Along with Thanksgiving, July 4th is a holiday Americans can claim all to themselves. There’s no shortage of fun, family oriented things to do in Massachusetts this July 4th. Boston Harborfest is the king of all things 4th of July. With hundreds of events for adults and children, including historic reenactments, live music, food, and patriotic revelries, you won’t run out of things to do. But Independence Day celebrations aren’t limited to Boston. There is a solemn reading of the Declaration of Independence at Old Sturbridge Village; a Blessing of the Fleet with food and live music in New Bedford; art shows in Brewster ; a road race on Nantucket and many fireworks displays across the Commonwealth. Don’t miss any opportunity to get out there and have some patriotic fun. Here are just some of the things to do in Massachusetts this 4th of July.
Boston Harborfest – June 28-July 4 Festival includes more than 220 events: walking tours, concerts, Revolutionary-era historical reenactments, the famous Chowdafest, visits from U.S. and foreign naval ships; harbor cruises; State House tours; guided walking tours of the North End, Boston’s underground and the Harbor Islands; treasure hunt; tour of Coast Guard ships; whale watch and dinner cruises; chowder fest; USS Constitution Turnaround Cruise; Boston Pops concert and fireworks. Check out the MBTA’s special schedules during Harborfest.
Boston Harborfest Children’s Day – Boston June 29 Kids can join organizations like The USS Constitution Museum, Historic New England and the New England Aquarium to learn something new and exciting about Boston and its history; with a live juggling act, children’s musical performers, balloon presentations, live dancers, and more. Location: City Hall Plaza. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cost: free.
Boston Chowderfest – Boston July 1 As part of Boston’s Harborfest 2010, this day-long celebration of a New England favorite features all varieties of chowder from chefs and restaurants throughout New England. At City Hall Plaza.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular – July 4 Free outdoor concert in the Hatch Shell aside the Charles River is a glittering, unforgettable Independence Day tradition. This Fourth of July musical celebration includes performances of patriotic favorites like “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “America,” and “Stars and Stripes Forever”; thunderous rendition of Tchaikovsky”s “1812 Overture” followed by fireworks display over Charles River
Bicentennial of the War of 1812 – June 28-July 5 Join the celebration of the USS Constitution, affectionately known as Old Ironsides, as she celebrates the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, 200 years of peace between the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, the creation of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner and her historic role in defending the country. Highlights include: *The Star Spangled Sail – USS Constitution Turnaround Cruise with sister ship the USCG Eagle and visiting navy and tall ships. *21 Gun Salute *Blue Angels Flyover and aerial demonstration *USN Leap Frogs Jump *All visiting ships will be open for public tours
Boston Navy Week – June 29-July 6 This is the sixth year in a row that Boston has been chosen to host a Navy Week celebration, which recognizes the Sailors who serve our country and the communities that support them. Through a series of events ranging from ship visits to Navy band musical performances and meet and greet events with local Sailors, the U.S. Navy will come together with the members of the greater Boston community to honor the history of the Navy and cultivate new connections between the city and the world’s greatest maritime fighting force. It will run in conjunction with the 29th annual Boston Harborfest.
Reading of the Declaration of Independence – Boston July 4 – Only once a year, Boston residents and visitors get to hear the famous speech read from the balcony as it was on July 18, 1776. Location: Old State House, State and Division Streets. 10 – 10:30 a.m. Cost: free
Sky High Fourth of July Dinner – Boston July 4 – Celebrate the 4th of July 52 floors above the back bay at Top of the Hub, featuring an evening of cocktails, dinner, a simulcast of the Boston Pops concert, and an ideal vantage point from which to enjoy the holiday fireworks spectacular over the Charles River. Reservations are required. Prudential Building, 800 Boylston Street 7 p.m. Reservations: 617-536-1775
Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships – Boston June 28 – July 4 Lots of great tall ship events during Harborfest.
Black Bostonians of the Revolution – Boston This is a guided walking tour about early African American leaders and the roots of the abolition movement in American. Location: tour starts at Sam Adams Statue, Faneuil Hall 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
– July 4th Summer Sale
Don’t miss the July 4th Summer Sale at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets®. Enjoy extra savings on top of already low outlet prices. Featuring 170 stores including Banana Republic Factory Store, Elie Tahari, Juicy Couture, Salvatore Ferragamo and many more. Visit the Sales & Events page for a sample of in-store promotions.
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NORTH OF BOSTON & GREATER MERRIMACK VALLEY
Sudbury’s Annual Fourth of July Parade – Sudbury July 4 All are welcome to come and watch one of the area’s best parades! (With a zip code like 1776, Sudbury’s patriotic spirit is one to be reckoned with…) The parade forms on Union Avenue between Station Road and Codjer Lane. Step off time is 1 p.m.
Acton Celebrates Independence Day – Acton July 4 Celebrate Independence Day at NARA Park in Acton, MA. The day starts off with family fun activities from 3-7 PM, followed by a free concert featuring the Rolling Stones Tribute Band, The Blushing Brides at 7:30 PM and fireworks at 9:30 PM. Food vendors will be onsite. No alcoholic beverages permitted. Free Admission – some activities may have a small fee.
Picnic in the Park – Concord July 4 A program of favorite patriotic tunes by this 50-year-old concert band. Location: Emerson Field, Stow Street. The concert will be in the Concord Armory if it rains. Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with band performance at 3 p.m.
Pepperell Fourth of July – Pepperell July 7 Parade at 12:30 p.m.; Rockin Rib Fest at the Community Center fields; fireworks at dusk. Location: Parade starts at Pepperell Town Hall, travels on Main Street East around the rotary, follows Hollis Street North past town field, turns left onto and marching up Tucker Avenue, and ends at the large parking lot between Nissitissit Middle School and the field where the fireworks are displayed.
Salisbury Beach 4th of July – Salisbury July 4 Enjoy the sea and surf, ice cream and cotton candy, beach pizza and fried dough, arcades and more. Dine over the ocean, listen to reggae on a giant oceanfront deck. Get your palm read. Play games on the Broadway Mall. Visit the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation’s Sea Life Discovery Center where you can come face-to-face with marine creatures at their new touch tank! Or take a surf lesson with Zapstix at their second, new oceanfront location. There’s something for everyone at Salisbury Beach!
Rockport Independence Day Celebration – July 3-4 Rockport Firemen’s Parade at 6 p.m., followed by a Legion Band Concert and bonfire on Back Beach at about 8:30 p.m
Gloucester Independence Day Horribles Parade and Fireworks – July 4 – Gloucester Horribles Parade begins at 6 p.m. and circles through downtown Gloucester. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Favorite viewing locations: Stacy Boulevard, Stage Fort Park, Western Avenue.
Danvers Family Festival – Danvers June 3 – July 4 Festivities leading up to the Danvers Fireworks on July 4 start about a month prior with themed nights, concerts, games and festivals. The Fireworks Festival itself takes place at Plains Park from 4 – 9 pm. The main stage hosts musical performances while various concession stands sell delicious food. The Just for Fun areas features games and rides for kids. Throughout the early evening there is a stunt plane show, along with parachuting and a military fly over. The famed fireworks show begins at 9:30 pm.
Beverly Farms Independence Day Celebration – Beverly Farms July 4 The featured events are the always unique morning Horribles Parade and a spectacular evening shoreline illumination and aerial fireworks display held at West Beach. Rounding out the holiday events, the Committee also sponsors the House Decorating Contest, the Family & Friends Cookout, the youngsters Scavenger Hunt, the post Parade “Old Timers” adult softball game at Dix Park, races and games at West Beach on the afternoon of the 4th, and musical entertainment at the Beach leading up to the fireworks.
Marblehead Fireworks & Harbor Illumination – Marblehead – July 4 – Monday, July 4th, 2011 approximately 9:00 p.m. The Harbor Illumination will begin at 8:45 p.m. and immediately following we will LIGHT THE FUSE ON THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF FIREWORKS FOREVER!
Harvard Town Fireworks at Fruitlands – Fruitlands Museum, Harvard July 3 . The pastoral site of Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts will be home to an all-American Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 1st with bands, food, and fireworks. Music is slated to start at 5 P.M. Hot dogs, hamburger, and drinks will be available for purchase; local Girl Scouts will be on hand selling desserts. Visitors are also allowed to bring picnics to the event.
Fireman’s Parade, Rockport, July 4, 6 pm.
Independence Day Parade, Manchester, July 4, 12 noon
Highlands Horribles Parade, Danvers, July 4, 9 am
Back Bay Parade, Danvers, July 4, 11 am
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SOUTH OF BOSTON
Plymouth’s Fourth of July Festivities – July 4 – Always a great time to be in America’s Home Town! Parade route begins at Cordage Park Marketplace on Court Street in North Plymouth and winds its way down Court Street through downtown Plymouth and Main Street, continuing onto Main St. Ext and, turning left onto Water Street to the reviewing stand next to the Plymouth Rock. The Legion Bud Band starts at 7pm and ends just before the fireworks begin, with the playing of the 1812 Overture 508-747-7174
New Bedford Summerfest – July 6-8 – New Bedford’s annual old-fashioned, family oriented international folk music/arts festival. This fine summertime event is hosted by the City of New Bedford and The Standard-Times held throughout New Bedford’s beautiful National Park. Featuring an array of super musical performers, artisan’s marketplace, juried crafts, international bazaar showcasing a diverse selection of imported goods, variety of delectable food vendors, whale boat races and harbor tours.
138th Brockton Fair – June 28-July 8 Lively and exciting entertainment for all ages! In addition to the always-thrilling midway full of rides, other featured entertainment includes a surprise-filled magic show, exciting demolition derby, horse racing, amateur boxing, figure 8 racing, stock car football, big bear show, magician, petting zoo, puppet shows, livestock shows and spectacular fireworks displays!
Hingham Celebrates the 4th – June 30-July 7 June 30: Fireworks over Hingham Harbor July 4: Hingham Road Race & 4th of July Parade July 7: Vintage Baseball Game 781-749-1312
CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS
Cape Cod Baseball League Summer Schedule
Mashpee Wampanoag Annual Pow Wow – Mashpee June 29-July 1 Native American cultural event including drummers, dancing, crafts and food.
Fourth of July Parade & Fireworks – Edgartown July 4 Edgartown on the Fourth is classic Americana and Fella Caters offers you a classic American cookout – burgers and dogs with all the fixins’ and much more. Bring the family, spread out your blanket and relax and enjoy a great meal while waiting for the parade to start. Free marching band concerts in the Old Whaling Church before and after the parade are fun for the whole family. Food is sold and served a la carte and tickets are not needed to attend. It’s a great place to have a casual dinner after the parade and before the fireworks. Location: Old Whaling Church Lawn. 4 – 8 p.m. Cost: admission is free, food is sold a la carte.
22nd Annual Firecracker 5K – July 4 at 8:00am Nantucket Health Club 5000 meter (3.1 mile) mile run/walk from Nantucket Health Club to Monomoy and back, sponsored by Nantucket Health Club, sanctioned by USA Track & Field. Cash prizes. (508) 228-4750
PARADES ON THE 4TH OF JULY
Chatham’s “July 4th” Independence Day Parade – July 4 , 9:30AM – 11:30AM Main Street, Chatham. Chatham’s “July 4th Independence Day Parade” will be held on Saturday, July 3, 2010 – This year’s theme is “From Sea to Shining Sea”. Parade proceeds Down Main Street from the corner of Shore Road to Veteran’s Field.
Bourne Fourth of July Parade – July 4 Main Street, Buzzards Bay 10:00am – 11:00am
Barnstable Village – Starting at 9:00 a.m. The parade will commence at 9:00 a.m. at the County Complex on Railroad Avenue; proceed down Main Street (Route 6A); left onto Mill Way and continue to the Village Hollow where it will end for various activities.
New England Summer Nationals - Worcester July 5-8 Largest auto event on the East Coast; live entertainment, swap meet area, and flame-throwers; street rods, muscle cars, stock and modified vehicles.
An 1830s Idependence Day Celebration – Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. July 4 This Fourth of July, step back to a time when America was new, and veterans of the fight for freedom still lived.
53rd Annual Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Stage Race – June 28-July 1 Four day athletic cycling competition.
4th of July Celebration — Shrewsbury
– July 4
The town of Shrewsbury’s 4th of July Celebration will include food, live music and DJs, inflatable amusements, clowns, and facepainting. A decorated bike and doll carriage parade begins at 12:30 p.m. Location: Main Street. Time: noon – 4 p.m. Cost: free.
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Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade - Pittsfield July 4 Called one of the ten best Fourth of July parades in the country by USA Today, Pittsfield’s annual Independence Day parade is legendary for its outstanding musical acts, balloons and floats and its hometown feel. Location: Downtown Pittsfield beginning at Park Square and ending at Wahconah Park Time: 10 a.m.
Independence Day Celebration – Amherst July 4 This promises to be an event that everyone will enjoy; featuring a children’s carnival, face-painting, games, field races, a pie-eating contest, the Amherst Community Band, and of course, fireworks. Location: Various around town.
North Adams Steeplecats Baseball – North Adams (413) 663-7333 Annual 4th of July Baseball game at 6:30 pm at the Joe Wolfe Stadium on Route 8 in North Adams, featuring the North Adams Steeplecats versus Sanford, CT. The evening will be capped off with a spectacular Fireworks display, a North Adams tradition.
July 4th Sidewalk Sale - Lee, June 29-July 4 Don’t miss this weekend of spectacular savings on hot summer fashions!
Fourth of July with Shakespeare & Co. – Lenox , July 4 Celebrate a revolutionary weekend! Our free, ever-popular reading of the Declaration of Independence features some of the most stirring words of political rhetoric ever written, spoken out loud by Company actors and special guests from the community. Spend the day in the sun, enjoy our delicious Fourth of July Community Barbecue, and celebrate our nation’s independence. 3pm: The Declaration of Independence Free! Outdoors 1:30–5:00: Community Barbecue à la carte pricing for an all-American BBQ. Burgers, dogs, corn on the cob, beer, wine and more!
Star Spangled Springfield – Springfield , July 4 Program begins at 7:00p.m., on the steps of City Hall, Celebrating America. Fireworks will commence at 9:30 p.m. from the Memorial Bridge with musical simulcast on MIX 93.1 FM.
Reading of the Founding Documents – Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown July 4th at 1:00 p.m. Following the Williamstown 4th of July Parade, Williamstown Theatre Festival actors read the Declaration of Independence and the British Reply at the museum.