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Friday, November 18

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth

The Music Hall + Strawbery Banke Museum Present

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth December 2011


New this year: Vintage Christmas Pop-Up Market, extended free trolley service, Market Square Carolers Now in its seventh year of Strolls, Shows & Stayovers. Great shopping/restaurants; hotel packages available. Plan the perfect holiday visit now! Visit www.vintagechristmasnh.org

“We have a real shot at becoming the Christmas Capital of North America.” That’s how Music Hall executive director Patricia Lynch put it, to the hearty agreement of the community collaborators who make Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth happen each year. At a gathering to start planning for the seventh year of this city-wide event, they agreed that Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth steeps the entire destination in the incomparable, authentic sense of a classic New England holiday.

“One of the ‘Top Ten Things Not to Miss in New England’” – Boston Globe

Presented by cultural anchors The Music Hall and Strawbery Banke Museum, it’s a month of Strolls, Shows and Stayovers in the historic seaport of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Listed as “one of the Top 100 Events in North America” (ABA) and “one of the Top Ten Things not to miss in New England” (Boston Globe), Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth has people returning year after year to the small city that Travel Guide of America calls “the crowning glory of the New Hampshire Seacoast.” Now in its seventh year, Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will once again offer the irresistible Candlelight Stroll that Strawbery Banke Museum has created for 32 years, the live holiday shows, opera broadcasts and films in The Music Hall’s landmark Historic Theater and the new intimate Music Hall Loft on Congress Street, and the welcoming stays in the elegant and delightful holiday downtown. There are many components to the event that stretches over the month of December. In addition to the live holiday programs, The Music Hall this year adds the new Music Hall Loft to the party, with a Vintage Christmas Pop-Up Market in the Loft to make it easy for visitors and locals to get in the spirit of the season. (for more information, see below) Now in its 32nd year, the Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum continues to bring alive family holidays through nearly 400 years of Portsmouth history with each century’s own local traditions: harpsichords in the Chase House, fiddles in the Cider Shed, a dramatic Victorian Christmas tree at the Goodwin’s and sizzling potato latkes in the Russian Jewish 1920s home of the Shapiros. Each historic house vignette is lit by flickering candles in wood and glass lanterns and tiny white lights (a perfect atmosphere for a romantic proposal, which is exactly what happened a year ago.)

Connecting these sparkling moments in holiday time are the vibrant streets of Portsmouth, brick sidewalks hung with wreaths, 19th century storefronts (tax-free shopping in New Hampshire!) festooned with the makings for the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce Holiday Doors of Portsmouth competition. New this year are the Market Square Carolers, middle school choirs who will be serenading shoppers in the downtown. The City of Portsmouth itself adds a free Vintage Christmas Trolley to the mix, providing a comfortable ride around the downtown loop of shops, hotels, parking, and performance sites—with two new stops this year, one at Vaughan Mall with access to both Music Hall venues on Chestnut and Congress Streets, and the other at the Sise Inn, providing access to the parking at the Masonic lot. The popular Trolley shuttles patrons around the historic seaport each Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening for the first three weekends in December. And hotels, including the Sheraton Portsmouth, offer packages that tie the whole experience up with a bow.

Lynch continues, “Make your plans now for the perfect holiday visit during Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth. Get ready to cuddle up with a free trolley ride through red-bricked Market Square, stroll through the snowflakes to the many eclectic shops, step back in time through living history at the festively decorated Strawbery Banke Museum, sample Portsmouth’s famous culinary specialties, or enjoy a first-class show at The Music Hall. Portsmouth is the perfect town for Vintage Christmas since it’s a charming mix of the contemporary and historical. It’s all about celebrating the winter, the warmth, the light, and our collective memories of holidays past.”

Joining the two nonprofits this year will be Presenting Sponsors Churchill’s Garden Center; the City of Portsmouth; LunaChics; Upper Crust; Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce; and Seacoast Media Group; Lead Sponsors: Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel and Weather Partner 107.1 WERZ. Great Bay Academy of Dance, which produces An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker, will be participating as a Community Partner. A handy calendar/map will be available to visitors to make it easy to get around town. Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth also has its own website, http://www.vintagechristmasnh.org to make it even easier for visitors to plan their trips.

New this year – extended trolley service, carolers, and Pop-Up Market
There will be extended free trolley service with two additional stops – one at Vaughan Mall and the other at the Sise Inn. The roving Market Square Carolers, comprised of young choir members will be serenading shoppers in the downtown.

Vintage Christmas Pop Up Market

@ The Music Hall Loft
131 Congress Street
Grand Opening: Thursday Dec 1 6-8pm
Thurs – Sun: Dec 1, 2, 3, 4; 8, 9, 10, 11; 15, 16, 17, 18
Thurs – Sat 1-8pm; Sun 1-6pm

It’s the Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth information center – with unique holiday gifts from Strawbery Banke Museum, The Music Hall, Puttin’ on the Glitz, and Churchill’s Garden Center. Look for show and stroll tickets, gift certificates, Portsmouth souvenirs, holiday ornaments, fashion jewels, poinsettias and greenery, stuffed animals, history books, vintage handbags, note cards, and one of a kind lanterns. The bar will be open with our winter menu and select bar beverages. Profits go to support The Music Hall’s Explore + Learn program. Live entertainment every Thursday 5-7. According to Chris Curtis, Music Hall Programming Coordinator, “We will be featuring three local acts who will provide some musical ambience for the holiday shopper. On Thursday 12/1, Mara Flynn and Ben Baldwin (along with a member of his band, Ben Baldwin and the Big Note);on Thursday 12/8, Gary Sredzienski; and on Thursday 12/15, Peter Squires. We have your hip-holiday-happy-hour-harmony needs covered!”

Back by popular demand: Holiday packages

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth hotel packages are available through the Vintage Christmas website. Packages include accommodations, tickets to Strawbery Banke Museum Candlelight Stroll and tickets to The Music Hall live performances on each of the three Vintage Christmas weekends in December. Visitors can take advantage of the convenience and value of having all their Vintage Christmas visit details in one place, “wrapped up with a bow!”  For information, visit www.vintagechristmasnh.org

Back by popular demand: City provides free Vintage Christmas Trolley

The free city trolley is popular with visitors to Portsmouth. Patrons use it to not only ferry themselves from parking lots to the center of town, between The Music Hall and Strawbery Banke Museum, but also to give themselves a brief overview of what Portsmouth has to offer. The trolley’s scheduled route – to run the first three weekends of December on Saturday and Sunday from 1:30-10:30pm – is a quick 15-minute loop with several stops to jump on/off for shopping, and to get a bite to eat and drink. Day visitors will be able to park at various lots around town and jump on the trolley, while overnight visitors in downtown hotels will be able to walk to convenient trolley stops.

Strawbery Banke Museum visitors tour Portsmouth’s oldest neighborhood

At Strawbery Banke Museum, visitors step over the threshold of time to experience holiday traditions spanning three centuries of New England life at its most popular signature event of the year - Candlelight Stroll. A cherished Seacoast-area tradition, the Candlelight Stroll takes its name from the hundreds of candle luminaria lighting the paths of Portsmouth’s oldest neighborhood.  The historic houses of Strawbery Banke are dressed in period-appropriate holiday finery of live greens and dried flowers collected from the grounds and assembled by imaginative staff. Costumed role players and live musical entertainment recall the traditions of times past. An engaging blend of sights, sounds, and smells, Candlelight Stroll provides a welcome return to the roots of America’s most treasured holiday traditions. Candlelight Stroll is offered on the first three weekends in December: 3/4; 10/11; and 17/18 from 5-9pm on Saturdays and 4-8pm on Sundays.

About the Music Hall’s two theaters

Step over the threshold of this landmark Victorian theater – the oldest in New Hampshire - and into the Beaux Arts Founders Lobby featuring superlative patron amenities. Upstairs, the elegant 900-seat auditorium – now restored to its 1878 splendor – has welcomed artists ranging from Mark Twain to Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. Patrons greet friends and neighbors in this community great room, a gathering place for conversation on a site dating back to the days of Frederick Douglass. The original hardwood floor and horseshoe balcony ensure superior acoustics for stage and screen events.  Full concessions are available in both lobbies. Just around the corner from the Historic Theater, the Music Hall Loft features the same fabulous programming, but in a smaller more intimate (125-seat) setting, with gourmet food and cocktails that can be taken right to each seat.

Vintage Christmas Presented by

The Music Hall
Strawbery Banke Museum

Presenting Sponsors

Churchill’s Garden Center
City of Portsmouth
LunaChics
The Upper Crust Pizzeria
Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce
Seacoast Media Group

Lead Sponsors

Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel
107.1 WERZ – Weather Partner

Community Partner

Great Bay Academy of Dance

Vintage Christmas Updates

Website: www.vintagechristmasnh.org
Twitter:  @vintage_xmas
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vintagexmas
Weather:  Tune in to 107.1 WERZ and 100.3 WHEB for your Vintage Christmas Weather Update on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Vintage Christmas 2011 Schedule

Please note, The following calendar includes events for the first three Saturdays and Sundays of December; for information on additional performances, please visit www.vintagechristmasnh.org

FIRST WEEKEND

Thursday, December 1:
6 - 8pm: Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St). Your Vintage Christmas info center.

Friday, December 2:
1pm - 8pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)

Saturday, December 3:
1pm - 8pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
1:30-10:30pm: Vintage Christmas Trolley 15 min. route
5-9pm: Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke (14 Hancock St.)
8pm: Leahy Family Christmas, The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
5pm: Holiday Tree Lighting in Market Square
6pm: Illuminated Holiday Parade

Sunday, December 4:
1pm - 6pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
1:30-10:30pm: Vintage Christmas Trolley 15 min. route
2pm: Leahy Family Christmas, The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
4-8pm: Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke (14 Hancock St.)

SECOND WEEKEND

Thursday, December 8:
1pm - 8pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
7:30pm: Merry Funny New England Christmas The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)

Friday, December 11:
1pm - 8pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
8pm: Merry Funny New England Christmas The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)

Saturday, December 10:
1pm - 8pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
1:30-10:30pm: Vintage Christmas Trolley 15 min. route
3 + 8pm: A Christmas Celtic Sojourn The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
5-9pm Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke (14 Hancock St.)

Sunday, December 11:
1pm - 6pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
1pm: Met@The Music Hall: Faust The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
1:30-10:30pm: Vintage Christmas Trolley 15 min. route
4-8pm: Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke (14 Hancock St.)

THIRD WEEKEND

Thursday, December 15:
1pm - 8pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)

Friday, December 16:
1pm - 8pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
7pm: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)

Saturday, December 17:
10am: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker (in a Nutshell) The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
1pm - 8pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
1:30-10:30pm: Vintage Christmas Trolley 15 min. route
2 + 7pm: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
5-9pm Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke, 14 Hancock St.

Sunday, December 18:
11:30am: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker (in a Nutshell) The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
1pm - 6pm:  Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
1:30-10:30pm: Vintage Christmas Trolley 15 min. route
2pm: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
4-8pm: Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke, 14 Hancock St.

Don’t miss these events, during the rest of the month!
Thursday, December 1: NT Live HD Broadcast: The Collaborators
Friday, December 2: Writers on a New England Stage: Chris Matthews
Monday December 5: Met@The Music Hall: Rodelinda (Handel)
Tuesday, December 6: Writers in the Loft: Adam Gopnik
Thurs + Fri Dec 8, 9: A Merry Funny New England Christmas
December 16-18: Great Bay Academy of Dance; An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker
Tuesday, December 20: The Music Hall Presents Messiah Sing!
Thursday, December 31: First Night Portsmouth

RESERVATIONS

Shows

Tickets for all Music Hall holiday shows can be purchased at The Music Hall box office at the Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth), on the phone at 603.436.2400, or online at http://www.themusichall.org

Strolls

Ticket prices for the Strawbery Banke Candlelight Stroll are $20 for adults, $10 for children, and $50 for families (2 adults and their children ages 17 and under). Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.strawberybanke.org or by phone at 603.433.1107. Tickets may be used any night of the Stroll.

Stayovers – Packages available

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth hotel packages include accommodations, tickets to Strawbery Banke Candlelight Stroll and tickets to The Music Hall live shows on each of the three Vintage Christmas December weekends. Take advantage of the convenience and value of having all your Vintage Christmas visit details in one place, “wrapped up with a bow!” Check the new Vintage Christmas website for information about special hotel packages or visit the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel online at http://www.sheratonportsmouth.com

About Strawbery Banke Museum

Connect with the Past! See how people in the Puddle Dock neighborhood of Portsmouth lived over nearly 400 years of New England history. Through restored furnished houses, exhibits, historic landscapes and gardens, and costumed role players, Strawbery Banke interprets the living history of generations who settled in Portsmouth, NH from the late 17th century to the mid 20th century on its 10-acre campus.  Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH is open 10am-5pm daily May through October and for Candlelight Stroll and historic house holiday tours in December. Call 603-433-1100 for more information or visit: www.strawberybanke.org

About The Music Hall

The Music Hall is a performing arts powerhouse featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner. Acclaimed signature series bring top authors and artists to both stages, while HD broadcasts and independent film fill both screens. Two radio shows broadcast on NH Public Radio originate here. An anchor cultural organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is a 501c3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board.  Welcoming more than 100,00o patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget.

“the beating cultural heart of New Hampshire’s seacoast” – Boston Globe