America’s Largest Fourth of July Celebration Marks Its 40th Edition

With events stretching from Downtown Crossing to the North End and from  the Boston Common to   Boston Harbor, the 40th edition of Boston Harborfest runs July 1-4, 2022 and remains the country’s largest – and Boston’s most  expansive –  Fourth of July celebration. Local and international leaders will oversee military music and pageantry during kick-off  events in Downtown  Crossing July 1. Harborfest highlights include a spectacular concert and fireworks display July 2 at  Christopher Columbus Park, a turn-around sail of the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor and family-friendly events daily (full  schedule below). Boston Harborfest ends July 4 with a 1 PM reading of an historic Frederick Douglass speech and a free ice cream  social in Downtown Crossing.

 “The City of Boston is known as the Cradle of Liberty for our role in the Revolution, and so it’s fitting that we are home to one of   the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the country,” says Mayor Michelle Wu. “Harborfest is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate our journey toward independence.”

Boston Harborfest is a collaboration between the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB), the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (Downtown Boston BID) and Conventures, Inc. Partners include the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Sports & Entertainment, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, Friends of Christopher Columbus Park, as well as the Freedom Trail Foundation and many sites along it.

Events happen each day; an updated schedule can be found at  The current schedule includes:

July 1 Highlights:

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.

All-Day Programming:

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” (Summer St. @ Washington St.)

July 2 Highlights:

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. (Summer Street Plaza, Downtown Crossing)

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. 

All-Day Programming:

11 AM-6 PM – music, auto, craft and family friendly events in Downtown Crossing including:

11 am-2 pm – Classic Car Showcase (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)

Unlikely Strummers Ukulele Band (12:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Franklin 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 (Downtown Crossing Steps)

The William Diamond Junior Fife & Drum Corps (from Lexington, Mass.)

The Sudbury Ancient Fyfe & Drum Company (Sudbury, Mass.)

The Middlesex County 4-H Fife & Drum Corps (regional)

3-6 pm – Dancing with DJ Bruno

July 3 Highlights:

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)

All-Day Programming:

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)

1-4 pm – Middlesex County Volunteers Fife and Drums (Downtown Crossing Steps)

4-6 pm – Opera Man and Friends (Downtown Crossing Steps)

July 4 Independence Day Highlights:

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 Mall)

“We are thrilled to be a partner in this iconic festival,” says Martha Sheridan, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Harborfest brings together so many Boston neighborhoods to celebrate our rich culture, unique history, maritime heritage, and diverse offerings. We welcome visitors from our region and beyond to Boston this Fourth of July for the 40th rendition of Harborfest!”

“Downtown Crossing is at the crossroads of history and commerce in Boston, making it a perfect central hub for Harborfest activities,” says George Comeau, Marketing and Brand Activation Manager for the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District. “The daily events here are designed for both residents and visitors, and the activities on the harbor are a short walk or ride from the heart of Downtown.”


Boston Harborfest sponsors include the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, Conventures Inc., M&T Bank, Boston Harbor City Cruises, Amazon, Cheers Boston, Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf, Hampton by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston Seaport District, Boston Park Plaza, Hyatt Regency Boston, Omni Hotels and Resorts at the Seaport Boston, and Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center.

Full information (schedule, directions and more) is available at

Conventures Inc. is New England’s premier special events agency, focused on integrated event management, experiential marketing, and integrated communications. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Conventures has managed notable area events for more than four decades and has been the driving force behind the area’s most memorable and high-profile public events and celebrations, including Sail Boston, First Night Boston, Boston Harborfest and more. For more information, visit us at

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is the primary private sector marketing and visitor services organization charged with the development of meetings, conventions and tourism-related business. Our goal is to enhance the economy of Boston, Cambridge and the metropolitan area.

The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (BID) was created by property owners committed to achieving the district’s full potential as a premier and vibrant destination. Our mission is to significantly improve the experience of all who live, work, visit, go to school or shop in the Downtown Boston BID by: providing supplemental services to keep the streets and sidewalks clean, upgrade the aesthetic appearance of the district, and make people feel welcomed and safe; promoting and fostering an energetic and thriving business climate in the area; and serving as the voice and advocate for the district.

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