One of summer’s biggest holidays, Independence Day, is just around the corner. Beach trips, barbeque's and fireworks are all hallmarks of this celebration and there is no shortage of any of these fun activities in New England. With so much to choose from, the hardest part of planning your festivities will be figuring out how to fit everything in.
Even if you aren’t a Massachusetts resident, heading to Boston for Independence Day is well worth the drive. This year marks the 30th
annual Boston Harborfest
, an award winning festival with over 200 daily events. This six-day extravaganza starts on June 29 and culminates on the Fourth of July. The opening ceremonies take place in Faneuil Hall, while the other main events will occur at City Hall Plaza.
There is one main event each day of the festival, including Children’s Day, The Redcoats are Coming!, Extreme Sailing Series and Chowderfest. Topping it all off is the Fourth of July Concert on the Esplanade, where you can hear the sounds of the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart, while watching a spectacular fireworks performance. Check through the schedule of daily events ahead of time so that you can plan your trip to include all of your favorites. The schedule can be found at www.bostonharborfest.com/dailyevents.html.
Rhode Island residents also have the opportunity to combine a concert with a fireworks show. The Rhode Island Philharmonic will be performing a Summer Pops concert on July 4 at India Point Park in Providence. The celebrations begin at 7:30pm and the fireworks show will begin at 9:15pm. For a list of other places in Rhode Island where you can see fireworks, head to www.centralrichamber.com/fireworks.htm
Grilling a perfect cut of steak and finding the best fireworks show are probably at the forefront of your mind this Independence Day, but if you want to learn more about the history of this national holiday, you can take your family on an educational tour to learn about the Revolutionary War. The Backroad Discovery Tours, based out of Manchester, Vermont, will take you on a trip to discover sites of local importance for both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Tours set off daily, so you can schedule an excursion the week before the big day and then impress your friends with your new knowledge at your celebrations. For more information, you can go to the company’s website at www.backroaddiscovery.com.
The festivities don’t end as soon as the calendar turns to July 5. If you head to Hartford, Connecticut, on July 9, you can continue your celebration at Riverfest. This event is packed full of free fun for kids, live music and clowns. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the spectacular fireworks display over the Connecticut River. The schedule of events can be found at www.riverfront.org/events/festivals.
Many New Englanders like to take advantage of the beautiful, warm weather in July and combine their Independence Day celebrations with a beach trip. Hampton Beach in New Hampshire is a great place for summer fun for the whole family. Kids and adults will marvel at the sights of the sand sculpting competition, ending on June 29. If you are heading to the beach on the Fourth of July, you can walk along the boardwalk and play arcade games before seeing the firework show happening that evening. See what else there is to do at www.hamptonbeach.org.
Summer in New England is just bursting with fun activities. Celebrate this Independence Day your favorite way.