As one of the country's biggest holidays approaches, it may be time to consider where you'll be on the Fourth of July. There are several celebratory events around Boston, one of America's first cities, for residents of Massachusetts retirement communities to engage in.
Celebrate Boston's history
There are a handful of historical attractions taking place on Indepdence Day, particularly downtown. You can watch the USS Constitution, one of the first naval ships, do her annual turnaround cruise in the harbor. This year is your last chance to see the ship for a few years because she's going under construction and restoration from 2015 to 2018.
The Freedom Trail Tours will be offering free tours periodically throughout the day with particular themes. Choose between "Meetings, Mobs, and Martyrs," "From Allegiance to Revolution" and "Taking the High Ground."
A flag raising ceremony and a short parade will commence at City Hall Plaza at 9 a.m. The parade goes from city hall to the Granary Burial Ground and ends at the Old State House. Stop by the Old North Church around 3 p.m. for a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by costumed interpreters.
Check out the fireworks
Boston's annual fireworks show is a widely-popular collaboration with the Boston Pops Orchestra that takes place at the Hatch Shell. Though some people feel front row seats on the esplanade are the best, there are several factors to consider if you're thinking about watching the show from that area.
The space opens at 9 a.m. and is often filled up by 2 p.m., so you have to get there early. There are several restrictions for what you can bring with you, including backpacks and coolers on wheels. Additionally, personal items are supposed to be carried in clear bags. The actual concert begins at 8:30 p.m. and fireworks are set off from 10:30 to 11 p.m.
If you're mostly interested in watching the Boston Pops perform, there is a rehearsal at 7:30 p.m. July 3. The show is open to the public, but there aren't any fireworks involved. Alternatively, you can listen to the concert on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 or CBSBoston.com and watch the whole program on WBZ-TV. There are also less crowded areas to seek out if you want to see the fireworks in person such as the Boston University Bridge and along the Charles River on the Cambridge side.
According to Boston.com, this year's show will include guest appearances from the Beach Boys, the Boston Children's Chorus, the cast of "Phantom of the Opera" and Broadway actress Megan Hilty.