Kicks off with opening remarks, music from the 215th Army Band and the cutting of a custom-designed cake on the West End of Faneuil Hall Marketplace on Friday, June 30 beginning at Noon. Boston Harborfest continues through July 4, 2017. Be sure to check out the full schedule of events.
Boston POPS Fireworks Spectacular
At 8:30pm Conductor Keith Lockhart directs the Boston POPS Orchestra at the Hatch Shell, on the Esplanade, performing the identical concert which will be played on July 4th minus the fireworks display. Seating for this free event is on a first come basis, it will be crowded, but not as much as on the 4th.
The City of Boston's Official Independence Day Commemoration
(Flag Raising Ceremony & Parade)
At 9am there is a flag raising ceremony on City Hall Plaza followed by a parade to the Granary Burial Ground, where wreaths are laid on the graves of the patriots. The parade then continues to the Old State House.
Reading of the Declaration of Independence
At 10am the Declaration of Independence is read from the balcony of the Old State House just as it was read to the citizens of Boston on July 18, 1776.
Boston POPS Does the Fourth & Fireworks
At 8:30pm Conductor Keith Lockhart directs the Boston POPS at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, the seating for this free event is on a first come basis (area opens to the public at 9am). Pop sensation Andy Grammer, American folk rock singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge and Leslie Odom, Jr., of Hamilton fame will headline the 2017 celebrations. This televised program is followed by a spectacular 23-minute fireworks display over the Charles River. The best place for viewing the fireworks is along Memorial Drive on the Cambridge side of the Charles River. For more information visit july4th.org
These boat companies afford great viewing sites as well:
Boston Harbor Cruises 1-877-SEE-WHALE, (877) 733-9425
Massachusetts Bay Line 617-542-8000
Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships 617-742-0333
Classic Harbor Line 617-951-2460
Entertainment Cruises 800-700-0735
Charles River Boat Company 617-621-3001
Constitution Yacht Charters 617-241-9640
Bay State Cruises 617-748-1428
The Top of the Hub restaurant, located on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Tower at 800 Boylston Street, pipes the concert into the restaurant and offers spectacular viewing of the fireworks display while enjoying dinner and/or cocktails, call 617-536-1775 for reservations.
The Lenox Hotel offers a rooftop party which includes overnight accommodations, dinner at City Table and spectacular views of the fireworks under the stars on their roof 800-225-7676.
Boston by Foot:
BBF offers several tours on the 4th, including "Footloose on the Freedom Trail" and "Ben Franklin: Son of Boston" during the day and the Dark Side of Boston at 6pm. Boston by Foot
Charles Riverboat Company:
Enjoy a 60-minute, fully-narrated sightseeing cruise along the Charles River. Your captain and crew will both entertain and educate while pointing out the historic and cultural sights of Boston and Cambridge. Charles Riverboat Company
Charlestown Navy Yard:
Come celebrate the amazing progress of USS Constitution's current restoration. After viewing hidden parts of the Ship now revealed during dry dock, visit the Museum and discover the secrets that made her so successful. The Museum's new interactive exhibit, Forest to Frigate, lets you examine the science, technology, and engineering that created a superior warship and challenges you to put your knowledge and skill to use in designing your own. Hands on/minds programs and exhibits ongoing throughout Harborfest and beyond!" Constitution Museum
Watch a short film that tells the stories behind Massachusetts' national parks including a glimpse at our revolutionary history. Or take in a Faneuil Hall talk with a NPS Ranger, discovering its importance as a marketplace and meeting place from the 18th-century to the present. At 11am the "Great Oration," in The Great Hall is delivered by a prominent citizen. National Park Services
Freedom Trail Foundation:
Walk Into History Tours along Boston's iconic Freedom Trail led by 18th century costumed guides (90 minutes) Admission $8-$14, tickets online. Tours depart from the Boston Common Visitors Center as well as the BosTix kiosk next to Faneuil Hall. At Noon there's an African-American Patriots Tour departing from the Boston Common. Freedom Trail Foundation
Meetings, Mobs, Martyrs Tours - From Faneuil Hall to the Old South Meeting House
Join a National Park Service Ranger for a 60 minute walk focusing on Faneuil Hall, Old State House, Boston Massacre Site, and Old South Meeting House. National Park Service
Old North Church:
Guided tours of the Church's bell ringing chamber and crypt offered on the hour and half hour all day except for 12:00 and 12:30. At 10am, join costumed interpreters for a lively reading of the Declaration of Independence. And don't miss the Chocolate Demonstrations! Old North Church
Old South Meeting House:
Free for children 18 and younger. Eavesdrop on meetings leading up to the Boston Tea Party, participate in scavenger hunts, and take a quiz to determine whether YOU would have been Patriot or Loyalist. Old South Meeting House
Old State House:
Characters from the pages of history will return to the Old State House after 240 years to share with visitors what it was like to live in Boston in the days leading up to the American Revolution. Declaration of Independence will be read from the balcony at 10am as it was on July 18, 1776. Old State House
For more 4th of July ideas and a list of events visit our Calendar.