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City of Boston kicks-off 38th annual Harborfest

July 1, 2019

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the City of Boston will kick-off the 38th annual Boston Harborfest at Faneuil Hall Marketplace on Tuesday, July 2 at 11:00 a.m.

BOSTON - Friday, June 28, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the City of Boston will kick-off the 38th annual Boston Harborfest at Faneuil Hall Marketplace on Tuesday, July 2 at 11:00 a.m.

"Boston's pivotal role in our nation's independence, along with our rich maritime history, are major cornerstones of our city's identity," said Mayor Walsh. "Harborfest invites residents and visitors to come together to celebrate our city's history during this multi-day July 4th celebration."

The kick-off event will be attended by Rear Admiral Andrew J. Tiongson, Commander, First Coast Guard District United States Coast Guard; Commander Nathaniel Shick, 75th Commanding Officer, USS Constitution; Captain Eric Doucette, Captain of the Port of Boston, United States Coast Guard; Martha Sheridan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau; Joe O'Malley, General Manager of Faneuil Hall Marketplace; and Pam Messenger, Vice Chair, Downtown Boston Business Improvement District; and Harborfest partners.

Residents, visitors and businesses are invited to participate in the patriotic opening ceremony, which will feature the Middlesex County Volunteers Fife & Drum Corps who will create excitement with patriotic music, and the ceremonial cutting of the Harborfest cake. Rear Admiral Tiongson, and Commander Shick and special guests will use a cutlass (sword) to cut the cake, provided by Faneuil Hall Marketplace and created by Montilio's Baking Company. National Park Service Park Rangers and Freedom Trail® Players, dressed in 18th-century costume, will be on hand to offer historical information about Faneuil Hall and other official historic sites along the Freedom Trail.

Held from July 1 through July 7,  Boston Harborfest is a multi-day festival with activities celebrating American Independence, honoring the city's colonial roots, and showcasing Boston's vibrant harbor. 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. Now in its 38th year, Harborfest is considered to be the country's largest Fourth of July festival with hundreds of activities over a week-long period at Boston's best landmarks.

The family-friendly festival includes the annual opening ceremony at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, historical reenactments, Freedom Trail® tours and historic sites' programs and events, activities along Boston Harbor, live entertainment, and much more.  

Harborfest special festivities include Arts at Harborfest, which brings local artists and their works to Downtown Crossing on Monday, July 1 from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; Chowderfest, pitting several city restaurants against each other to see who's best, on Tuesday, July 2 from 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. in Downtown Crossing; and the highly-anticipated Parade of Lights, an elegant promenade of festively-lit boats of all shapes and sizes on Boston Harbor, on Tuesday, July 2 at 8:45 p.m. followed by Harborfest fireworks launching at approximately 9:30 p.m. On July 4, the annual City of Boston's Official Independence Day Commemoration, including a flag raising ceremony and parade will begin at 9:00 a.m. on City Hall Plaza. The parade will travel from Boston City Hall to the Granary Burying Ground for a wreath laying honoring America's patriots, and to the Old State House for the official July 4th reading of the Declaration of Independence.

For more Harborfest information and a list of activities, please call 617-439-7700 or visit www.bostonharborfest.com.