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Boston Harborfest 2022

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Dates:Friday, July 1, 2022 - Monday, July 4, 2022
Hours:9:00am - 9:00pm
Cost:Free see below
boston harborfest 2022 photoBoston Harborfest is a decades-old tradition celebrating Boston’s harbor and history, and it’s back for 2022!

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.

2022 Event Highlights

Live Music
Downtown Crossing will host a variety of musical acts that will be free and open to the public. Focusing on local groups that highlight Boston’s vibrant music scene, talented artists will take the stage to provide live programming throughout the event.

The City of Boston’s Official Independence Day Commemoration
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!

View the entire schedule

12 Noon – Harborfest Opening Ceremony with City of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, city and state elected officials, the British Consul General, travel and tourism industry leaders, and presence of military and historical groups. Includes a ceremonial cake-cutting, Colonial “living historians” and more.

11 AM thru 6 PM – Family-friendly music, fashion and entertainment events in Downtown Crossing:
11 am-5 pm – DTX Arts and Crafts Market (Summer St. Plaza)
11:30 am-1 pm – 215th Army Band (Downtown Crossing Steps)
12 n-2 pm – Through Me To You Puppetry (near Downtown Crossing Steps)
12 n-2 pm and 4:30-6:30 pm– Downtown Boston Brass (roaming)
12 n-2 pm and 5-7pm – Mediterranean Band (roaming)
1-4 pm – Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums (Downtown Crossing Steps)
2-4 pm – Macy’s “Red, White & Blue” Fashion Show with nautical and Americana theme (Summer St. @ Washington St.)

12 Noon – Chowderfest. Visitors can sample a variety of chowders from local restaurants, as a panel of judges visit each vendor and declare a chowder winner.
6-9 PM – Harborfest Pre-Fireworks Concert featuring Sweet Harmony and local talent performing Broadway standards and iconic patriotic songs, with children’s activities throughout. (Christopher Columbus Park, North End)
9:15 PM – Boston Harborfest Fireworks (Inner Harbor @ Long Wharf/Columbus Park) Presented by M&T Bank, a spectacular display lights up the city sky above Boston’s Inner Harbor at approximately 9:15 PM.

11 AM-6 PM – music, auto, craft and family friendly events in Downtown Crossing including:
11 am-2 pm – Classic Car Showcase – more than a dozen unique cars (Summer St. Plaza)
11 am-5 pm – DTX Arts and Crafts Market (Summer St. Plaza)
12-2 pm – Through Me To You Puppetry (near Downtown Crossing Steps)
12-2 pm – Unlikely Strummers Ukulele Band (Downtown Crossing Steps)
12-2 pm and 4:30-6:30 pm– Downtown Boston Brass (roaming)
12-2 pm and 5-7 pm – Mediterranean Band (roaming)
2-6 pm – Fife and Drums Showcase (throughout Downtown BID) including a 5 PM parade down Washington Street to the Downtown Crossing Steps
The William Diamond Junior Fife & Drum Corps (from Lexington, Mass.)
The Sudbury Ancient Fyfe & Drum Company (Sudbury, Mass.)
Middlesex County 4-H Fife & Drum Corp
3-6 pm – Dancing with DJ Bruno

12 Noon-2 PM – Patriotic Pooch Parade (Summer St. Plaza). A beloved annual event for our four-legged loved ones with a guest panel awarding great prizes for Best in Show, Best Team, Most Creative and Most Patriotic. Registration required here to enter.
12 Noon-6 PM – Revolutionary War Re-enactors (Downtown Crossing)

12 Noon-7 PM – A variety of music and family friendly events in Downtown Crossing including:
12-2 pm – Through Me To You Puppetry (Downtown Crossing Steps)
12-2 pm and 4:30-6:30 pm– Downtown Boston Brass (roaming)
12-2 pm and 5-7 pm – Mediterranean Band (roaming)
2-4 pm – Downtown Doo-Wop Singers (Downtown Crossing Steps)
1-4 pm – Middlesex County Volunteers Fife and Drums (Downtown Crossing Steps)
4-6 pm – Opera Man and Friends (Downtown Crossing Steps)

9 AM – City of Boston’s 246th Independence Day Celebration. A short parade steps off from City Hall Plaza and passes Granary Burying Ground, where wreaths will be laid on the graves of patriots. The parade continues through Downtown Crossing to the Old State House.
10 AM – Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company carries on its tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence from the balcony of the Old State House.
11:30 AM – USS Constitution sails through Boston Harbor (viewing shoreside and around Boston Harbor)
1:00 PM – “What to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?,” the famous speech by scholar and abolitionist Frederick Douglass gets a public reading by citizens including youth and community leaders organized by the New Democracy Coalition, with performances from gospel singers and dancers. (Downtown Crossing Steps)
1:30 PM – Ice Cream Social (Downtown Crossing Steps)
TBD – Middlesex County Volunteers Fife and Drums Concert (Washington Street)

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 fun things to do in Boston during the summer in our July & August guides to family fun.  And since summer is a great time to be outside, check out our guide to Boston outdoor activities, featuring lots of cool places to enjoy a beautiful summer day. 

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

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



City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA map

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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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