From Derby Wharf in Salem to the waters off Swampscott and Beverly, and from Marblehead Harbor to Plains Park in Danvers, the skies over the North Shore will once again be lit by fireworks this coming Fourth of July weekend.
As usual, the biggest displays are expected to be in Danvers on the night before the Fourth, and in Salem on July 4. Both will feature plenty of patriotic music and other tunes. Salem's event, however, will take on added resonance this year, as the city pays tribute during the ceremonies to Sgt. James Anthony Ayube II, a U.S. Army medic who was killed in Afghanistan in December during an attack by a suicide bomber.
The following is a rundown of North Shore fireworks honoring the nation's 235th birthday.
Sunday, July 3
7 p.m. — Stage show begins at Plains Park, with DJ and live performers, including a cappella singers Similar Jones. Food for sale, games and rides for kids. Patriotic program saluting veterans and military.
8:30 p.m. — Winner of Danvers Idol performs.
9 p.m. — 50-50 raffle winner announced.
9:30 p.m. — Fireworks begin.
Best viewing spots: Plains Park, 98 Porter St., behind Holten Richmond Middle School, if you want to see both the stage show and fireworks. Good views of fireworks only from behind Riverside School on Liberty Street, Cherry Hill Office Park on Cherry Hill Drive, Hollywood Hits and BJ's parking lot on Hutchinson Drive, and Danversport Yacht Club on Elliott Street. Fireworks are also viewable by boat from Danvers Harbor.
Where to park: Head for municipal lots downtown, in back of 49 Maple St. and in back of CVS on Maple Street; at Town Hall on Sylvan Street; across from Lyons & Sons Funeral Home on Elm Street; and in the public lot at the intersection of Holten and Elm streets. On-street parking is limited.