FOP releases 2023 schedule


The Friends of Portsmouth (FOP) organization has been established long enough to create tens of thousands of memories in the community, with its many festivals and events that have catered to the entire region throughout holiday months.

From River Days to Winterfest, the group accomplishes amazing feats that put smiles on faces and they are ready to open another year of accomplishments and memories as they put plans into action.

A recently released schedule highlights their biggest events of the year, with many smaller things to follow.

Some of the events include Fourth of July, River Days, Glocktoberfest, Winterfest, comedy shows, and more.

“I think we’ve got four solid events, as far as main ones being planned. I’m close to having all the musical acts booked, too, but I’m still finalizing River Days,” Executive Director Bryan Smith said. “I think everything should go off without a hitch.”

Kicking off the posted events is a Comedy Night at the Holiday Inn on April 8.

Continuing the events, Light Up the Sky 4th of July at Spartan Stadium is being planned for July 1.

The storied River Days Festival weekend will run September 1-3 along the riverfront.

River Days is an annual festival held in Portsmouth, at the Court Street Landing on the riverfront. River Days is the longest continuous running festival in Ohio, celebrating 60 years in 2023. According to FOP, the festival occurs every year over Labor Day weekend with 4 action-packed days of live music, children’s activities, boat races, and lots of great food.

October 7 and 8 will be Festifall and Glocktoberfest at Market Square Park.

The newer, but already traditional, Winterfest begins the season starting November 16 at Market Square Park, running through December.

According to FOP, “Boneyfiddle’s Market Square will be transformed into a winter wonderland this holiday season, with skating, millions of lights, snow tubing, carriage rides, vendor village, the gift shop, and more than a few surprises.”

The group claims there are a lot of benefits to their season of festivals.

One of those benefits being growth to business and the local tax-base.

“I think the biggest thing is generating revenue to downtown shops and restaurants, hotels, AirBNBs and Lodge. When you do something big like this, it brings in extra revenue that, you know, they otherwise wouldn’t bring in. I think that’s a big part of what we do,” Smith said. “Plus, we’re bringing new people into Portsmouth, and, you never know, they may become more than guests and become tenants.”

Of course, with such popular festivals, locals also get a major form of memory making fun.

Smith explained, “That is a big thing that Tim Wolfe always says, we want to be creating long-lasting memories for families and kids, so we put a lot of effort in creating fun events that the whole community will remember.”

Smith said that the posted schedule will be most of what they plan for the year, outside of comedy nights and Winterfest, with very little change or adaptation.

“We will have a few more comedy nights and, maybe, a few more Winterfest events like we did with axe throwing last year,” Smith explained. “So, there will be some extra events, but we are already pretty loaded from July through Christmas, and we need to keep an eye on that.”

For more information on the Friends of Portsmouth, visit To support events, make donations to P.O. Box 132, Portsmouth, Ohio. To receive answers to questions, email Executive Director Bryan Smith at [email protected]. The Friends of Portsmouth is a 501©3 non-profit organization benefiting the community through events and festivals, thanks to event participants, sponsors, members, and donors.

“I feel positive about what we do,” Smith claimed. “I feel like we are continuously getting more and more people interested in what we do. We added eight new leadership team members this year, which is the most we’ve done. Some have fallen off, but the new ones bring a lot this year. A lot of them have a lot of youth and I think they’ll bring a lot to the organization.”

Another big project the group is undertaking is the new 440 Second St building development. The group will be speaking with The Daily Times in coming weeks about those plans further.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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