First Night in Portsmouth canceled

Kimberley Haas/Union Leader Correspondent/File A First Night ice sculpture in Market Square.

First Night in Portsmouth will not take place this year.

Organizers were hopeful they might be able to do a self-guided ice sculpture tour throughout the city after they realized that the traditional fireworks, street dance and live performances could not happen.

Pro Portsmouth Executive Director Barbara Massar said on Thursday nothing under the First Night “umbrella” of activities and entertainment will take place.

“As the lone First Night celebration in New Hampshire, cancelling is especially difficult for us, but it is the responsible thing to do,” Massar said in a statement. “We remain hopeful that come spring of next year, we’ll be in a better place regarding large gatherings.”

First Night traditionally draws thousands of people to downtown Portsmouth for the family friendly celebration.

Pro Portsmouth has produced large downtown events since 1978. Programming typically includes Children’s Day. Market Square Day, Summer in the Street and First Night.

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