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It is with heavy, cold, dead hearts that we proclaim the official cancellation of the 2020 Portsmouth Halloween Parade. We have exhumed ALL options including a reverse parade, alternate locations, a rolling parade, route changes, and there is simply no way to keep BOTH the spirit of the parade AND participants/spectators safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know this is heart wrenching news SO… we have some tricks and treats up our cloaks to satiate the masses yearning for Halloween mischief. Sign up to our mailing list to stay in the know.

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The Portsmouth Halloween Parade is a grassroots, all-inclusive celebration of community, creativity and free expression that walks, stalks, dances, trumpets and drums its way through downtown Portsmouth each year on

October 31st at 7 p.m.

Everyone is invited to dress up, gather at Pierce Island by Prescott Park, and march. No sign-up required. The Parade is NOT a city-sponsored event. It is entirely funded and put on 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.

What Are You Gonna Be?

2020 Events

October 18, 2020

Beetlejuice!

Service CU at Pop Up NH

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

Presented by Prescott Parks Arts Festival at PopUpNH in support of the Portsmouth Halloween Parade!

October 20, 2020

CANCELLED: Flatbread Community Night

Flatbread Pizza

Community night at Flatbread Pizza benefit will benefit the Portsmouth Halloween Parade on Tuesday, October 20th. You come hungry, Flatbread will provide the pizza for dining in or take out.

October 21, 2020

Zach's Trivia Night

On Wednesday Oct 21, the Zach’s Trivia Night fog machine will be cranked up to 11.5 for our spooky, macabre, and generally blood-curdling trivia night to benefit the Portsmouth Halloween Parade! The parade may not be happening this year, but there’s still plenty of ways to celebrate the history and spirit of this NH institution while they prepare to tackle 2021!

October 28, 2020

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Music Hall Historic Theater

Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s beloved pumpkin king, has become bored with the same annual routine of frightening people in the “real world.” When Jack accidentally stumbles on Christmastown, all bright colors and warm spirits, he gets a new lease on life — he plots to bring Christmas under his control by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over the role. But Jack soon discovers even the best-laid plans of mice and skeleton men can go seriously awry.

October 31, 2020

SPC Halloween Costume Paddle Contest

Peirce Island

Seacoast Paddleboard Club is hosting the 4th Annual Seacoast Costume Parade & Contest at Pierce Island on Saturday, October 31, 2020.