Market Square Day was the first event produced by the non-profit, Pro Portsmouth.
Created to celebrate the renovation and beautification of Downtown Portsmouth and, in particular, Market Square, the Festival has grown in size along with the growth and popularity of Portsmouth. It is estimated that between 60,000 – 80,000 people walk through Downtown Portsmouth on that one day enjoying the entertainment, products and food offered by artists, crafters and merchants – many from the Seacoast area.
On average, 150+ vendor applications are approved/accepted for inclusion in the festival. Two performance stages feature local and regional musicians. The day ‘kicks off’ with the Market Square Day 10K Road Race. Most of Downtown Portsmouth is vehicle-free and pedestrian-friendly from 9am ’til 4pm on the second Saturday in June each year.
The first Market Square Day took place in 1978; Pro Portsmouth marks its’ anniversary each year on Market Square Day.
MSD Entertainment and Activities
Friday, June 8th
Did you know that Market Square Day kicks off on Friday night with a Historic Walk in Downtown Portsmouth? It does!
Where: Meet at The North Church on Friday, June 8th @ 6pm
This year’s musical offerings :
Saturday, June 9th
The Pleasant Street Stage:
11:30 – 12:15: Patrick Dorow Productions
12:45 – 1:30: The Chickenshack Bluegrass Band
2:00 – 2:45: The Reconstructed
3:15 – 4:00: Truffle
The North Church Performance Area:
11:30 – 12:15: Two Tined Fork
12:45 – 1:30: The Seacoast Repertory Theatre
2:00 – 2:45: Salt River
3:15 – 4:00: Buddy Hutchins
Other things to see & do…
The Middle Street Baptist Church Pancake Breakfast -They serve up a tasty breakfast (RAIN OR SHINE) that includes coffee, juice, sausage and hand mixed pancakes cooked fresh on the griddles.
When: June 9th from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Where: Middle Street Baptist Church, 18 Court Street, Portsmouth
Cost: Adults – $6.00; Children under 12y – $2.00
The Farmers’ Market – Seacoast Growers Association sets up ‘shop’ featuring local veggies, fruit, flowers and more from 8am to 1pm. Where: The Parking lot at the Municipal Complex on Junkins Avenue.
The Warner House – The first floor of the historic house will be open for free tours from Noon to 3pm.
Don’t miss the annual costume event for historic reanactors – there will be costumed attendees walking through the house and grounds all afternoon.
The Royal Scottish Country Dancers will host a dance demonstration and invite audience participation in simple Scottish country dances.
Warner House presents their exhibition, “Celebrations: Public and Private,” staged throughout the house.
Where: The Warner House, 150 Daniel Street, Downtown Portsmouth
After a day filled with Market Square Day fun, enjoy the restaurants and shops of Downtown Portsmouth…great food, music and shopping are yours in the heart of the Port City.