The Fourth of July holiday is – let’s be real – a full four days this year, from Saturday, July 1, to Tuesday, July 4. Find anything and everything to do with a red, white and blue theme in New England.
We love the towns that host a Big Shebang – our name for full-day or full-weekend celebrations that may include includes parades and fireworks (naturally) along with cookouts, art shows and car shows, family games, dog- and doll carriage parades, boat cruises.
Here are a few of our favorites:
A carnival and skateboard competition – along with many other events – take over Waterfront Park. Tank up at the chili and chowder competitions
Vermonters celebrate the holiday on the front lawn of their gold-domed State Capitol. Enjoy food, crafts, and Family Olympics – silly versions of relays, tennis, hurdles, mazes and relays.
The glorious Omni Mount Washington hotel and Bretton Woods Ski Area are ground zero for family games, balloon twisting, a country cook out and live music before the fireworks light up the lofty White Mountains.
You can practically leap frog from one parade to the next in this cluster of seaside communities north of Boston. (People who like some quiet time can enjoy coasting through the region’s many art galleries.) Your reward is beach bonfire in Rockport on the evening of the Fourth
If nostalgia is your love, Mystic Seaport presents a Fourth of July as it was done in about 1876: boat races, picnicking, a parade, a coronet concert, croquet, ice cream churning, and 19th-century lawn games. Kids will be fascinated.
Fans of “Drum Line” – see champion drum and bugle corps from across the country (e.g., Rhode Island to Texas) at Rhode Island’s annual drum and bugle competition. This is a side event of the family Bristol Fourth of July parade in that sweet small city on Narragansett Bay.