The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is a uniquely American holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence took place on July 18, 1776 from the balcony of Boston's Old State House, which is located in the heart of downtown Boston and is one of 16 historic sites along Boston's Freedom Trail. Around the Boston area, you will find hundreds of events happening to celebrate Independence Day including historic reenactments, live music, food, and patriotic revelries. Many Independence Day activities are free to the general public.
The two largest celebrations in the city are Boston Harborfest and the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular:
Boston Harborfest is a five-day festival - considered to be the largest patriotic celebration in the nation - with visitors enjoying more than 200 events ranging from the turnaround of the USS Constitution, an active-duty US Navy vessel and the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, to Revolutionary-era historical reenactments, Boston's Chowderfest, where restaurants compete for the bragging rights of the title Best Clam Chowder in Boston, special walking tours, harbor cruises, concerts and more. A full schedule of events is available online at http://www.bostonharborfest.com/index.html.
The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is the most renowned of Boston’s Independence Day celebrations. Thousands of people gather along the banks of the Charles River on July 4th to picnic and enjoy an outdoor concert by the Boston Pops and nationally-acclaimed performers. The evening festivities culminate in a breathtaking fireworks display over the Charles River. For more information on the Fireworks Spectacular, visit http://www.july4th.org/.
Consider arriving early in Boston to take part in the many exciting Independence Day activities!