Boston takes second place to no other city when it comes to the Fourth of July. The Declaration of Independence may have been written in Philadelphia, but the revolution that inspired it started here – and Bostonians are not about to let anybody anywhere forget that. Here are just five of the best ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in Boston.
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Boston, MA 02109
Date: June 29 through July 4
Harborfest is Boston’s biggest party of the year – even bigger than New Year’s Eve or when the Sox win the series, the Patriots the Superbowl or the Bruins take home the Stanley Cup. This year marks the 37th anniversary of the nearly week-long party, which begins on June 28th and culminates on the Fourth. Over 200 events are scheduled to take place all along the Boston Waterfront, at the Charleston Navy Yard, Long Wharf and Faneuil Hall, to name just a few areas where an estimated three million people will come to the biggest and longest party of the year.
Declaration of Independence Reading and Parade
City Hall Plaza to Old State House
Boston, MA 02109
Date: July 4
On July 18, 1776, the captain of Boston’s Honorable Artillery Company read out the Declaration of Independence to the people of Boston. His successor has repeated that historic event every July 4th since, and will again this year. Before he does, however, Mayor Marty Walsh will kick off the annual parade from City Hall Plaza, and wave to the crowds all the way from there to the Old State House, where the captain will give the reading. The parade makes a brief stop at the small cemetery on Tremont Street, where wreaths are laid upon the graves of Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Robert Treat Paine, three local lads who signed the Declaration of Independence 242 years ago.
The Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular
DCR Hatch Shell
The Charles River Esplanade
Boston, MA 02115
Date: July 4 at 8:30 p.m.
Any list of the best ways to mark the Fourth of July in Boston has to include going down to the Charles River Esplanade to see and listen to the Boston Pops, followed by a 30 minute fireworks extravaganza. This show is the Pop’s signature performance of the year – and of every year since 1900. This year, conductor Keith Lockhart welcomes local singer/songwriter Rachel Platten, best known for her “Fight Song” and album “Wildfire.” The guest lineup also includes the Indigo Girls and Rhiannon Giddens, the lead singer, banjo player, and violinist of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. (The Pops will also perform at 8:30 p.m. on July third but without fireworks).
Related: Guide To The 4th Of July Pops Spectacular On The Esplanade
Lexington Lion’s Club Fourth of July Carnival
Lexington, MA 02420
Date: July 3 through July 7
Lexington and Concord are where the American Revolution started, and for those who do not want to brave the traffic into the city, this suburban town just outside of Boston is a wonderful way for a family to celebrate the Fourth – and celebrate over and over again on the day before and three days after. There are rides, games, entertainment, and food galore. Profits from the carnival support numerous charities.
The Blue Man Group
74 Warrenton St.
Boston, MA 02116
There is no better way to put a little “blue” into the red, white and blue than with Boston’s home Blue Man Group. The internationally famous trio of bald, blue entertainers got their start in Boston, and have made the Charles Playhouse in the Theater District their home. Although they take holidays (including the Fourth) off, they do perform on the days before and after Independence Day.
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