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Boston Harborfest 2021

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Dates:Thursday, July 1, 2021 - Sunday, July 4, 2021
Hours:9:00am - 9:00pm
In/Outdoor:Outdoor
Cost:Free see below
Category:Holiday
boston harborfest 2021 photoBoston Harborfest is a decades-old tradition celebrating Boston’s harbor and history, and it’s back for 2021!

With hundreds of activities over Independence Day weekend at Boston’s best landmarks, this family-friendly event is one of the country’s largest Fourth of July festivals.

Activities include the annual opening ceremony in Downtown Crossing, historical reenactments, Freedom Trail walks, boat tours, live entertainment, and much more!

Traditional historical reenactments and Freedom Trail tours, along with other historical sites, will offer interactive experiences and festivities throughout the weekend, along with live musical entertainment and events that reflect the city’s seafaring heritage and innovative spirit.

2021 Event Highlights

THURSDAY, JULY 1, 2021

Boston Harborfest Kick-Off
11:30 AM
A public announcement with the Acting Mayor of Boston Kim Janey, the director of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau Martha Sheridan, and others will help kick off Boston Harborfest 2021. Roving reenactors and staff from the USS Constitution will attend the event and engage with visitors, while live performances fill Downtown Crossing.

DTX Arts Market - The Steps of Downtown Crossing
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Join us in Downtown Crossing (DTX) for an Arts and Crafts Market for you to peruse and shop. With vendors selling an array of local goods, it’s a very stroll-able activity to fill your day.

Summer Street - Entertainment
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
An array of local performances across all musical genres will perform from a stage in Downtown Crossing, free and for all to enjoy.

FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2021

DTX Arts Market - The Steps of Downtown Crossing
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Join us in Downtown Crossing (DTX) for an Arts and Crafts Market for you to peruse and shop. With vendors selling an array of local goods, it’s a very stroll-able activity to fill your day.


Summer Street Live Performances and Entertainment
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
An array of local performances across all musical genres will perform from a stage in Downtown Crossing, while historical re-enactors and costumed entertainers will engage with visitors to the area. A fashion show, sponsored by Macy’s will also take place on the main stage.

Macy’s Fashion Show on The Steps of Downtown Crossing
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Check out the latest trends in summer fashion as Macy’s struts new lines and sleek looks.

SATURDAY, JULY 3, 2021

Classic Car Showcase
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM - Summer Street

It’s beach-wagons and beyond at the Harborfest Classic Car Showcase. Chat with owners and look under the hood on an array of classic vehicles from yesteryear. A must for car lovers!


Roaming Performances and Entertainment
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM - The Steps of Downtown Crossing
An array of local performer and re-enactors will roam through Downtown Crossing, while historical re-enactors and costumed entertainers will engage with visitors to the area. Musical performances across all musical genres will perform nearby, free and for all to enjoy.


Float Your Boat
An Independence-themed parade of creatively-decorated motorboats designed to create a festive coming-out splash on Boston’s breezy Inner Harbor. The event will adhere to all safety protocols established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, the Coast Guard, and public health officials.

Entrance to the boat parade is free and accessible via a pre-registration process for boat captains (register your vessel her).The parade route, once finalized, will be shared publicly with public viewpoints denoted.

Parade participants will be eligible for three separate awards and a panel of judges will determine the winners:

*Most Creative
*Most Fun (i.e. the boat you wish you were on!)
*Grand Prize to the boat that best captures the spirit of Independence
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Boston Inner Harbor

SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2021

The City of Boston’s 254th Independence Day Celebration Parade
9:00 AM - City Hall Plaza to Downtown Crossing
A short parade will step off from City Hall Plaza and pass the Granary Burial Ground, where wreaths will be laid on the graves of patriots.The parade continues through Downtown Crossing to the Old State House where the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company will continue its tradition of reading of the Declaration of Independence from the balcony. Parade viewing will be available along the route and in Downtown Crossing.


*Schedule subject to change

The City of Boston’s Official Independence Day Commemoration | July 4
Come to the 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.

Visit the Historic Freedom Trail
Walk into History® and experience over 250 years of history! Explore Boston’s iconic red line and enjoy special programs and activities at 16 official Freedom Trail historic sites and tours led by 18th-century costumed guides!

Download Event Highlights

*Schedule subject to change

There are hundreds of activities over a 4-day period at Boston’s best landmarks, making this family-friendly event the country’s largest Fourth of July festival.

Columbus Park will host a family-friendly movie screening on the lawn while live entertainment will regale audiences throughout the weekend.

Various sailors will decorate their boats and light up the harbor as live music takes over Long Wharf, leading up to an incredible fireworks display over Boston's Inner Harbor.

Visitors are also invited to board and tour the USS Mesa Verde from North Jetty (26-98 Fid Kennedy Ave, Boston, MA 02210), 12pm - 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday! The USS Mesa Verde is a San Antonio-Class amphibious transport dock in commission since 2007. No flip flops allowed on board. Wait time to board is about an hour.

The award-winning festival strives to honor and remember the past, celebrate the present and educate the future with reenactments, concerts, historical tours and much, much more.

View the full list of events

Over 200 Daily Events during the weeklong festival are concentrated in Boston's historic downtown and waterfront districts, with Main Sponsored Events on Boston's City Hall Plaza.

Over the years, Harborfest has grown from a local event to a national celebration. In 1982 there were 35 activities over the course of three days. Harborfest is considered to be the largest patriotic celebration in the nation with visitors enjoying more than 200 activities during the weeklong festival.

There's no better place to celebrate our nation's independence than at Boston Harborfest.

Find lots more ideas on fun things to do in Boston.

COST↑ top

Most events are free however there is a cost associated with certain ones. Please visit bostonharborfest.com to see a full list of events.

WEBSITE↑ top

www.bostonharborfest.com

LOCATION↑ top

City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA map

TIPS↑ top

REVIEWS↑ top

2-starChildren's Day Is Lame
A large presence of the Naval recruiting folk at an event for young children. Free samples of processed meat and high fructose corn syrup for the kids. Ridiculous lines for a single person making balloon animals and for face painting. Mayor Mumbles just Barely sounding out a children's book. This was one of the few days this summer I think we were glad it started raining.

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