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Boston Harborfest 2020 - CANCELLED

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Dates:Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - Saturday, July 4, 2020
Hours:9:00am - 9:00pm
Cost:Free see below
boston harborfest 2020 - cancelled photoPlease note:† Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most large gatherings, including annual†festivals, parades and concerts are cancelled or will be held virtually through Labor Day 2020.†

Boston Harborfest is a decades-old tradition celebrating Bostonís harbor and history.

With hundreds of activities over Independence Day weekend at Bostonís best landmarks, this family-friendly event is one of the countryís 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!

Signature programming takes place in Columbus Park throughout the weekend including the popular Arts at Harborfest festival on Saturday, and the crowd-pleasing Taste of Harborfest, featuring a Boston-wide clam chowder competition, on Sunday.

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 cityís seafaring heritage and innovative spirit.

Event Highlights 2019

Arts at Harborfest | Monday, July 1
Calling local art buffs! Local artists will display and sell their work from Downtown Crossing.

Live Music | Monday, July 1 Ė Wednesday, July 3
Downtown Crossing will host a variety of musical acts that will be free and open to the public. Focusing on local groups that highlight Bostonís vibrant music scene, talented artists will take the stage to provide live programming throughout the event.

38th Annual Boston Harborfest Opening Ceremony | Tuesday, July 2
Harborfest kicks off with an opening ceremony at Bostonís Faneuil Hall. Colonial era reenactments, a short speaking program, and the traditional cutting of the cake will help kick things off.

Chowderfest | Tuesday, July 2
The annual Chowderfest returns to Harborfest! Itís your chance to taste free samples from Bostonís best restaurants, and vote on which chowder reigns supreme.

Parade of Lights & Fireworks | Tuesday, July 2
After eight years, this elegant promenade of festively-lit boats of all shapes and sizes returns to light the Inner Harbor and the dramatically-changed Seaport skyline. A dazzling fireworks display culminates what is sure to become the most anticipated Harborfest annual event.

The City of Bostonís Official Independence Day Commemoration | Thursday, July 4, 2019
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 Historyģ and experience over 250 years of history! Explore Bostonís 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 Bostonís best landmarks, making this family-friendly event the countryís 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.




City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA map

TIPS↑ 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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