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Celebrate July 4th in Boston: Parade, Reading of Declaration of Independence, POPS and Fireworks


Boston celebrates Independence Day like no other city in the country. There is a parade, concerts and the Declaration of Independence is read from the same site as it was in 1776! 

The following is from the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau's website:

July 3rd

Boston POPS Fireworks Spectacular
At 8:30 pm 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.

July 4th

The City of Boston's Official Independence Day Commemoration
(Flag Raising Ceremony & Parade)
At 9 am, 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 patriots. The parade then continues to the Old State House.

Reading of the Declaration of Independence
At this event held at 10 am, you can hear the Declaration of Independence read from the balcony of the Old State House -- by the current Captain Commanding of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company -- just as it was read to the citizens of Boston on July 18, 1776.

Boston POPS Does the Fourth & Fireworks
At 8:30 pm Boston POPS 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 9 am). Singer/songwriter Rachel Platten, Rhiannon Giddens of The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Indigo Girls and Rita Moreno will headline the 2018 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. 


Take a Tour

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. Visit the Freedom Trail Foundation's website for more info.

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. Visit the National Park Service's website for more info.