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Your guide to Harborfest

Break out the red, white, and blue and prepare to party in the USA Boston-style during the city’s Independence Day celebrations.

Confetti outside of the Old State House during Harborfest celebrations.

Don’t miss the reading of the Declaration of Independence during Harborfest celebrations.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that every Bostonian will find something fun to check out at Harborfest this year.

During the 42nd annual Boston Harborfest, our city will celebrate the Fourth of July with the country’s largest Independence Day celebration. The five-day long event (Friday, June 30-Tuesday, July 4) will feature live music performances, kid-friendly activities, historical re-enactments, and costumed characters.

Here’s what not miss during the patriotic party.

Three people holding an American flag in the Harborfest parade.

The parade will begin at City Hall and head to the Granary Burying Ground.

Friday, June 30

  • The celebrations kick off at 12 p.m. with a ceremonial cake-cutting with public officials and hospitality leaders.
  • Shop local vendors at the Downtown Boston Arts Market from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. along Summer Street Plaza.

Saturday, July 1

  • Head down to the waterfront for a pre-fireworks concert at Christopher Columbus Park at 6 p.m. and grab a spot at Long Wharf for the big booms at 9:15 p.m.
  • Middlesex County Volunteers Fife and Drums will perform from 1 to 4 p.m. at locations like the Old State House, Old City Hall, and Old South Meeting House.

Sunday, July 2

  • Bring the dogs out for a dog-themed marketplace called the Patriotic Poochapalooza. Think: A costume contest and plenty of treats.

Monday, July 3

  • Grab a sample or two of clam chowder from local restaurants at Chowderfest from 2 to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, July 4

  • Watch the Independence Day parade from City Hall Plaza to the Old State House beginning at 9 a.m. Plus, stick around for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence from the balcony.
  • Listen to a reading of Frederick Douglass’ abolitionist speech at 1:30 p.m. and grab a sweet treat from the ice cream social right after at Downtown Crossing.
  • Finish the long weekend with the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the Hatch Memorial Shell.