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Biggest and Best Fourth of July Celebrations in New England

Yankee Plus Dec 2015


Biggest and Best Fourth of July Celebrations in New England
8 votes, 3.65 avg. rating (73% score)
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The Fourth of July is just around the corner! Towns and communities all across New England are planning special Independence Day celebrations with most featuring parades, music, food, and (best of all) fireworks! Here are just some of the Best (and Biggest) Fourth of July Celebrations in New England.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know and share with other readers in the comments section!

NOTE — Event dates and activities are subject to change from year to year. Before making any plans visit the website or call to confirm.

BOSTON, MA – Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
Boston hosts America’s most famous birthday bash, which draws thousands of visitors and is nationally televised. The Boston Pops Orchestra leads the celebration on the banks of the Charles River, including performing a rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with real cannons and the live ringing of church bells. The entire event ends with a spectacular fireworks show over the river. Pack a picnic lunch and get there early for a seat!

BRISTOL, RI – America’s Oldest Independence Day Parade
Bristol holds the record as the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the USA. Along with the parade the day includes a Fourth of July ball, Drum Corp show, visiting ship, and fireworks over Bristol Harbor.
Read Yankee‘s article on Bristol’s Fourth of July celebration.

EAST WOODSTOCK, CT – Fourth of July Jamboree
Held on East Woodstock Common since 1957, the annual jamboree is a day-long celebration featuring a chicken barbeque, parade, music, games, and an old-fashioned pie eating contest.

EASTPORT, ME – Fourth of July Celebration
The largest July 4th celebration in Maine, with dozens of scheduled events over several days, including a Grand Independence Parade, fireworks, entertainment, games, antique car show, and contests. Also free tours from a visiting U.S. Navy ship.

ENFIELD, CT – Fourth of July Town Celebration
This three-day celebration features a parade, road races, both a pie and spaghetti eating contest, and several big musical acts (including the Hartford Symphony Orchestra). Everything wraps up with a spectacular fireworks show that’s not to be missed!

FREEPORT, ME – Hometown Celebration
Freeport and L.L. Bean team up to deliver three days of patriotic entertainment and lots of outdoor fun. Everything from road races and parades to terrific live musical performances and even opportunities to see the Red Sox World Series trophies are scheduled, plus a grand finale fireworks show.

GORHAM, NH – Fourth of July Celebration
Often spanning multiple days leading up to the 4th, this event features live music nightly, plus a carnival, road race, chili and chowder cookoff, horse drawn wagon rides, classic car parade, fireworks and more!

MONTPELIER, VT – Montpelier Independence Day Celebration
In and around the state house, celebrate Independence Day with crafts, a pool party, road race, parade, evening fireworks, and more!

PORTSMOUTH, NH – Strawbery Banke: An American Celebration
A classic old-fashioned 4th of July featuring children’s bike and wagon parade, giant kite fly, potato sack races, kids liberty treasure hunt, garden crafts, live music, historic garden tours, costumed role-players, colonial hearth cooking, basket weaving, food, and more.

STOWE, VT – Independence Day Celebration
A day-long extravaganza of food, music, entertainers, and events. Face painting, politicians dunking booth, pet parade, magicians, clowns, balloons, and a Main Street sidewalk sale. Mayo Farm hosts a field carnival and the everyone turns out for the incredible annual fireworks display.

STURBRIDGE, MA – An 1830′s Independence Day Celebration at Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village portrays life in a New England village in the 1830s. Celebrate July 4 the old-fashioned way, with a rousing patriotic reading of the Declaration of Independence (including a giant reproduction for you to sign), make a tri-cornered hat, drill with the Sturbridge Militia, learn dances, stroll the charming village, and much more.

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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11 Responses to Biggest and Best Fourth of July Celebrations in New England

  1. Cindy Vegnone May 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    We spend every July 3rd on the Grafton Town Common. The Grafton Lions Club has sponsored, for the past 30 plus years, a free concert. They put up a tent for the orchestra on the 2nd and people come and put their chairs out on the common. When they return on the following evening not a single chair has disappeared. They have different bands but this year will be the 215th Army National Guard Concert Band from Fall River. There is something very special about listening to a concert under the massive trees and knowing that it just doesn’t get any better than that.

  2. Laura Berry June 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Thank you for naming Eastport Maine. As a child growing up in Massachusetts we went to Eastport to visit my Grandparents most years. The whole family would be there and It was a wonderful time for us to see our aunts and uncles and cousins. Eastport goes all out to celebrate the Fourth. I have many fond memories of getting up early to go to the Calathumpian parade and going to town to participate in the games. I crawled around in sand for coins and did blueberry pie eating contest. Always so much fun. I toured the ships. We had a big cookout on the lawn at Grammies house Washington St.and watched the parade as it went by. In the evening we would walk up to Battery Field for the fireworks. Eastport is a wonderful place to be on the Fourth.

  3. Robin June 25, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    We love to spend the 4th of July in the Eastport Maine area. We will travel the whole area Lubec, Dennysville…….A lot of good old fashioned fun.

  4. Natalie Green June 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    Going to “the 4th” is a Canadian tradition as well. Neighbours from Deer Island take the ferry, friends from nearby Canadian towns make the trip as well. The parade, the shops, the vendors and a hot dog from Rosie’s make it a day for the whole family to enjoy.

  5. Bonita Dolan June 26, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    I grew up on Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada- a 20min ferry ride away from Eastport, Maine. When we were kids, going to Eastport on the 4th was a highlight of summer. We would go to watch the parade, see and sometimes tour the navy ship in port, and get something to eat- lots of food vendors and of course ” Rosies” on the wharf, famous for the hotdogs! As an adult I don’t always make it back, but I do when my schedule permits, and I’m looking forward to being able to go the 4th in Eastport again this year!! ( now I drive 45 min from my nearby hometown ).

  6. Greg Stokes June 16, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    the Enfield Celebration web site is

  7. Martha Durfee June 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    what happened to the huge parade in Pittsfield MA? Was live on PBS TV several times

  8. Jason Bass June 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

    Nashua New Hampshire has the 2nd best fireworks show I’ve ever seen in New England (2nd only to Boston).

  9. Kim Sweetser July 1, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

    What about Plymouth, Mass – America’s hometown? Loved living downtown go to the beach and then celebrate with the best fireworks over the harbor

  10. Pg July 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    I’m surprised Gorham made the list. There is like 6 rides, all from the early 80’s. The fireworks are generally not that good, no rode race, local bands, an elvis tribute…. need I go on?

  11. J Danielle Wehunt July 6, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    Salem has quite the spectacular Fourth celebration too! Residents of Marblehead and Salem share a wonderful fireworks display over the harbor.

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