On the Fourth of July, that blissful holiday of reveling in fireworks and barbecues with friends and family, there is no better city to celebrate in than Boston, the place most closely associated with launch the American Revolution. Its most popular Independence Day events regularly draw half a million attendees and viewers. Here’s your guide to the best of them.
The immensely popular Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is a combination of music and fireworks. It’s a two-night affair, July 3 and 4, that takes place along the Charles River at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade that lies between the Longfellow and Massachusetts Avenue bridges. The Friday concert will begin at 8:30 p.m. EDT and end at 10 p.m. The Saturday concert will start at 8:30 p.m., and fireworks will be launched at 10:30 p.m.
Visit this official site to learn how to enter different official viewing points for the fireworks, as well as what items visitors are and are not permitted to bring -- backpacks are not allowed and have not been for several years. Those planning to ride public transportation can check the special Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority schedule here (the T is reportedly free for all after 9:30 p.m.). Those eager to avoid the crowds -- and the security checks -- should check out this list of unofficial spots that offer an excellent view of the pyrotechnics without the hassle.
And, of course, don’t forget the plethora of activities continuing throughout the day on the Fourth of July. For example, the Boston Harborfest, a festival running July 1-5, includes walking tours, historical re-enactments, the famous Chowdafest, an 18th-century chocolate-making demonstration and more, all celebrating Boston’s history and heritage. Most events are held in downtown Boston and along the waterfront. A full schedule of events can be viewed here.
For the historically minded, the Declaration of Independence will be read on the balcony of Faneuil Hall Saturday at 10 a.m. The event is free for all.
Bars and restaurants and bars are featuring specials for Independence Day, ranging from Cinquecento’s bocce tournament (a $200 gift card goes to the winner) and cheap oysters to numerous holiday brunch and/or drink menus throughout the city.