Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the City of Boston will kick-off the 34th annual Boston Harborfest at Faneuil Hall Marketplace on Wednesday, July 1 at 12:00 p.m.

"Each year, Harborfest brings thousands of residents and visitors to downtown Boston to celebrate the birth of our nation, right where it happened," said Mayor Walsh. "I would like to thank all of our partners for another great year of great events."

Boston Harborfest is a five-day festival with over 200 activities celebrating American Independence and honoring the city's colonial roots. City officials will be joined by Captain Claudia Gelzer, Sector Commander, United States Coast Guard Sector Boston; Commander Sean Kearns, Captain, USS Constitution; Pat Moscaritolo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau; Richard Doucette, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism; and Carol Troxell, President of Faneuil Hall Marketplace Merchants Association during the celebration to kick-off the festival.

Residents, visitors and businesses are invited to participate in the patriotic opening ceremony, which will feature the United States Navy Band Northeast's "Rhode Island Sound" vocalist Musician Second Class Laura Carey, who will lead the crowd in singing the National Anthem, and the ceremonial cutting of the Harborfest cake.  Captain Gelzer and Commander Kearns and special guests will use a cutglass (sword) to cut the cake, provided by Faneuil Hall Marketplace and created by Montillio's Baking Company. National Park Service Park Rangers and Freedom Trail® Players, dressed in 18th-century costume, will be on hand to offer historical information about Faneuil Hall and other sites along the Freedom Trail.

Held from July 1 through July 5, Harborfest celebrates the colonial and maritime heritage of America's independence in Boston. Over the years, Harborfest has grown from a local event to a national celebration. In 1982 there were 35 activities over the course of three days. Now in its 34th year, Harborfest is considered to be the largest patriotic celebration in the nation.

For more Harborfest information and a list of activities, please visit