Looking for something to do on the Fourth of July? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:
1. Everybody loves a parade
There's lots of parades, on land and at sea, to choose from today:
The Highland’s Horribles Parade starts at Seaboard Products, at the corner of Beachwood and Collins streets in Danvers, and all are welcome to dress up; decorate wagons, bikes and floats; or just march in festive Fourth of July attire. Prizes will be awarded for different categories. Registration is at 8 a.m., followed by the parade from 9 to 11 a.m. For more information, check www.danversfamilyfestival.com.
The Farms-Prides Horribles Parade steps off at 8 a.m. at the corner of Oak and West streets in Beverly and, after making a loop, ends in front of the Hastings House on Oak Street. For more information, visit www.beverlyfarms.org.
The town of Ipswich's annual parade starts at Winthrop School, 325 Bay Road, South Hamilton, at 10 a.m., then proceeds up Manning Street to High Street, toward East Street to Water Street, ending at Town Hall for a ceremony at 10:45 a.m. Participants can decorate their bikes, trikes and wagons at the Winthrop School at 9 a.m.; parade float participants and antique cars should arrive at 9:15 a.m. At the end of the route, excerpts from the Declaration of Independence will be read, followed by old-fashioned children’s races. For more, visit www.town.ipswich.ma.us.
The Gerry 5 VFA Horribles Parade starts at 10 a.m. in the National Grand Bank parking lot, 91 Pleasant St., Marblehead, and admission is free. For more information, contact Joan Champlin at 781-631-3264.
The third annual Fourth of July Parade in Beverly's Ward 2 starts at Silver Court and travels to Water Street, up Lothrop Street to Independence Park, then loops around back. All children in the area are welcome to join, and all are welcome to cheer on the participants.
The Back Bay Parade, in Danvers' Back Bay neighborhood, will assemble on the corner of Damon and Porter streets at 10:30 a.m., followed by the parade start at 11 a.m., which will travel through local neighborhoods. All are welcome. Wear costumes; bring decorated doll carriages, bicycles and wagons; take an antique car out for a spin; walk as a Boy Scout, Girl Scout or sports group; make a float; carry a sign; or simply enjoy watching the parade. For more information, call Mary Jo O’Connell at 978-774-7572.
All are invited to participate in the Chebacco Lake & Watershed Association’s annual July Fourth Boat Parade, which meets at 1 p.m. in front of the Centennial Grove beach in Hamilton for a slow cruise around the entire lake. Awards will be given for the most patriotic and creative entries. All decorated boats will get a prize. Spectators are invited to cheer on the parade from shore. www.chebaccolake.org.
2. Community patriotism
In Salem, join Mayor Kimberley Driscoll for a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 9 a.m. on Salem Common. Or stop by the two-town Fourth of July celebration from noon to 3 p.m. at Patton Park, on Bay Road in Hamilton, for a a bike parade at noon; opening ceremony at 12:15 p.m. with the Military Color Guard and patriotic tunes by Essex County 4; a cookout by Hamilton-Wenham Rotary Club; artisans; music; monkey bridge; ice cream; cow pie bingo; bouncy house; face painting; children’s games, activities and rides. To participate in the bike parade, meet at the Methodist Church by 11:45 a.m. For more information, visit www.communityhouse.org.
3. Out with a bang
End your day with a spectacular fireworks display:
Salem celebrates the Fourth from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Salem Maritime Historic Site, Derby Wharf. Festivities begin with the opening of Kids’ Space, featuring face painting, games, crafts and prizes for children, and live music from Britannica, followed by Julie Dougherty. Opening ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. followed by a performance by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra; fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. For more information, call 978-745-9595 or visit www.salem.com.
Flares will be lit around the perimeter of Marblehead Harbor for the Harbor Illumination tonight at 8:45. At 9 p.m., fireworks will be launched off a barge at the mouth of the harbor. You can watch from Fort Sewall, Chandler Hovey Park and Crocker Park. For details, including parking, and traffic tips, visit www.marbleheadfireworks.org.
General admission begins at 5 p.m. for non-West Beach members to view tonight's Shoreline Illumination and Fireworks. Tickets are $15 at the gate, and there is no parking at the beach. Parking is also limited along local streets. Alcohol, fireworks, glass containers and coolers are not allowed, and all bags are subject to search on entry. For more information, visit www.beverlyfarms.org.