 41st Annual Market Square Day possible.

First, thanks to our volunteers, both seasoned and new. We have seen dramatic shifts in the demands on everyone’s time, and for us, that presents a real challenge, since our events are powered by volunteers. We are grateful to those people who give us their time and energy, year after year.

For Market Square Day, our volunteers begin on Friday – a day before the event – to assist with race bib distribution, sign the streets Downtown, and load up the trucks with supplies for the big day. On the day of the event, volunteers check in as early as 4:00am to set up event headquarters, create the balloon arches, and hand out the remaining race bibs. Teams of volunteers staff our race water stops (3 of 4 are hosted by neighborhoods), and others prep the refreshments for the road race participants, and make sure all the runners are hydrating after the race. A volunteer “clean team” picks up trash all day. Additional volunteers staff Pro Portsmouth booths to sell t-shirts, soda and water, and to provide event information to our thousands of visitors. At the end of the day, many volunteers assist with post-event logistics, finally heading home after 7:30pm.

Pro Portsmouth volunteers – and more broadly, all volunteers – understand the value of giving their time to an event or cause that makes them a part of the larger community. Thank you.

We also thank the many area businesses who support the Market Square Day Festival & 10K Road Race. Like our volunteers, they’re a mix of old friends and new, and their financial support is another key to the production of Pro Portsmouth events. Wentworth Douglass Hospital joined us as the 2018 Presenting Program Sponsor for our events – thank you to Dawn Fernald and the team at WDH for your support. Our 2018 Road Race and Festival Sponsors included Liberty Mutual Insurance, Access Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, Oakhurst Dairy, Runner’s Alley, Lyons Law Offices, Bottomline Technologies, Seacoast Dermatology, ConvenientMD Urgent Care, Portsmouth Chevrolet, and Race Co-Title sponsor, Primmer, Piper, Eggleston, and Cramer, PC. Thank you to each and every one of you – you are Pro Portsmouth!

Other contributors included: Strawbery Banke, Ad Cetera Graphics, Infinite Imaging, Blue Dolphin, Ceres Bakery, Dunkin’ Donuts – Woodbury Avenue, Portsmouth Pizza Factory, Moe’s Italian Sandwiches, Hannaford/Portsmouth, Sheraton Harborside, The Mall at Fox Run, Middle Street Baptist Church, South Church, Bank of America, TD Bank, The Works Bakery Café, and Unified Parking Partners. Thank you to ALL for the support that made this event a success.

Of course, our thanks go out also to the many artists and craftspeople who made this day so memorable. Cheers to the vendors, businesses, non-profits and others who came out, set up, and had a great day. Cheers, too, to all of our performers. Once again, we were able to feature so many fine musicians on our Market Square Day stages – we are so fortunate to have so much talent here on the Seacoast, and this year was no exception.

Finally, acknowledgements go out to the City of Portsmouth Staff, Public Works, Police and Fire Departments – your trust in, and support of, us is never taken for granted.

To all who support Pro Portsmouth and our Mission of keeping the arts, culture, history, and community of the Seacoast alive and vital through events – thank you. To all who have yet to join in, what are you waiting for?! Be Pro Portsmouth!

Next up: See you on Pleasant Street at the Square for Summer in the Street, Saturday evenings from 5:30-9pm, June 30th through July 28th.

Barbara Massar
Executive Director
Pro Portsmouth, Inc.

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Special Thanks to:

 2019 Presenting Program Sponsor    


2020 Program Partner and MSD10K Title Sponsor


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