Start July off with a bang at the region’s Independence Day festivities, featuring parades and parties throughout the North Shore. Here is what to expect this Fourth of July: 


Beverly: 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, shoreline Illumination and fireworks at West Beach. Admission wristbands are required to enter. They are $10 per person before the event and $20 per person at the gate. There is no parking at the beach, and parking along local streets is very limited. No alcohol, fireworks, glass containers, or coolers during the fireworks display.

Marblehead: 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, harbor illumination at Marblehead Harbor followed by Fireworks Forever display at 9:15 p.m. Free.

Salem: 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, fireworks accompanied by music from the Hillyer Festival Orchestra, at Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Derby Wharf. Free. Children’s activities begin at 5 p.m., pops concert at 7:15.

Swampscott: 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, fireworks display at King’s Beach and Fisherman’s Beach, Humphrey Street. Free. Rain date: Friday, July 5.



Beverly Farms Horribles Parade: 8 a.m., begins at the corner of Oak and West streets. Parade route: West Street, Hale Street, High Street, Haskell Street, Everett Street, Hale Street, West Street, Oak Street, end at Hastings House, 14 Oak St.

Ryal Side Parade: 10 a.m., begins at the corner of Western Avenue and Bridge Street. (Judging of bikes, floats, and costumes at 9 a.m.) Parade route: Bridge Street, Kernwood Avenue, Upland Road, ends at Obear Park at 11 a.m., for Old-Fashioned Family Fun Day. Treasure hunts, pony rides, Rainforest Reptile show, field games, 50-50 raffle.


Highland Horribles Parade: 9 a.m., begins at Seaboard Products, 17 Collins St., ends at Danvers Highland Commons on Centre Street. Rain date: Saturday, July 6. 

Back Bay Parade: starts at 11 a.m. at the corner of Damon and Porter streets. Parade route is through local neighborhoods. All are welcome to participate. Bring costumes, decorated doll carriages, bicycles, wagons and floats. 

Community reading of the Declaration of Independence, noon, Peabody Institute Library pavilion, 15 Sylvan St. Presented by Danvers Human Rights and Inclusion Committee. 


Reading of the Declaration of Independence: 9 a.m., Salem Common bandstand. Led by Erik Rodenheiser and Mayor Kim Driscoll. Live music provided by local musicians.


Each ward hosts its own festival at neighborhood playgrounds from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Ward 1: Horribles Parade begins at 9 a.m. at the corner of Blair Terrace and Lynnfield Street. Bring decorated bikes, wagons and strollers. Parade ends at Raddin Park for an Independence Day party. Activities include a 50-yard dash, three-point basketball contest, potato sack race, pie-eating contest, egg toss, moon bounce, face painting, pony rides and balloon animals. Hot dogs, chips, drinks, and slush will be served. Info, call Councilor Jon Turco at 978-335-5709. 

Ward 2: Welch School, 50 Swampscott Ave. Patriotic Parade kicks off at 9:15 a.m. at the front of the school; bring decorated bikes, scooters, wagons and carriages. Field games and activities, touch-a-truck, DJ, music and pony rides at 9:45 a.m. Free pizza, refreshments, and desserts at 11:15 a.m. Info, call Pete McGinn at 978-531-3587. 

Ward 3: Connolly Park, 20 Dark Lane, 9 a.m. to noon. Horribles Parade, races, egg-toss competition. Hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, and drinks will also be available. Call James Moutsoulas at 978-473-1090. 

Ward 4: Emerson Park, 34 Perkins St., 9 a.m. to noon. Featuring races and games, face painting and temporary tattoos. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and Treadwell’s ice cream will be served. Info, call Ed Charest at 978-977-3063. 

Ward 5: 9 a.m. to noon at Lt. Ross Park (Cy Tenney Park), 32 Johnson St. Bicycle, tricycle and doll carriage parade begins at Kiley Brothers administration building, 21 Johnson St., at 9 a.m. The parade ends at the park for music, games, nickels-in-the-hay, and a basketball shoot-out contest. Hot dogs, pizza, and beverages served at 11 a.m. Info, Councilor Joel Saslaw at 978-535-2204 or

Ward 6: 9 a.m. to noon at Symphony Park, 21-98 Symphony Road. Registration for the bicycle, tricycle and doll carriage parade opens at 8:30 a.m.; steps off at 9 a.m. Races, face painting, bubble zone, moon bounce, and a basketball free-throw contest to follow. Grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips and drinks, will be served at 11:30 a.m. Info, call Councilor Mark O’Neill at 978-535-0563. 


Festival of Arts: July 3-7, starts at Abbot Hall, 188 Washington St. Details on exhibits and Artisan Market Place available at Includes art exhibits, artisan marketplace and logo store, street festival, Writers Festival. On July 4 break for Harbor Illumination and Fireworks. Free. 


Independence Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. at Winthrop School, 65 Central St. Wear red, white and blue. Before the parade starts, children may decorate their bikes and carriages on the school’s front lawn at 9:15 a.m. The parade ends at Town Hall, 25 Green St., for an Independence Day party with children’s activities and a bouncy house. Free. 978-375-0324. 

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