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Portsmouth Holiday Parade Delights [VIDEO]

Plenty of snow, high school marching bands, floats, non-profits and Santa Claus celebrate theme of "A Sharing Season."

The Portsmouth Holiday Parade rolled through the downtown on Saturday night with a dazzling array of colorful floats and high school marching bands that culiminated with the arrival of Santa Claus on the back of a Portsmouth Fire ladder truck.

More than 5,000 people braved the snow and cold temperatures to enjoy the city's signature holiday event that was preceded by a tree lighting ceremony in Market Square. At first, this part of the evening's itinerary didn't go exactly as planned when Mayor Eric Spear gave the signal for a group of city kids to flip the switch and the lights failed to come on.

But soon after the second try, some quick thinking by members of the Public Works Department remedied the situation just a few minutes later to yield a beautiful holiday tree.

High school marching bands from Portsmouth, Dover, Sanford, Maine, Traip Academy in Kittery, Maine and Spaulding High School in Rochester also entertained the crowd with their renditions of holiday classics.

The Rotary Club of Portsmouth, which is celebrating its 90th year of serving the local community, served as grand marshal of the “A Sharing Season” holiday parade, which also featured a food drive where parade spectators were invited to give canned goods to Portsmouth High School students who collected them with shopping carts.

The parade lasted a little more than an hour, but once again served as the perfect starting point for another fun holiday season in the city.

Following the parade, city officials announced the winners of the floats contest:

  • Best use of illuminiation - Heinemann
  • Mayor's Award - Custom Pools
  • Best non-profit - New Hampshire Association for the Blind
  • Best community - Portsmouth High School Eco Club
  • Best commercial entry - National Wrecker

For those were unable to see the holiday parade, it will be broadcast on channel 22 at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Be sure to also check out Portsmouth Patch's coverage of the Portsmouth Holiday Parade on Twitter and our Facebook page.

Atlant December 05, 2012 at 01:09 PM
So next year, Proud, get off your butt and *YOU ORGANIZE A CHRISTMAS PARADE*. Until then, be happy that someone organizted something.
Atlant December 05, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Your friends the corporations have long-since secularized Christmas for you.
Watts December 06, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Was there a Kwanza float?
Proud Conservative December 06, 2012 at 10:17 AM
How We Came To Celebrate Christmas on December 25th - In the 4th century, Catholic Church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Although the date of his birth is not pinpointed in the Bible, Pope Julius I chose December 25th. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645 they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of this effort, Christmas was cancelled. Charles II was later restored to the throne by popular demand, and with him, Christmas. Merry Christmas.
Atlant December 06, 2012 at 01:14 PM
A great deal of the dogma of what became Christianity was *DECIDED* (and negotiated) by very-mortal men around that time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea The religion that became Christianity was far less absolutely determined-by-God than it was negotiated and decided by men; this fact isn't realized by a lot of modern Christians. It was at this time that many competing gospels were winnowed down to the Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that we all know today. It was also a time when the mythology (such as Christ's divine nature or not) was codified. And yes, it was around this time that it was decided that Christianity would be directly superimposed on older, astronomically-determined holidays.

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