Fourth Of July Guide: Fireworks, Redcoats And Celebration

By Luke Boelitz

BOSTON — If you’re in the city this weekend, take advantage of the many events happening here. This year is the 30th anniversary of Boston’s Independence Day celebration, Harborfest. We’ll also be highlighting some events that happen regularly throughout the summer.

The 2009 fireworks over the Charles River in Boston. (Ben Saren/Flickr)

Thursday, June 30th:

Extreme Sailing Series, 11am-7pm, Fan Pier (Recurring daily until July 4)
This is the first day of local competition for the Extreme Sailing Series. An international sailboat racing tour makes its first stop ever in the United States. The boats are fourty foot catamarans and they will be racing around a course set in the inner harbor every day from 2-5pm until July 4th. The race village on Fan Pier opens at 11am every day.
Bostonians Behaving Badly: A Tour of Boston’s Riots, 5:30pm-7pm
Meet at Park Street Station on Boston Common to discover lesser-known riotous events that shaped the history of Boston and the Nation.

Admission $12, Boston By Foot members $5

Clambake on Boston Harbor’s Spectacle Island, 6pm-9pm
Enjoy an authentic New England clambake by the Summer Shack on the beach with lobsters and steamers. Admission $70-$80, reservations required. Order tickets online and view details at
Twilight Sky Viewing 7pm-8:30pm
Walk the ramparts and enjoy Boston’s skyline.
Castle Island Association/DCR (617-727-5290)
Fort Independence, Castle Island, South Boston

Extreme Sailing Series Fireworks 9:50pm
Sponsored by The Fallon Company, Fan Pier (617-261-4500)
In the Harbor at Fan Pier, ONE Marina Park Drive
A spectacular fireworks show to kick-off racing on the Harbor!

Friday, July 1st:

Free Admission to the MFA, 10:00am-9:45pm
Admission is waived at the Museum of Fine Art Boston on this day thanks to the generosity of the Highland Street Foundation. The Grooversity Brazilian Trio will be performing in the Calderwood courtyard beginning at 5:30pm as part of MFA Summer Fridays. 
Tour Historic Boston Light, 10am-1pm (Recurs July 2nd)
A guided tour of Little Brewster Island, site of thefirst lighthouse in the nation. Climb 76 steps and meet the U. S. Coast Guard keeper.
Admission $29-$39, reservations recommended
Depart from Fan Pier at the Moakley Courthouse, Northern Avenue, South Boston.
BaHa Brothers Concert, 4:30pm-7pm
Classic beach rock for a summer evening.
On the Plaza at City Hall 
The Dark Side of Boston, 6pm-7:30pm
A walking tour of Boston’s oldest neighborhood, which withstood the scourges of smallpox and influenza and the Great Molasses Flood.
Admission $12, BBF members $5
Meet at Hanover and Cross streets, North End
Boston By Foot (617-367-2345)

Saturday, July 2nd:

Middlesex County Volunteers, 10am-4pm
Roving fife and drum along the Freedom Trail.

The British are Coming!, 11am-Noon
The Redcoats invade the city! Soldiers arrive by sea and march up King (State) Street to the Boston Common.
Redcoats on the Common, Noon-4:30pm
Redcoats perform military demonstrations and skirmish with Colonial militia.
Boston Common, corner of Charles and Beacon Streets
Boston Harborfest (617-227-1528)

Tour U.S. Coast Guard Vessels, Noon-4pm (Recurs July 3rd)
Topside tours aboard U.S. Coast Guard vessels.
U.S. Coast Guard base, 427 Commercial Street
North End

Party on the Plaza: DISCO INFERNO, 6pm-9pm
A flashback to the 70s with a fun interactive stage show from the disco/funk era with opener Girls Nite Out.
On the North Stage, City Hall Plaza
Rain date: Sunday, July 3rd at 7pm

Sunday, July 3rd:

30th Annual Chowderfest, 11am-6pm
Sample clam chowder from some of New England’s best restaurants. Vote for your favorite!
On the Plaza at City Hall, rain or shine (617-227-1528)
Admission $8-$12
Liberty’s Pulpits: Boston Churches in the Revolution, Noon-12:30pm
Hear the inflammatory language of Revolutionary preachers.
Old South Meeting House (617-482-6439)
310 Washington Street
Admission $1-$6, 18 and under free
Tours of Fort Independence, Noon-3:30pm
Tours of a 19th century fort, built with Cape Ann granite.
Castle Island Association/DCR (617-727-5290)
Fort Independence, Castle Island, South Boston

*Don’t miss a stop for lunch at Sullivan’s, a popular beach stand.

Monday, July 4th:

Flag-Raising Ceremony and Parade, 9am-10am
Follow the parade to the Granary Burial Ground and then to the Old State House.
Meet at the flagpole on the Plaza at City Hall.
Cookout Aboard a Schooner, 10am-1:30pm
Enjoy a cookout while saluting the USS Constitution aboard the Liberty Clipper.
Central Wharf at the New England Aquarium
Admission $60-$100, reservations required
USS Constitution Turn-around, 10:30am-1pm
“Old Ironsides” gets underway to salute the Nation.
At the Charlestown Navy Yard

Boston Esplanade Concert and Fireworks, 8pm-10:00pm
A concert at the Hatch shell and followed by Fireworks over the Charles River.


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