(Can you figure out what's going on in the painting?)
Honestly, I like being low-key on the 4th of July. A cookout with friends/family is perfect. A cookout with strangers is okay too; I would look for a building with a roof deck...
There are bars with roof decks, although most probably don't have a good view for the fireworks above the Charles. The Baseball Tavern has a deal for BBQ Buffet and a "specialty cocktail" ($15) on their top floor. Across the street, I assume Jerry Remy's will be open. Maybe Daedalus has a decent view as well.
For some reason, there are freebies/discounts to be found at different places on the USA B-day. For example:
* Starbucks will give you a free tall hot brewed coffee. (Yep, walk in and get a coffee -- so leave a nice tip.)Today's Harborfest highlights are listed separately for (hopefully) easy reading.
* Instead of cooking al 3 meals tomorrow, Boston Market is offering 50% off 'any family meal' with this coupon/promo code.
BTW: Industrious hosts can find links to printable decorations below.
I doubt there are tix available for discounted boat rides today, but you can check...
Reading of the Declaration of Independence
outside Old State House, 206 Washington St, Boston (Govt Center)
Maybe one year I'll get up early enough to hear the Declaration on the same balcony as it was first heard in Boston on July 18, 1776.
Anyone can read the Declaration of Independence at home if they don't want to imagine what it was like for early Americans to hear the intellectual salvo that changed history...
At 11am, someone traditionally gives a speech upstairs at Faneuil Hall. I couldn't find the speaker's name (again).
11am to 1pm
USS Constitution: Turnaround Cruise
from Charlestown Navy Yard to Castle Island, Boston Harbor
No, you're not going to get on "Old Ironsides" on the bicentennial of making naval history.
Once per year, the oldest ship in the Navy takes a sail in the Harbor. Well... other boats tug it around -- let's not get bogged down in details. The US Coast Guard's Eagle is a three-masted cutter and will join the Constitution.
CTB reader aek suggested to watch from the back side of the Aquarium. I like Castle Island where they usually fire the 21-gun salute around noon.
The Blue Angels and other military planes will fly over town from noon to 1:15pm.
Noon to 3:30pm
Tours of Fort Independence
at Castle Island, South Boston
Besides seine the USS Constitution, you could see a little history inside the fort where Edgar Allan Poe was posted as a soldier. The hourlong tour is the only way to walk around inside, and the last tour likely begins at 4pm today.
It's also possible to just sit on the lawn enjoying a burger or fried clams.
WED 7/4 (and THUR 7/5)
Boston Navy Week
OpSail Tall Ships 2012
at Various Locations
Today's visiting hours:
Fish Pier -- Noon to 10pmAs we celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, we're reminded that the USS Constitution earned its nickname "Old Ironsides" 200 years ago and has been afloat ever since. So Navy Week and the visit of the tall ships are really entwined as quite a few of the tall ships will be US and foreign naval ships.
Black Falcon Cruise Terminal -- Noon to 8pm
The Google map is my attempt at making a helpful resource that includes locations and visiting hours. I think this is accurate based on various sources. Besides the links above, I suggest the Harborfest ship schedule, the USS Constitution Museum info, and the BostonUSA page.
I visited the Tall Ships by the World Trade Center in 2009, and it was a wonderful experience to see how they're put together around giant masts and miles of rope.
The Leap Frogs are parachuting at the Seaport's Fan Pier at noon. That's also around the time that the Blue Angels and other planes are flying over Boston between noon and 1:15pm.
2pm to 7pm
Cape Verde Independence Celebration
at North Stage, City Hall Plaza, Boston (Govt Center)
Cape Verde's Independence day is actually July 5, but it's been celebrated in Boston with America's birthday for about 25 years.
It's not going to be as crowded as the Esplanade, the local Cape Verdean population has estimated at 40,000. (See a few pix from a few years ago.)
On stage, there's going to be dance and music performances as well as Kriolu food and craft vendors.
7pm to 9pm
"Jefferson & Adams: A Stage Play"
at Beale House Lawn, Adams National Historical Park, 181 Adams St, Quincy
The source material is an established history book that has probably been a reference for any creative endeavor about Adams and Jefferson over the last 30 years.
This 3-person production encompasses the love-hate relationship between two of our most prominent founding fathers as demonstrated by their decades-long correspondence, so the language should be clever. The third character is Adams' wife, Abigail. It appears that tonight's cast have performed together before, so expect a professional performance.
Seating is limited under the theatre tent; "feel free to bring you own lawn chairs."
(Hat Tip to Boston Events Insider.)
Cheryl Aruda w/ Alizon Lissance
at Smoken' Joe's BBQ, 351 Washington St, Brighton (Brighton Center)
Ain't it something that some of our fine blues musicians have decided to jam on a day when there isn't much non-festival music. Both singer Cheryl Aruda and keyboardist Alizon Lissance are top-notch veterans who'd make it worth your while with or without a rhythm section.
I don't know when they open, but the food is really good. While the place doesn't really have much of a bar area to sit and listen, I imagine there will be room at the tables for beverage-buying blues-lovers.
8:30pm to 11pm
Boston Pops Independence Day Concert & Fireworks
at Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, Storrow Dr, Boston
9am -- Oval opensNone of you were actually going to scrum for a spot in the "Oval"? As I said before, you should see our fireworks show in person at least once in your life.
Noon -- Recorded music begins in Boston
6pm -- Recorded music begins in Cambridge
8pm -- Broadcast begins on WBZ-TV
8:30pm -- Boston Pops concert begins
9:30pm -- "1812 Overture" is played
10:30pm -- Fireworks begin
I'd rather watch the fireworks from the Longfellow Bridge. I was close to the Mass Ave Bridge last year, and it was a good view from there.
The area along Memorial Dr between the bridges would obviously be a good spot, however people will fill this space way before the pyrotechnics begin.
Hey, you won't hear the Dropkick Murphys and Jennifer Hudson play with the Pops ever again. For the record, the "1812 Overture" was not written for the War of 1812.
Other towns have fireworks displays too.