Boston’s rich patriotic history makes for the nation’s premier destination for 4th of July celebrations in the country. The Boston Harborfest Celebration is in it’s 37th year and runs from June 28th to July 4th. It includes historical reenactments, harbor fireworks, Freedom Trail walks, Chowder Fest and much more. You can see the Harborfest Celebration’s complete schedule can be found here. The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular runs July 3-4th will be held at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. Seating is on a first-come basis and will be very crowded so show up early. This is the premier Independence Day Celebration in Boston that starts with the performance of the National Anthem and ends with cannon fire during the performance of the 1812 Overture. You can see the special guest lineup here.
On July 4th the City of Boston’s Official Independence Day Commemoration with a flag raising ceremony takes off at the City Hall Plaza at 9 am. After the commemoration a parade runs to the Granary Burial Ground and then on to the Old State House. Also on the 4th at 10 am, the Declaration of Independence will be read by the current Commanding Captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company on the balcony of the Old State House just like it was read to the citizens back in 1776.
Another great way to experience 4th of July is by paddle boat around the Charles River Basin. Paddle Boston has two locations you can leave from. One is about 1 1/2 hour paddle to the fireworks and the other is only about 5 minutes. Check out their website for more details. If you are looking for a more relaxed tour around the harbor try one of the many cruises taking place for the 4th of July including the USS Constitution Turnaround Cruise. It is a 3 hour cruise out to the harbor aboard the USS Northern Lights that includes a 21-gun salute with cannons firing from Castle Island’s Fort Independence and the USS Constitution. Afterwords, the Northern Lights will head back into the inner harbor to exchange cannon fire with the sector Boston’s United States Coast Guard base.
If you don’t have your sea legs yet then try a tour of the annual Footloose on the Freedom Trail. The 3 hour event is a guided tour of the famous Freedom Trail from Boston Common to the USS Constitution that makes stops along many of Boston’s famous landmarks including the State House, Kings Chapel, Old Town Meeting and State Houses, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere’s House and the USS Constitution.
For the ultimate 4th of July experience high above Boston’s back bay at the Top of the Hub celebration. The evening long event starts off with a 5 course meal and a simulcast showing of the Boston Pop’s Orchestra’s Concert followed by the bay’s best view of the fireworks from the roof top of the Prudential Building 52 floors up.
Whatever you decide to do, Boston is a fantastic place to to spend the 4th of July Holiday with friends or family.