Ring in the New Year in Portsmouth

By on December 24, 2015

new-years-eveReady to ring in the new year on the New Hampshire Seacoast? Every New Year’s Eve since 1986, some 30 years of celebrating, Portsmouth has come alive with an annual New Year’s Eve party featuring music, dance, children’s activities, street performers and ice sculptures and fireworks, all known as First Night® Portsmouth. While many NH cities have limited New Year’s Eve celebrations (some have fireworks) this extravaganza is an entire evening of actives to enjoy and sights to see. It is organized and run by Pro Portsmouth, a non-profit group that promotes and supports the vitality of the city.

What is Pro Portsmouth’s mission? For Portsmouth to serve as a destination for family, friends and neighbors from down the street and around the world. This New Year’s Eve will be a prime example of what the city offers guests in terms of food and fun.

First Nighters will be able to enjoy a wide range of music and dance. You can enjoy some of the activities without an admission purchase, but in order to get into some areas of the event, “The Button” is your pass to hours of great entertainment from 4 p.m. to midnight on December 31st.

The First Night® Button is your ticket for all entertainment and is available online at www.proportsmouth.org . In Portsmouth, purchasing a Button also helps support/finance all free open air outdoor activities including the fireworks and ice sculpture…

You can buy a Button locally at:

  • Diversions Puzzles & Games (123 Congress St.)
  • The Flower Kiosk (61 Market St.)
  • Willikers! (13 Market St.)
  • Hannaford (800 Islington St.)
  • Seacoast area Branches of People’s United Bank

First Night schedule includes:

OUTDOORS, on the streets of the Port city:

Street Dance: 5pm – Midnight
Hosted by Portsmouth Community Radio
Pleasant Street at Market Square

Make your New Year’s resolution on a star!
Stop by Pleasant Street and visit with the NH Astronomical Society for a bit of First Night® stargazing…

Fireworks Display at 7:30
South Mill Pond

Ice Sculpture: Work commences at about 1pm
North Church @ Market Square


Saint John’s Fellowship Hall
4:00 – 8:00
Caricatures by Bob Nilson

4:00 – 8:00
Fabulous First Night® Face Painting

The Performances…
4:15 – 5:00, 5:15 – 6:00
Abracadabra! Magic with Phil Smith

6:15 – 7:00
Storytelling with Peter Sheridan

Middle Street Baptist Hall
8:15 – 9:00, 9:15 – 10:00, 10:15 – 11:00
Jeff Warner & Bruce McIntyre trade sets with Great Bay Sailor… Maritime, Celtic, Americana and Tunes of the Season – a must see!

The North Church
4:15 – 4:45, 5:45 – 6:15
Lindsay Aucella
Puppets galore!

5:00 – 5:30, 6:30 – 7:00
Sammie Haynes
Fun, interactive children’s music.

8:15 – 9:00, 9:30 – 10:15, 10:45 – 11:30
T.J. Wheeler and Company
Blues, more blues, a bit of R & B and jazz…and always a great time!

Saint John’s Church
101 Chapel Street
7:00 – 7:45, 8:15 – 9:00, 9:30 – 10:15
Portsmouth Symphony Players
A Salute to Vienna: The Magic of Strauss.

Seacoast Repertory Theatre
125 Bow Street
8:00 – 8:45, 9:15 – 10:00, 10:30 – 11:15
Roderick Russell – “Almost Psychic” – If Sherlock Holmes had a stage show, this would be it!

South Church/Unitarian Universalist Church
292 State Street
5:00 – 9:00 (or as long as supplies last!)
Warm Up with a Chili Dinner!
Chili dinner and cook-off benefits the Senior Youth Service Trip to Appalachia.

5:00 – 5:45, 6:15 – 7:00
Rock My Soul
Can we get an “amen”? Great gospel music and more.

8:00 – 8:30, 8:45 – 9:15
Elissa Margolin
Ethereal. Thoughtful. Honest music…featuring selections from her most recent indie-folk sound on PIVOT.

9:45 – 10:30, 10:45 – 11:30
Cormac McCarthy and Mostly Mainesqueeze!
Amazing singer-songwriter AND a fantastic band!

Temple Israel
200 State Street
8:15 – 9:00
Randy Armstrong and Genevieve Aichele – World Tales: Stories and Music from Around

United Methodist Church Hall
129 Miller Avenue
8:15 – 9:00, 9:30 – 10:15, 10:45 – 11:30
Elvis and the J.C. Underhill Band
A legendary combination…one stage…one night…one lucky City…

E.S.T. – West End Studio Theatre
959 Islington Street
5:00 – 5:30, 6:00 – 6:30
Pontine Theatre
Performing, “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t”, a Toy Theatre story poem by Ogden Nash.

8:30 – 9:00, 9:30 – 10:00
New Hampshire Theatre Project
Performing “A Little Night Music” – Vocalist, Meghann Beuchamp, NHTP artist and former Spectras lead singer and Jeremiah Messer will sing in the New Year with their favorite tunes!

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