The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth is hosting a five-day event next week to get people outside and onto the decks of local restaurants.

Hit the Decks: Come Out & Play is scheduled to start on Wednesday and will run through Sunday.

This is the first time the event has lasted for five days and organizers say the decision was made to do so because it will allow for social distancing while still giving people the chance to get out and enjoy the festivities.

Tourism Manager Michelle Davis said the Chamber is seeing pent-up demand from both visitors and residents.

"Everyone is anxious to see each other and celebrate," Davis said.

Davis said different segments of the tourism industry will be highlighted over the course of the five days. Retail stores, lodging, activites and attractions will be included.

In addition, restaurants throughout the city will be participating, not just those on the waterfront.

"This year, we have almost 50 restaurants with permits to be out on the street or out on the sidewalks, and we are ready to celebrate," said Chamber President Valerie Rochon.

 

Rochon said that they will be running some weekday packages with local hotels for Hit the Decks, but people who plan to spend the night in Portsmouth this summer should book their rooms now.

"We are already hearing that some of our hotels are over 90 percent occupied on the weekends," Rochon said.

Rochon reminds people that there is still a mask ordinance in the city of Portsmouth. That is not set to expire until June 30.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @KimberleyHaas.