Marching into its 19th year, the Portsmouth Halloween Parade is a grassroots, all-inclusive alternative to contemporary Halloween. Striving always to strip the plastic back out of the holidays fantastic, it is a celebration of community, creativity, resourcefulness and free expression which walks, stalks, dances, trumpets and drums its way through downtown Portsmouth New Hampshire each year on October 31. The Parade is entirely funded by the community, which rallies a number of benefits to raise funds to cover expenses of insurance, permits and police escort. Hundreds march in costume, thousands cheer from the sidelines, it's always a spectacle from either side of the curb.
While all manner of jack-out-of-the-box thinking is encouraged, there are a few guidelines, dictated sometimes by the city, occasionally by the insurers, and mostly by common sense:
The Parade is always held on October 31st, rain or moonshine. The mob will converge on Peirce Island at 6-ish, caper about as the sun goes down, and march away into the night at 7:oo. Check out the full route HERE.
There are no motorized vehicles allowed.
Open flames are forbidden (but pitchforks are ok, go fig).
Don't throw rocks. Or candy. Seriously, bring treats to pass out to the throng, but don't just chuck stuff into the crowd.
Everyone, and we mean EVERYONE is invited! As you consider your wardrobe, remember that there will be young folk, old folk, freaks and, well, police officers all walking with you. Have fun with it, but reasonable standards of public decency and decorum still apply.
While the Parade applauds all forms of free expression, it is not intended to be a political rally or a commercial opportunity. Expect the pressing of outside agendas to be frowned upon, unless deployed with humor, ingenuity, and within the creative, celebrational spirit of the event.
The Parade itself accepts no corporate sponsorship of any kind, and corporate logos or banners will not be welcomed on the march. That stated, we still need to cover expenses, so sponsorships of the fund raising events are available, (necessary) and heartily encouraged.
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