Festivities marking the nation's 243rd birthday will be held around the Berkshires. All events are on Thursday July 4, unless otherwise noted. Planning a trip to Boston? See MassDOT's traffic information.
A list of what's open and closed on the holiday can be found here.
The annual July 4 Esplanade Events are July 3 night practice (no fireworks) and Thursday night with fireworks following the Boston Pops, which begin at 8. This year's event features a flyover, Queen Latifah and Arlo Guthrie. MBTA usually runs free after the July 4 concert. More information here.
Shakespeare & Company is hosting its annual free celebration with music and activities, with food available for purchase, beginning at 1:30 and with a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 3 p.m.
James Taylor and his All-Star Band is returning to Tanglewood for July 3 and 4. A fireworks display over Stockbridge Bowl follows the concert on July 4.
The SteepleCats will face off at 6:30 p.m. against the Vermont Mountaineers at Joe Wolfe Field, followed by the annual fireworks display at around 9:30 p.m.
The city celebrates the opening of the new spray park at Noel Field at 11 a.m.
The annual Fourth of July Parade begins at 10 a.m. — rain or shine — at the corner of South and West Housatonic streets and ends at historic Wahconah Park. This year's theme is "The Berkshires: Past, Present, and Future." Retired Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski is the grand marshal and U.S. Rep. Richie Neal will march in the parade.
There will be parking restrictions in place along the parade route with adjacent side streets being utilized for by police for staging. Restricted parking signs will be in place throughout the route and staging areas on July 3 and enforced on July 4 starting at 6 a.m.
The staging area includes West Housatonic Street from Center Street to South Street, South Street, Wendell Avenue, Bartlett Avenue, Broad Street, Taconic Street, Pomeroy Avenue north of Broad Street, East Housatonic Street and the included area. The parade route includes South Street, Bank Row, Park Place, North Street, and Wahconah Street.
The Pittsfield Suns take on the North Shore Navigators beginning at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks follow the game.
Williamstown hosts the annual July 4 parade beginning at 11 a.m. from Southworth Street and marching to Spring Street for a community barbecue. The annual BBQ at the bottom of Spring Street starts at noon.
Williams College hosts the annual July 4 reading of the Declaration of Independence and a speech by Frederick Douglass by actors from the Williamstown Theatre Festival at 1:30 p.m. at Sawyer Library. The event is free and open to the public.
Actors will read from the second-floor outside balcony of Sawyer Library. Visitors should gather on the library quad between Schapiro and Hollander halls. In case of inclement weather, the event will take place inside the library.
The day also features an artisan market from 10 to 2, the Capital Brass Band from noon to 1, and family activities from 9 to 1, all on Spring Street, and free swim at Sand Springs from noon to 7. Other events and information can be found here. Fireworks start around 9:30 at Taconic Golf Course.
MassDOT encourages safe travel during the upcoming July 4 holiday. Before traveling, drivers are encouraged to check the live Traffic Cameras web page for a look at current traffic. More information on holiday travel can be found here. Download MassDOT's GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions
All MBTA service will be free after 9:30 p.m. on the 4th. All subway, buses, and trackless trolley will operate on a Sunday schedule; subway service will then operate at rush-hour levels of service beginning at 2 p.m.
For travelers visiting the Cape, consider the train! The CapeFLYER train will be running on a Saturday/Sunday schedule for July 3 & 4. Visit www.capeflyer.com for complete schedules and ticket information.
Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m., Thursday, July 4, through 5 a.m., Friday, July 5. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.
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