Prescott Park - MEMORIAL BRIDGE PARTY schedule released




Please find a press release below regarding
Lift Off: A Farewell to the Memorial Bridge
Saturday, October 1, 2pm - 7:30pm
This celebration of the Memorial Bridge will include a variety of activities, food, music, celebration, boat rides, and more, concluding with a fireworks display from the base of the bridge and an outdoor movie (Finding Nemo) in Prescott Park.


The event will be a celebration of strong communities, connected for 88 years by this bridge, as Portsmouth and Kittery prepare for the two-year closure of the Memorial Bridge for reconstruction.


This event is co-hosted by Prescott Park Arts Festival, Seacoast Local, 3S Artspace, Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, Two International Group, and the Kittery Block Party

Should you wish to further information or an interview, please contact Ben Anderson,


We appreciate all the support in helping get the word out and raising awareness of this unique celebration.


For a PDFversion of this press release click here.




With thanks,


Ben Anderson
Executive Director
Prescott Park Arts Festival 


For Immediate Release                                                                      September 28, 2011


For more information, please contact:

Ben Anderson, Prescott Park Arts Festival




Schedule of events announced for

"Lift-Off: Farewell to the Memorial Bridge" celebration on Oct. 1


In celebration of the Memorial Bridge and the vibrant communities it connects, a farewell event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Current and former residents of Portsmouth and Kittery are invited to attend the "Lift-Off: A Farewell to Memorial Bridge" event that will include a variety of activities, food, music and a very special "ribbon tying-off" ceremony. The celebration will conclude with a fireworks display from the base of the bridge, followed by a family movie in Prescott Park. The event is the result of collaborative efforts between a variety of Portsmouth and Kittery organizations.


"Lift-Off" will offer a moment of reflection, but also celebration of strong communities, as Portsmouth and Kittery prepare for the two-year closure of the Memorial Bridge for reconstruction. The event will feature a community-picnic atmosphere along the plazas at One Harbor Place and Prescott Park, with a connecting walkway along Scott Avenue, which will open to pedestrians only for that afternoon. Lingering is encouraged-the event offers an opportunity to enjoy the company of neighbors and friends and share nostalgia for the bridge and its place in our lives and the region's history. 


Gov. John Lynch of New Hampshire will be joined by state and local officials from Maine in a unique ribbon tying-off ceremony planned for 4 p.m., similar to the ribbon-cutting ceremony that opened the bridge in 1923. Many Seacoast residents know that former Portsmouth mayor Eileen Foley, then 5-year-old Eileen Dondero, cut the first silk ribbon to open the lift bridge in 1923. In a uniquely historical event, Mayor Foley will be on hand to assist public officials with the ribbon ceremony once again.


All afternoon, the "Lift-Off" party will feature live music, food, fun and games for kids and adults.  Some items on the schedule include

  •          The ribbon tying-off ceremony at 4 p.m.
  •          Boat rides with Captain and Patty's Piscataqua River Tours from 1 to 4 p.m.
  •          Local artists painting en plein air from noon to 6 p.m.
  •          Local restaurants serving a diverse array of food in the park, 2-7:30 p.m.
  •          Local musicians performing 2-7 p.m.
  •          Fireworks at 7:30 pm.
  •          A family film, "Finding Nemo," under the stars at Prescott Park at 8 p.m.


The day opens with boat rides offered by Captain and Patty's Piscataqua River Tours between Badger's Island Marina East and The Marina at One Harbour Place. Upon arrival, visitors will find local artists painting along the waterfront, and if they like what they see, they can purchase the paintings later at a "Wet Paint Party."


In Prescott Park, there will be community art projects supported by Portsmouth Music and Arts Center and a scavenger hunt. Local music will set the scene, with performances from musicians hailing from both sides of the river, including Jon Nolan, Kurt Baker, Zach Jones and Tan Vampires, among others.


Food and beverages will be offered by many well-known Kittery businesses, including Warren's Lobster House, Bob's Clam Hut, Chef's Cove Cafe, Weathervane Restaurant, Hebert Brothers Seafood, AJ's Wood Grill Pizza, and Beach Pea Baking Co., as well as the Common Man Restaurant from Portsmouth. On the plazas at One Harbor Place, a special beer garden will feature local lobster and oysters, plus beer provided by Smuttynose Brewing Company in honor of the event. Wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be served as well.


With a nod to tradition, there will be plenty of opportunities to bring home memorable souvenirs. In addition to the Wet Paint Party and official "Thanks for the Lifts" T-shirts designed by Harbour Light Strategic Marketing, caricaturist Bob Nilson will be on hand to draw your image with the bridge, or if you prefer digital, photographer Ron St. Jean will be there to take your photograph with the bridge. 


In addition, The Wire newspaper edition of Sept. 28 will feature a special souvenir Memorial Bridge Crown, which can be cut out to wear to the party. Prizes will be awarded to those who show the best "Spirit of the Bridge" by decorating their crowns at home or at the event, including a 2012 "Free Summer Popcorn Pass" for kids at Prescott Park Arts Festival and, for adults, a $60 gift certificate toward dinner for two, compliments of Warren's Lobster House.


Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour of the bridge, enjoy a photo exhibit along the walkway leading up to the bridge, and simply soak up the atmosphere as our communities prepare to turn a page of history.  For those who are wondering what will come next, Save Our Bridges will be on hand to provide a look ahead to the design and construction of the new span.


The day closes with a fireworks display at the base of the bridge at 7:30 p.m., followed by "Finding Nemo" on the big screen in Prescott Park at 8  p.m. The movie closes out Prescott Park Art Festival's summer of film under the stars with the very fitting story of water, travel, and lost connections regained.


" Lift-Off: A Farewell to the Memorial Bridge" is co-hosted by Prescott Park Arts Festival, Seacoast Local and 3S Artspace, in partnership with the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce and Two International Group.


Memorial Bridge, dedicated to the veterans of "The World War" in 1923, has been a striking part in Seacoast life for generations of residents and visitors, connecting the historic coastal towns of Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Maine. At the time of its construction, it had the longest lift span in the country, and its 1,000-foot-long wooden-floored walkways still provide the only pedestrian and bicycle link between the two communities. Its unique architecture has made it an especially memorable landmark and beloved by the community. As history writer Dennis Robinson once noted in his "As I Please" column at, "The Memorial Bridge is beautiful, as bridges go, and each time it stops the cars and lets a ship glide underneath, it telegraphs a message from the past. 'Slow down! Look to the river,' it says, as loudly as bridges speak. 'Remember where you came from.'"


In the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Memorial Bridge as one of America's most endangered historic places in 2009, but in July 2011, it closed to vehicles permanently. More information on the history of the bridge and plans for reconstruction is at


More information on "Lift-Off: A Farewell to Memorial Bridge" can be found at or 603-436-2848.