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Things to Do in Boston: July 4th Weekend

There is plenty of events and celebrations happening July 4th weekend in Downtown Crossing, on the Boston Waterfront and at the Hatch Shell.

Boston Harborfest

There are more than 100 events through Boston Harborfest from July 1st to July 4th. Click here for information about all Harborfest events. Below are some signature events of Harborfest (from the Harborfest website):

Opening Ceremony

On Friday, July 1st at 1 pm. Dignitaries from the City of Boston will kick off to the 35th Annual Boston Harborfest at Faneuil Hall. The 215th Army Band will play to the crowd to get the celebration started. Following a few short speeches, the representatives will cut the Official Boston Harborfest cake!

United States Navy Welcome

TBA time. Friday, July 1st, the City of Boston will welcome the USS Mesa Verde to the North Jetty in the Seaport.

Vocal Revolution Performance in Downtown Crossing

On Friday, July 1st from 1 to 2 pm. The Vocal Revolution Men’s Chorus, sponsored by the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, will be performing on Summer Street outside Macy’s in Downtown Crossing. Vocal Revolution were the winners of WGBH’s second season of Sing That Thing earlier this year.

Columbus Park Live Music and Movie Screening

At 6 pm, Friday, July 1st, live entertainment will begin in Christopher Columbus Park and lead up to a family-friendly movie screening on the lawn.

The Arts at Harborfest

From 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday, July 2nd, local artists will display and sell their art, curated by Artists Crossing, under the trellis at Christopher Columbus Park.


At 9 pm, various sailors will decorate their boats and light up the Inner Harbor on Saturday, July 2nd. Live music on Long Wharf will lead up to an incredible fireworks display over Boston’s Inner Harbor.

Taste of Harborfest

From 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, July 3rd, restaurants along the waterfront will showcase and sell their culinary creations on Long Wharf alongside live entertainment.

Queen Mary 2

At noon on Monday, July 4th, Queen Mary 2 will sail into Boston, docking overnight for the fireworks and setting sail again on July 5.

At the Old South mEETING House

"No Tax on Tea!" A Colonial Tea Tax Debate

On Thursday, June 30th, 11 am to noon, there will be a recreation of the fiery debate that took place on December 16, 1773, about the debate of the tea tax. Participants are welcome to join in by reading from a prepared character card. 

Scavenger Hunt: Where the Boston Tea Party Began!

From Friday, July 1st through Monday, July 4th, 9:30 am to 5 pm daily. Participants can piece together clues to learn what all the fuss was about tea in 1773 and discover how the Boston Tea Party began at the Old South Meeting House. This is a scavenger hunt for ages 6 and up.

Patriot or Loyalist?

From Friday, July 1st through Monday, July 4th, 9:30 am to 5 pm daily. Take the Old South Meeting House's quiz to find out whether you would've been a Patriot or Loyalist during colonial Boston times. 

Whispers of Revolution

On Friday, 1st, 11-11:30 am and 1:30-2 pm. Listen to a Patriot and a Tory talk about how the Boston Tea Party was planned in secrecy. Costume reenactors will take you back in time as you learn about what was being discussed in backrooms, taverns and storerooms. 

Click here for more information about these events and admission prices.

At the Old State House 

Revolutionary Boston Pub Quiz Night

On Thursday, June 30th, 6 to 8 pm. Enjoy a beer while you participate in a historical trivia game about colonial and early America. All are welcome - come by yourself or bring a team. Registration is required for a $15 ticket. Click here for tickets. Two beers or non-alcoholic beverages are included in the ticket price with additional beverages available for purchase.

King Street Walking Tour

On Friday, July 1st at 2 pm. Join a tour that will transport you back to the 18th century in Boston. The tour begins at the Old State House and will last one hour. Come with comfortable walking shoes, water and all-weather gear because the tour is rain or shine. The event is free but pre-registration is required by clicking here

Annual Reading of Declaration of Independence

On Monday, July 4th at 10 am. Since 1776, America's independence has been declared from the Old State House balcony. Come for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence by a member of Boston's Ancient and the Honorable Artillery Company. This is a free event.

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the hatch shell

One of the most beloved events is the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the Hatch Shell. On Sunday, July 3rd the Boston Pops will perform a concert starting at 8 pm. There are no fireworks on July 3rd at the Hatch Shell.

On Monday, July 4th, the Boston Pops concert begins at 8:30 pm and can be heard on WBZ-AM 1030 radio or WBZ-TV. The fireworks begin at 10:30 pm. Click here for the full schedule.