Today is last day to obtain tickets

By Tom Corrigan - [email protected]

The Winterfest tree was lit up to resounding applause Dec. 2.

The Winterfest tree was lit up to resounding applause Dec. 2.

While would be participants are more than welcome without tickets, Friday is the last day to obtain free tickets to take part in Saturday’s scheduled attempt to break the world’s record for the largest number of people Christmas caroling, according to local realtor and spokesperson for the Friends of Portsmouth Nick Rutman.

The world record attempt will start at 7 p.m. Saturday as part of the Friends of Portsmouth Toyota presents Winterfest at Market Square which launched Dec.2 and runs to the end of the month.

This will be the Friends second go at a world’s record. During their Plant Portsmouth event over the summer, volunteers helped clean downtown Portsmouth and Boneyfiddle but also set a record for the largest number of people simultaneously potting plants.

The current caroling record is 1,822 set in 2013. Would be participants are asked to go to and obtain a ticket for the event. As noted, tickets are free, but organizers have said giving out the tickets is one way to keep track of how many people are involved. You can also obtain tickets through the Friends of Portsmouth Facebook page.

Again, tickets will not be available through Eventbrite or any other means after Friday.

Rutman said about 2,400 tickets had been given out as of Monday. He added organizers expect far more people to show up than the number of tickets handed out. Rutman stated that is exactly what happened with the world record attempt during Plant Portsmouth.

Participants are asked to be at Market Square by 6 p.m. Saturday. The record must be set within 50 minutes of the start time, Rutman continued. The fact the record is for “caroling” not just singing is significant. Participants need to knock on a door and someone must answer that door to listen to the singing. Judges from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to witness the attempt and Rutman specifically noted knocking on the doors of commercial establishments is allowed.

According to Rutman and others involved in planning the record attempt, singers cannot knock on more than five doors on any one street. With that in mind, carolers will start on Market Street, knocking on doors there, then move around the corner to Second Street and knock on five more doors on that roadway. Rutman further noted carolers cannot sing the same song more than once.

Participants will receive lyric sheets when they arrive for the record attempt, Rutman said, adding Portsmouth West High School choir director Linda Tieman will direct the caroling. Local ophthalmologist Mike Raies apparently will act as a sort of master of ceremonies.

Raies is the frontman for the local band Blonde Habits which performed for the opening day of Winterfest. As this writer has chosen to be optimistic on this point and set aside journalistic objectivity for the moment, after the world’s record for caroling is shattered, entertainment will be provided by local but renowned Jerry Lee Lewis impersonator Jacob Tolliver.

Rutman said Winterfest overall has proven so far to be a huge success. He said crowds have been larger than expected and have filled the streets pretty much every night of the event.

For full details on upcoming and continuing events, such as the hours of the Winterfest ice-skating rink and Winterfest gift shop, as well as the adjacent Santa’s workshop, check the Friends of Portsmouth/Winterfest Facebook page,

The Winterfest tree was lit up to resounding applause Dec. 2. Winterfest tree was lit up to resounding applause Dec. 2.

By Tom Corrigan

[email protected]