Portsmouth's annual Illuminated Holiday Parade and Food Drive takes place on the first Saturday of Saturday each year. 2017: Sat, Dec 2. Rain date of Sun, Dec 3. Theme for 2017 is Peace on Earth. The parade steps off from Islington/Summer Street and proceeds down Islington to Congress Streets, through Market Square and turns onto Pleasant Street. The parade ends on Junkins Ave. The parade is also a food drive to support the local food pantries. Please bring food items to the parade. Volunteers will be walking in the parade to collect food. Look for their grocery carts. Or leave your food donation at the platform in Market Square. Spectators are welcome to line the route and enjoy this long standing tradition in downtown Portsmouth.