• Title

  • Portsmouth NH 400 says Thank You!

    Portsmouth NH 400 Says “Thank you!”

    Mayor McEachern Recognizes 400th Success and Volunteer Efforts

    PORTSMOUTH – The year 2023 served up quite a celebration for Portsmouth’s 400th anniversary! As the celebration draws to a close, the PortsmouthNH400th, Inc. management team is looking back at a vibrant year filled with community events and memorable moments. 

    At a brief ceremony recognizing the PNH400 team and the hundreds of volunteers who donated thousands of hours – and the businesses and individuals who as donors and sponsors brought events and projects to fruition – Mayor Deaglan McEachern recognized Managing Director Valerie Rochon. 

    In a framed presentation piece he said, “Your dedication and hard work have made a positive impact on our community and set a commendable example for others to follow. Through your efforts, you have proven your unwavering commitment to shining a light on our history and using that same light to guide our way forward. Your contributions have significantly enriched the lives of those in this community now and for future generations.” 

    Reflecting on the highlights, Rochon said, “From the kickoff at Memorial Bridge on 1.6.23, turning lights on Memorial Bridge blue; the Grand Parade, the Little Italy Carnival honoring the lost Italian North End neighborhoods, the record-breaking street.life! 400 lobster dinner for 900 people on Congress Street and Portsmouth’s first ever laser light show, in partnership with the Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth, the free Great Community Picnic, the ‘Endeavor’ sculpture, several books, and dozens of events, programs and Legacy Projects - all of this provided an opportunity for the community to reflect on and appreciate their shared, layered history."

    By the numbers, the success of PNH400 might be measured by:

    ●       1.6.23  Kickoff & Event Reveal
    ●       101 objects, 80 authors and 15 photographers in A History of Portsmouth NH
    ●       More than 50 memories and essays in the commemorative book
    ●       1,500 participants in the Grand Parade: 88 organizations, 10 floats, 61 vehicles, 8 former mayors and 11 bands including 300+ members of the Portsmouth High School Alumni Clipper Band
    ●       900 street.life! 400 lobster dinners outdoors on Congress Street
    ●       1st ever laser light show in Portsmouth
    ●       126 players, Dover vs. Portsmouth Vintage Base Ball & American Legion youth teams
    ●       1,800 Great Community Picnic participants
    ●       800+ letters to 2123 in the time capsule sealed on 12.31.23
    ●       18,000 volunteers hours, worth $572,400
    ●       1 legacy sculpture 24-feet tall and weighing 3 tons
    ●       $534,795 in earned media value from local, regional and national publicity
    ●       Over $1 million in sponsorship from more than 300 sponsors, donors and in-kind
    ●       3 sponsor-focused gatherings during major events
    ●       2 over-the-top parade floats 

    None of these events and programs would have happened without the support of local businesses. Individual gifts, large and small, made PNH400 a community effort.

    “Without the generous support of corporate sponsors, PNH400 would not have been able to make the lasting contribution and ambitious impact we’ve had on Portsmouth,” Rochon said. “We started out by proclaiming that Portsmouth NH 400 would be committed to a set of values: Diversity, inclusion, respect, accessibility; seek historical accuracy; community pride through education and engagement; sustainability and FUN. Applying those values, we have accomplished our five goals:

    ●        To create events, programs, projects and activities that are educational, fun, and promote culture celebration and recognition;
    ●       To tell, collect and preserve our stories and traditions, sustain historic infrastructure;
    ●       To promote civic engagement, education, pride and stewardship;
    ●       To develop new traditions and create new amenities that enhance quality of life; and
    ●       To foster domestic and international recognition.”

    Major PNH400 sponsors who, along with the many business sponsorships for each program and event, donated over $1 million to make PNH400 a reality included:

    PNH400 overall: Bank of America, along with Piscataqua Savings Bank, Service Credit Union, CSX, Meredith Village Savings Bank, Carey & Giampa, Foundation for Seacoast Health, Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts PLLC, Kennebunk Savings Bank, Novocure, Sean Mahoney Charitable Fund, Two International Group, Auger Building, Brick & Barn/Compass Realty;

    PNH400 Grand Parade: Service Credit Union, Aland Realty Group:

    Vintage Base Ball and American Legion Teams - Baseball of Yesterday and Today, Dover vs. Portsmouth: John Lyons Law Office, CP Management

    Little Italy Carnival celebrations: Lemay Family Goodworks, Anthony DiLorenzo, Friends of Italian Americans, Blythe Brown, Jessica and Paul McKeon, M&T Bank;

    Bohenko Gateway Park Sculpture Endeavor: Sue and Bob Thoresen, Chris Dwyer, The Kane Company, The Dana and Shaula Levenson Family, Stephen and Karin Barndollar, Jack and Pam Blalock, John Bohenko and Nancy London, GL Rogers & Company, Inc., Greenslade Family, Judy Miller and Arthur Carakatsane, CMA Engineers, Inc., The Clayburgh Family, Bow Street Commercial Real Estate, Ballentyne Medical Aesthetics, Great Island Realty, Donald and Beth Margeson, Seacoast Apart-Hotels, Sundial Cocktails, John and Zoi Diamond;

    The Great Portsmouth NH 400 Picnic:  AC Hotel/ Envio/Rooftop, Residence Inn/Venue, Hampton Inn and Residences at Portwalk (Opus and Aria), Allegiant Management Corporation;

    Marketing: LocaliQ, VisitNH.gov, New Hampshire Public Radio, 92.5 The River

    street.life! 400:  Service Credit Union, Black Rock, Bank of America, Susan Conway, Sheehan Phinney, TD Bank, Cambridge Trust, EnviroVantage, Talon, CSNH, Two International Group, Jude Blake, Tangram 3DS, M&T Bank, Granite State Minerals, Vigilant Wealth Management, McLane Middleton, Great Oak Title Services, DARCI Creative, Mr. Fox, The Music Hall. 

    The major donors to each of the PNH400 Signature Events and Legacy Projects, with donations from the community and the members of the 400 Shoalers Club and the 1623 Revolutionaries Club, plus in-kind donations and volunteer hours contributed invaluably to the success of the 400th Anniversary year.

    About Portsmouth NH 400
    The goal of Portsmouth NH 400th was to give the community an inclusive opportunity to tell the stories that are important to them, through programs, events, exhibits and legacy projects. Portsmouth NH 400th celebrated the diverse and animated social, political, intellectual, cultural, economic and spiritual history of Portsmouth from before settlement in 1623 to the present. Portsmouth NH 400th welcomed a myriad of individuals and organizations and their programs and events for the Portsmouth NH 400th Anniversary celebration to the collaborative effort, highlighted by Signature Events (the Kick-off, Grand Parade, Little Italy Carnival, street.life! 400 dinner and laser light show, Great PNH400 Community Picnic) and Legacy Projects (Endeavor sculpture, oral histories, A History of Portsmouth NH in 101 Objects, and the Portsmouth Time Machine. Soon to be published are the 2023 Commemorative Book and the 2023 Photo Book. 

    Among the goals achieved was the key intention to engage the next generation(s) in exploring what the City’s 2023 legacy might be and how they might steward Portsmouth and its history beyond 2023. The Portsmouth NH 400th anniversary celebrations were made possible in part thanks to the support of Bank of America, CSX, Piscataqua Savings Bank, Service Credit Union, Meredith Village Savings Bank, LocaliQ, 92.5 The River, NH Public Radio, VisitNH.Gov, members of the 400 Shoalers Club and 1623 Revolutionaries Club, and additional sponsors and donors. For more information, please visit PortsmouthNH400.org.

    DISCLAIMER: The above content wasn't created by, but is being shared by the Chamber Collaborative on behalf of a member.