Events – July 4th on Nantucket
The mention of summer vacation still puts a twinkle in my eye, evoking memories of days spent at the beach and reading in a hammock until dinnertime. Days would be capped off with grilling s’mores over a fire and running around with my cousins. We would giggle ourselves to sleep on a squeaky air mattress in the backyard under a blanket of stars. For many, Nantucket still holds that kind of summer magic well into adulthood. One such event that captures this summer feeling by both locals and visitors, big and small, is the annual July 4 Celebrations. The week includes a variety of activities set over the course of two days. On July 5th, this culminates with a grand fireworks display.
The fun kicks off on Thursday, July 4 at 9am at the Unitarian Church with the 17th Annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence. At 10am, head down to Main Street, where stately elms shade a sea of revelers adorned in togs of red, white, and blue. Patriotic bunting hangs proudly from the windows of Main Street’s historic buildings. Stop by and test your arm at the dunk tank, or see how fast you can chow down a blueberry pie! And of course it wouldn’t be a proper 4th of July on Nantucket without a watermelon eating contest. Other activities include face painting, a puppet show, and a photo booth. At high noon, the celebration reaches its peak with the ever-popular water fight between the Town of Nantucket Firefighters and the Boynton Lane Reserves. Bring a towel because you may get wet!
Here are three helpful tips so you can make the most out of the Main Street Celebrations:
- Main Street will be closed to thru traffic and for parking all morning. It will reopen after everyone clears out after the water fight.
- Wear sneakers! Our beautiful cobblestones can make even the most agile legs a little wobbly. Not to mention, they can be slippery during the water fight.
- Nantucket is a very environmentally conscious community. Please join us in leaving the water balloons at home, and use the buckets provided.
After an exciting morning on Main Street and a relaxing afternoon at the beach, pop down to Children’s Beach. Here there’s another host of great activities. Beginning at 5pm there will be potato sack races, three-legged races, wheelbarrow races, and a tug o’ war on the lawn. Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic dinner and enjoy live music at the bandstand. What a way to spend a summer evening on Nantucket!
The celebrations go out with a bang – literally – the following day with the annual fireworks display at Jetties Beach. Make your way from town on foot, or with the NRTA Wave bus. The bus operates extra trips from Broad Street in front of the Whaling Museum. Pack your favorite picnic snacks and drinks, and get there early and grab a great spot on the beach. Watch the shadows grow long as the sun slips closer to the horizon at the end of a twinkling trail of light over Nantucket Sound. After the vibrant colors of another perfect island sunset fade, the show begins, and fireworks punctuate an otherwise dark sky. Sit back, relax, and savor yet another perfect island Independence Day.
It’s not too late to book your 4th of July vacation! We still have some great rental properties available, and if you check in before July 1, you can enjoy the week tax free!