WEST OF BOSTON
ACTON NARA Park, at 25 Ledge Rock Way, is the hub of this year’s celebrations. There will be bounce houses, water slides, and games for the kids, a DJ, and food trucks starting at 3 p.m. July 4. Entrance is free, but for unlimited access to the inflatables, attendees can purchase a $10 wristband at the event. There will also be a free concert from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. featuring Thirty 6 Red. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. 978-929-6620, acton-ma.gov
CONCORD Minute Man National Historical Park takes the celebrations back to our nation’s founding. For the entire month of July, the park will host a number of events including Revolutionary era reenactments and guided tours. The festivities kick off at 1 p.m. July 4 with a free, live reading of the Declaration of Independence at North Bridge, Monument Street. Later in July, visitors can participate in a Colonial magistrate court session led by Minute Man’s Guild of Historic Interpreters; take a tour of the neighborhood where authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau lived and worked; be part of a reenactment of an actual 1774 town meeting; and more. 978-369-6993, nps.gov/mima
HARVARD On Monday, July 2, enjoy a scenic musical event and fireworks display at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road. Local musicians will perform from 5:30 to 9:15 p.m. A fireworks display begins at nightfall. Afterward, the festivities continue with the Bare Hill “After the Show Dance Party.” On July 4, there will be a parade beginning at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Ayer and Depot roads, and family-friendly activities throughout town. harvard4thofjuly.com
NEEDHAM The Needham Exchange Club festivities start at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, in Memorial Park with food and entertainment, followed by a fireworks display at dusk. Celebrations continue on July 4, starting early with the Charles River YMCA Road Race at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., there is a flag raising in the Town Common and the Fourth of July Parade. After the parade, visitors can spend the rest of the holiday enjoying a craft fair and flea market, athletic events, a children’s pie eating contest, food, and entertainment at Memorial Park. needhamexchangeclub.org
NEWTON Families and children ages 3 to 12 are invited to kick off July 4 morning in Newton Centre, where there will be the grand pet parade, a decorated doll carriage promenade, the teddy bear parade, and foot races. The kids-focused morning is from 10 a.m. to noon, and ends with free ice cream cones donated by Cabot’s Ice Cream. At noon, the celebrations move to Halloran Field and Sports Complex, 250 Albemarle Road. There will be amusement rides, face painting, craft vendors, food trucks, and circus arts performances by students and staff of Gravity Alternative Movement. At 6 p.m., the Bo & Bill Winiker Band will play jazz on the main stage at Albemarle Field. There will be a fireworks at 9 p.m. Attendees are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs. newtoncommunitypride.org
WALTHAM The city welcomes all residents to find a comfortable spot on Leary Field, 19 Athletic Field Road, for a concert by classic rock band Back in Time at 5:30 p.m. July 4 and a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Earlier in the day, there will be free children’s inflatables, mini golf, music, trolley rides, and food from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Prospect Hill Park, 322 Totten Pond Road. 781-314-3100.
SOUTH OF BOSTON
Fair presents fireworks, rides, animal shows, and music at the fairgrounds from Friday, June 29, to Sunday, July 8. Bands such as the Angry Bees, Front & Center, and Perfect Example will play at 8 p.m. in the grandstand and pavillion each night. Fireworks will light up the sky at 10:45 p.m. on June 30, July 3, 4, and 7. There will also be a demolition derby, daily chainsaw carving shows, and carnival rides.
BRIDGEWATER TheFourth of July parade begins at 10 a.m., on July 4, running along Grove, Summer, Dean, and Worcester streets, Route 18, and ending on Summer Street near the Lucky Star Gas station. Right after the parade ends, the Bridgewater Arts & Music Festival will commence on the quad at Bridgewater State University’s Boyden Hall, 131 Summer St. Starting at 5 p.m., rides, food, and music will be available on Legion Field, 175 Bedford St. Fireworks, visible from the field, will begin at 9:30 p.m. bridgewaterma4th.com
DUXBURY Fill up on pancakes with a breakfast at the Cornerstone Lodge, 585 Washington St., from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, July 1. That evening, South Shore Bay Band will perform patriotic songs from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Holy Family Church field, 601 Tremont St. On the Fourth, the town will hold a parade, starting at 2 p.m. in Halls Corner. duxbury4thofjuly.com
HINGHAM The Lions Club hosts the annual community celebration on Sunday, July 1, at Hingham Harbor. Starting at 3 p.m., residents can enjoy family activities, live music, and a beach barbeque. A fireworks display will begin at dusk. On the Fourth, the fun kicks off with thre 60th continuous running of the Hingham Road Race, beginning at 7 a.m. at Hingham Middle School, 1103 Main St. The annual Fourth of July parade follows; this year’s theme is “Cheers to Hingham’s Volunteers.” hingham-ma.gov
PLYMOUTH America’s hometown celebrates with a themed parade, concert, and fireworks. This year’s parade theme is “America’s Landmarks” and it begins at 9:30 a.m. July 4 at Mayflower Business Park, 428-430 Court St. The Independence Day concert at 7:30 p.m. on the Plymouth Waterfront, 79 Water St., will feature patriotic music performed by the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert also includes stage and television music, a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, special tributes to Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. The fireworks show begins at nightfall. Plymouth will also be hosting the third annual Fourth of July 5k, starting at 8:15 a.m. in downtown Plymouth. july4plymouth.com
ROCHESTER The city will hold a family-friendly Night Before the Fourth Festival starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, on the Spaulding High School athletic fields, 130 Wakefield St. Local musicians will play and there will also be children’s activities, food for sale, and more. The fireworks will begin around 9:15.
WALPOLE The annualFire Engine Parade will depart from the East Walpole Fire Station at 6 p.m. on July 3. From the fire station, the route will continue along Washington Street, turn onto East Street, and end near the Blackburn Memorial Park. After the parade, a fair complete with live music, souvenirs, and refreshments will be held behind the fire station. The fireworks will be launched beginning at 9:30 and will be visible from anywhere in town center. walpolepd.com/community_main.html
NORTH OF BOSTON
AMESBURY The weeklong Amesbury Days festivities wraps up with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. on July 4 at Woodsom Farm, 208 Lions Mouth Road. There will be food vendors and entertainment by cover band Brandy. Parking is available at Woodsom Farm, Charles C. Cashman Elementary School, and Amesbury High School. For a schedule of the 119th Amesbury Days activities, go to amesburydays.com
BURLINGTON The Fourth of July Parade will begin at 11 a.m. on July 4 at the Presbyterian Church, 335 Cambridge St., where it will continue down Cambridge Street and turn left on Winn Street, ending at the Memorial Elementary School. That evening, Fab Four, a Beatles cover band, will perform at 6 p.m. on the Burlington Common. The fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. burlingtonjuly4th.com
CHELMSFORD From 5 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, a country fair will take over the Town Common. On Wednesday, the John Carson 2 Mile Road Race will begin at 9:30 a.m. behind the Hannaford Supermarket at 80 Parkhurst Road. Runners can preregister at Sullivan Farms Ice Cream, 176 Middlesex Road in Tyngsborough or beginning at 7:30 a.m. on race day. (Entries are $15 for adults, $12 for children under 12. sullivanfarmsicecream.com. The Fourth of July Parade will kick off at 10 a.m. and run 2 miles down North Road, starting at the McCarthy Middle School and ending near the Chelmsford Public Library. chelmsfordparade.com
MARBLEHEAD Fireworks and Harbor Illumination will light up the sky and the sea on Wednesday, July 4. At 9 p.m., flares will be lit around the perimeter of the harbor, creating a ring of light. At 9:15, the show will begin. The fireworks will be launched off a barge at the mouth of Marblehead Harbor, making the show visible from Fort Sewall, Chandler Hovey Park, and Crocker Park, as well as from yacht clubs and residences around the harbor. Spectators are encouraged to find their parking spots early, as they fill up quickly. marbleheadfireworks.org
SALEM July 4 at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf kicks off at 5 p.m. with free children’s activities and music. Opening ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. when Mayor Kimberley Driscoll leads a parade down the wharf. Salem High’s Witch Pitch? will sing the national anthem, followed by show tunes from the Hillyer Festival Orchestra and an appearance by the Collins Middle School band. At 9:15 p.m., fireworks will be accompanied by the Hillyer orchestra playing the “1812 Overture” and other patriotic tunes. salem.org
SALISBURY Hit the beach for a fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. on July 4. Joppa Flatts performs a live outdoor concert at 7:30 p.m. prior to the display. Don’t miss the Pet Parade at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, at the Salisbury Beach Loop. DJ Ralphie B will also play doo wop music from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday. mysalisburybeach.com
SOMERVILLE Weather has postponed the Thursday, June 28, Independence Day fireworks event until Thursday, July 5. Live entertainment at Trum Field will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a 30-minute fireworks display at approximately 9:15 p.m. somervillema.gov/events/2018/06/28/independence-day-fireworks
WILMINGTON The 38th annual Fun on the Fourth will bring a carnival and family-friendly activities to the Town Common from Friday, June 29 to Monday, July 2. Highlights include a blueberry pie eating contest, a corn hole tournament, a three-legged race, and performances by Brandy, Four on the Floor, Haywire, and the Reading Community Concert Band. Local organizations such as the Wilmington Rotary Club will serve food throughout the festival. The celebration will close with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, July 2. funonthefourth.com