Saturday will be a busy one for Santa as he makes appearances in several Seacoast holiday parades for Seacoast area holiday parades.

Some of the parades are returning after being canceled in 2020 because the pandemic and concerns about social distancing. Dover's Christmas Parade will not return this year because no group could organize it, City Manager J. Michael Joyal Jr. told the Dover City Council.

"The organizations were not able to come together to pull that together," Joyal said. "The fire department has been in touch with the North Pole and Santa will be making a special trip to Dover and they have agreed to help transport Santa through the neighborhoods."

Dover will hold its Christmas tree lighting on Friday night.

The weather Saturday will not be an issue for the parades as sunny skies and temperatures in the 30s are expected.

Most events are scheduled for Saturday unless otherwise noted and are subject to change without notice in this report.


The Berwick/Somersworth Holiday Parade is the only Seacoast parade to run through two states. It steps off at  Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Berwick and ends on the other side of the Salmon Falls River in Somersworth.

Past Dover Christmas tree lighting
Past Dover Christmas tree lighting (City of Dover)


The Christmas tree lighting begins at 6 p.m. on Friday in Henry Law Park with the singing of holiday songs. Bring a weather appropriate ornament to hang on the tree.


Durham's Frost Fest begins at 6 p.m. Saturday on Main Street with a bonfire, s'mores, crafts, activities, ice sculptures and more.

NH Shriner Clowns will be in the Exeter parade
NH Shriner Clowns will be in the Exeter parade (Exeter Holiday Parade)


The parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday from the OSRAM Plant at 131 Portsmouth Avenue and heads to the end of High Street, straight onto Water Street passing the bandstand and ending at the entrance to Swasey Parkway.


The Hampstead Lions Club's Christmas parade steps off at 1 p.m. Sunday with a Hawaiian theme. The parade comes to you as it follows an 11 mile route around town.

Officials tags for the Hampton Christmas Parade
Officials tags for the Hampton Christmas Parade (Experience Hampton)


Hampton's parade steps off Saturday at 1 p.m. near the Hampton/North Hampton Town Line ending at Winnacunnet Road. Several businesses along te route are hosting parade viewing parties.

Hampton Police said Lafayette Rd will be closed to vehicle traffic at 12:30 p.m. and Parking will be restricted in the center of town at 11 a.m.

The parade's grand marshal is Evan Austin, a 7-and-half year old diagnosed with a rare type of pediatric brain tumor called a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) which has no known cure.


The Kiwanis Club of the Seacoast's Holiday Parade celebrates Kittery's 375th anniversary and begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday.


The parade steps off  Saturday at 10 a.m. beginning and ending at the community center.

A past Portsmouth Christmas Parade
A past Portsmouth Christmas Parade (City of Portsmouth)


The City of Portsmouth's festivities begins Saturday at 4 p.m. with holiday music in Market Square and the tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. The parade steps off at 6 p.m. from Goodwin Park on Islington Street.

The Project Planter Box team comprised of students and advisors who designed, built and filled the wood planters that topped the street-dining barricades all summer will be the grand marshals leading the parade.

Volunteers will be walking the parade route collecting donations of non-perishable food.

No parking is allowed on the parade route after 3 p.m. on Saturday.


The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce's Holiday Parade has a unique theme, A Comic Book Christmas, with floats decorated after superheroes.

It steps off at 3 p.m. on Saturday on Wakefield Street by the triangle at the entrance to the Spaulding High School.


Rye's parade, themed The Grinch Won't Steal This Parade, is Sunday at 1 p.m. starting behind Webster at Rye on Washington Street.


Stratham's Christmas tree lighting begins Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Stratham fire station featuring live holiday music, hot chocolate and cookies.


The Festival of Lights Parade is scheduled to begin Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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