Fourth of July is one of the most exciting days of the summer. It’s filled with the smell of grilled food, the laughter of happy children free from school at last, and the smiles of friends and family. Of course, no Independence Day celebrations would be complete without a free concert and fireworks, so here’s a rundown of some of the biggest local festivities for you and your family to enjoy. From Horribles parades to beachside bonfires and live music, this year’s Independence Day celebrations are sure to be fun for all ages!
The celebrations get started on July 3rd with a pet parade at Salisbury beach. Outfit your furry friend in fun costumes and beach ware, or let them flaunt their natural beauty while they strut around the Broadway loop of the beach. Awards will be given out for Best in Show, Best Dressed, Best Look Alike and Best Pound Pup. There will also be treats, photos and live music provided by DJ Ralphie B. The procession will begin at the top of the loop across from Bryan’s parking lot at 5p.m. Parade entry is free and there is no need to register, just show up with your pup and an appetite for fun!
5 p.m. Salisbury Beach, State Reservation Rd., Salisbury. Beachfests.org/events/pet-parade
Head back to the beach on the 4th for the Salisbury Beach Fireworks Celebration featuring live music from the B Street Bombers. The fireworks display will begin at 10:15, with the rockets flying over the open ocean. Get there early to snag waterfront seats, or attend a viewing party at either the deck at Surfside Salisbury Beach or upstairs in the Blue Sky Lounge.
Gloucester, Rockport, and Manchester-by-the-Sea all celebrate the Fourth together, spreading out the locations of the weekends events throughout all three towns.
The festivities begin in Gloucester on July 3 with a free concert on Stacey Boulevard starting at 5 p.m.
At 6 p.m. the annual Horribles Parade, a beloved town tradition, will commence. The route starts and ends at Gloucester High School and the parade will feature floats made by Gloucester residents and costumed locals of all ages.
Gloucester High School, 32 Leslie O Johnson Rd., Gloucester.
The concert will resume as soon as the parade has ended and will continue until the Grand Fireworks Display over Gloucester Harbor begins at 9:30 p.m. Make sure to get down to, or onto, the harbor early to make sure you have a good view.
On Monday, head over to Manchester-by-the-Sea at 10 a.m. to salute America during their Independence Day Parade. The parade features live marching bands, homemade floats, antique cars and more. Beginning at Manchester-by-the-Sea High School, the route winds its way through the town and ends at Coach Field Playground.
Manchester-by-the-Sea High School—36 Lincoln St, Manchester-by-the-Sea.
Coach Field Playground—38 Norwood Ave, Manchester-by-the-Sea.
At 6 p.m., switch to Rockport to see the Rockport Firemen’s Parade which starts at Rockport High School and ends at Back Beach.
Rockport High School—24 Jerdens Ln., Rockport.
Stick around Back Beach after the parade for free live music performed by the Rockport Legion Band starting at 8 p.m. The concert will be followed by the culmination of all the weekend’s activities, a big bonfire on Back Beach at 9:15 p.m.
All events are free. Rockportusa.com
Run by Beverly Farms—Prides Crossing Fourth of July Committee, the celebration begins with a free Family and Friends Cook out at the Hastings House on July 3rd. All are welcome to eat and watch as the judges choose the winners for the house decorating competition.
Hastings House—14 Oak St, Beverly.
The weekend continues with Beverly’s own Horribles Parade on the 4th starting at 8:00 a.m. on Oak Street. Head over to West Beach after, where races and game for kids will be held at 2 p.m., and later that evening live music and entertainment will be featured.
This all leads up to the grand finale, the Flare Dedication and Beach Illumination at 8:45 p.m., and the Aerial Fireworks Display at 9 p.m. Make sure to grab a spot in the sand and prepare to be amazed!
All events are free. For a complete schedule of the weekends events and a form to register your float for the Horribles Parade, visit beverlyfarms.org/fourth.
Salem’s events will all take place in the Salem Maritime Historic District and will begin with free kids activities at 4 p.m. Live entertainment, such as music and performers, starts at 5 p.m. and the evenings opening ceremonies will take place at 7:15 p.m. At 9:15 the fireworks take off over Salem harbor and will burst in the sky to a score provided by Hillyer Festival Orchestra, featuring songs such as the 1812 Overture and other patriotic music.
All events are free. 193 Derby St., Salem, Salem.com. Hillyerfestivalorchestra.com