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.
Blue Star Museums Free admission to the military and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Boston Harborfest – July 2-6 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 Pops Fireworks Spectacular – July 3 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. Musical guests include The Beach Boys and Megan Hilty.
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: Historic Faneuil Hall. 10:00 a.m. Cost: free
Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships – Boston July 2 -7. Lots of great tall ship events during Harborfest.
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.
Arlington: Musical entertainment by the Reminisants, refresments, and a giant screen showing the Boston Pops Orchestra performance and fireworks. Free
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 Fireworks and Concert. 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 5 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 – TBD 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 – TBD – 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 TBD 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 – TBD 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!
Lowell Fireworks rescheduled to July 5th.
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 Star Spangled 4t of July Celebration – 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 Folk Festival – July 5-6 -New Bedford Folk Festival brings together over 70 renowned and emerging performers and 90 juried arts and crafts vendors in New Bedford’s authentic historic district during the first weekend in July. The two day family-oriented festival offers continuous folk music from 11am to 9pm on seven sound stages in and around the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park ranging from the majestic 1200 seat Zeiterion Performing Arts Center to the intimacy of the National Park Garden Stage.
139th Brockton Fair – June 27-July 6 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 – July 4: Fireworks over Hingham Harbor, Hingham Road Race & 4th of July Parade , Vintage Baseball Game. 781-749-1312
CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS
Cape Cod Baseball League Summer Schedule
Mashpee Wampanoag Annual Pow Wow – Mashpee July 4-6 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.
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.
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.
Provincetown – July 4 – The parade starts at noon. Location: Starts at the Cape Inn and goes to Franklin Street Click Here for a complete list of Cape Cod events.
Wellfleet – July 4 – The Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the 2014 4th of July Parade. The theme this year is Oysters R Us! The Parade route runs up Holbrook Avenue, turns right on Main Street, continues down Main Street, turns right on Commercial Street and ends at the Wellfleet Town Pier. The Judge’s stand will be on the lawn of the Town Hall on Main Street. The classic car parade begins at 9:30am and the general parade starts at 10:00am
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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.
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.
Harvard Town Fireworks at Fruitlands
– Fruitlands Museum, Harvard
. 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.
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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.
July 4th Sidewalk Sale – Lee, July 3-6 Don’t miss this weekend of spectacular savings on hot summer fashions!
Star Spangled Springfield – Springfield , July 4 Program begins at 7:00p.m., at Riverfront Park, Celebrating America. Fireworks will commence at 9:30 p.m. from the Memorial Bridge with musical simulcast on MIX 93.1 FM.
Williamstown July 4th Celebration – Celebrate our nation’s independence in inimitable Williamstown style. At 10am, gather at the Williams College Museum of Art to hear WTF actors read the Declaration of Independence and the British reply before viewing the College’s amazing Founding Documents collection. Williamstown’s classic small-town parade kicks off on Spring Street at 11am and ends at The Clark Art Institute for the grand opening of their newly expanded campus. Take a break from the sun at our special 4pm performance of June Moon before heading out for some BBQ or catching the fireworks at The Clark. It’s a big day in Williamstown — an iconic 4th of July experience that’s not to be missed.