MSP raises nearly $40,000 for Tracy Park light display

Staff Report

Main Street Portsmouth has been working diligently since receiving permission from City Manager Sam Sutherland to decorate Tracy Park for winter. The city of Portsmouth voted Monday to give the organization $10,000 to assist in their plan. In return, the organization was able to quadruple the value by raising nearly $40,000 for this year’s display.

“Our original concept had our goal at $8,000,” Main Street Portsmouth Executive Director Joseph Pratt said. “So, I think it is fair to say we surpassed that goal pretty abundantly.”

Pratt said once they started fundraising, it became clear people were interested in making the light display happen.

“We began seeking major contributions from the Scioto Foundation and the Marting Foundation. Since they knew the city was interested in helping with $10,000, they each offered to join the partnership and make it happen with $10,000 each. Additionally, we were able to fundraise an additional $8,000 in individual contributions. “

Pratt explained that once people started seeing others donate, individual sponsorships started building

Contributions have come in from Diana and Bob Ratliff, Scottie Powell and family, INSOLVES, LifePoint, Cornerstone UMC, the Chamber of Commerce, Ralph Scott Funeral Home, Melcher Funeral Home, Daehler Funeral Home, Deadbolt Escape Rooms and Mysteries, Shawn and Kelli Richardson and Brenda Horr Adkins, and Hard Tops of Southern Ohio. Pratt explained the idea came from the community as a whole coming together during the winter season.

“With the Christmas Caves, Tour of Churches, Winterfest, Shawnee Lodge, and so much more— we are becoming a destination city for the holidays. We think this will be one more reason for people to visit Portsmouth and spend their money here,” Pratt said. “Not only is this a great benefit for area families, but it is trickle up economic development. The group will begin ordering supplies this week and plans to work on the program until they install the displays come November. “We truly hope to light Tracy Park in a way that makes the entire community proud, because the Portsmouth area deserves it,” Pratt said. The group is also looking into lighting Chillicothe Street with new pole displays.

Anyone interested in helping in that endeavor can call 740.464.0203 or email

Staff Report