Between the politically incorrect parades, the BBQs and the Casco Bay fireworks cruises, there’s plenty to do this Fourth of July (and there’s a full list of fireworks displays at the bottom of this post).
If you love a parade, but you don’t love the midday July sun or sitting on pavement, then head to Bath this weekend.
Bath holds its annual Fourth of July parade in the middle of its Bath Heritage Days festival. That means there are lots of vendors, some live entertainment and other things to keep you busy while waiting for the 10 a.m. start time.
But to really enjoy this quaint, hour-long parade, you have to know what the insiders know, namely, where to park and where to find a shady spot to sit.
The parade goes all over downtown, with people crammed on sidewalks, shoulder to shoulder, in front of storefronts.
But you don’t have to do that. The parade ends at the Patten Free Library, which has a grassy, tree-covered hill behind it. Get there about an hour early for a good spot, toss a blanket, and then wait for the fun, or walk around to find some.
Also, parking can be tough. A great spot for on-street parking is usually on Middle Street, north or south of Winter. Get off Route 1 at the High Street exit, follow High to a right on Winter, then take your first right or left on Middle.
Then just walk down Winter, which ends at library park. Walk across the park to the hill. Enjoy the shade.
You’re welcome. – Ray Routhier
10 a.m. July 4. Route: begins at the corner of North and Lincoln Street, proceeds south on Lincoln, east on Centre, north on Front, ending at North Street just past the Patten Free Library. bathheritagedays.com
The people of Round Pond have been hosting an Independence Day parade for years – one that started small but now attracts a hearty crowd – that’s low on pageant winners and high on political incorrectness (and a few well-placed curse words thrown in for good measure). It always starts at noon, rain or shine, and the floats are always lively, colorful and not afraid to offend. Expect political jabs, social commentary and locals cracking wise about tourists.
Noon July 4, Round Pond. www.facebook.com. [get there]
If you don’t already have a friend on the East End with a rooftop deck, now’s the time to find one. If that doesn’t work out, meander to the grassy hill on Portland’s East End anyway, because that’s where most of the city will be congregating, as they do every year, for the Stars and Stripes Spectacular. There will be food and craft vendors, an all-you-can-eat ice cream festival), a Patriotic Pops Concert from the PSO, and performances from the likes of Melissa Manchester and others. The 25-minute fireworks show starts around 9:20 p.m.
Vendors at 2 p.m., ice cream fest 3-7 p.m., opening ceremony followed by concert 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:20 pm. . www.july4thportland.org
There will be plenty of family friendly activities at Bug Light Park starting at 4 p.m. and a host of food trucks, too. From 6:45-8:45 p.m., local band The Substitutes will play some vintage rock before the Portland fireworks get started around 9:15-9:20 p.m. This event is free and open to the public!
4-10 p.m. July 4, Bug Light Park, South Portland. Free. facebook.com
Road race, parade and a free concert from The Mavericks. That’s what you need to know about L.L. Bean’s Fourth of July festivities. The 10K run/walk kicks off at 7:30 a.m. and the free concert begins at 730 p.m. In between, hang out and enjoy the parade and other festivities and stay late to enjoy the fireworks, which start around 9 p.m.
Race at 7:30 and 9:15 a.m., concert at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9 p.m. Concert and fireworks free. llbean.com/summer
All the 4th classics are lined up for Ocean Park’s annual celebration: A decorated bicycle contest, art show, and the annual Independence Day community Parade, which starts its march down Temple Avenue at 10 a.m.. Young participants get a free popsicle for parading.
Starting at 9 a.m. July 4, Ocean Park, Old Orchard Beach. Free. www.oceanpark.org
There’s also a Sand Sculpture Competition on July 3 – aka Fourth of July Eve – from 3 to 6 p.m. It’s a family event, so all teams must include one child. Preferably one who’s really, really good at building stuff with sand.FMI: www.oceanpark.org
Live music, river cruise, drink in hand, fireworks. That’s a pretty unbeatable combination! Take a scenic ride down the river aboard The River Tripper before catching the fireworks display overhead.
7 p.m. July 4, aboard The River Tripper, Damariscotta. $40 adults, $20 Children (1st drink included). damariscottarivercruises.com
Cruise to benefit Independence Association
Casco Bay Lines, Maine State Pier, Portland
Music from DJ Haunt, food, and a cash bar – plus a view of those awesome Portland fireworks.
7 to 10:30 p.m. pm July 4. $30 (21+). djhaunt.com/july4.htm
Islander and the Bay View Lady
Long Wharf, Portland
Fireworks Cruise aboard the Islander and the Bay View Lady, Long Wharf. A family-friendly cruise with light refreshments and a cash bar on board. Passengers can bring their own snacks, but beverages have to be purchased on board
7 to 10 p.m. July 4. $40 adults, $30 kids under 13. 207-774-0808
Get ready to celebrate with booms and flashes of colored wonder. If you don’t see your city or town listen we suggest heading to their website or calling the town office or chamber of commerce. – Compiled by Aimsel Ponti
Augusta – July 4, 9:15 p.m., old mill site of former dam building foundation
Bar Harbor – July 4, 9:15 p.m., pier at Frenchman Bay, West Street
Bath – July 5, 9:15 p.m., Kennebec River Waterfront
Bethel – July 4, 9 p.m., Sunday River Resort in front of South Ridge Lodge
Boothbay Harbor – July 4, 9 p.m., Harbor
Bridgton – July 3, 9 p.m., Steven Brooks School, 14 Frances Bell Drive
Camden – July 4, 9 p.m., Camden Library, Harbor Park
Carrabassett Valley – July 4, 9:15 p.m., Carrabassett Valley Airport across from Ayottes Store on Route 27
Damariscotta – July 4, 9:15 p.m., downtown,
Denmark – July 11, 9 p.m., Town Park off Route 160
Dexter – July 3, 9:15 p.m., Dexter High School Football Field, 12 Abbott Hill Road.
Eastport – July 4, 9 p.m., fish pier off Water Street
Freeport – July 4, 9:15 p.m., downtown
Frye Island – July 4, 9 p.m., Long Beach Marina
Greenville/Moosehead Lake Region – July 4, 9 p.m., East Cove, Moosehead Lake
Harpswell/Bailey Island – July 3, 9 p.m., Cooks Lobster House Point, 86 Garrison Cove Road
Houlton – July 3, 9 p.m., Riverfront Park
Jackman – July 4, 9 p.m., Field behind the Town Office on 369 Main St.
Jay – July 3, 9 p.m., Spruce Mountain Ski Area
Kennebunk – July 4, 9 p.m., Gooch’s Beach, across from the Narragansett Inn
Lewiston/Auburn – July 4, 9 p.m., West Pitch Park, overlooking the falls in Auburn
Limington – July 3, 9 p.m., Mill Pond
Naples – July 4, 9:15 p.m., from a raft on Long Lake in Naples
Ogunquit – July 4, 9:15 p.m., Ogunquit Maine Beach
Old Orchard Beach – July 2-4, 9:45 p.m., on the beach in front of Palace Playland
Phippsburg – July 2, 9 p.m., Sebasco Harbor Resort
Portland – July 4, 9:15 p.m., Eastern Promenade
Saco – July 3, 9:30 p.m., Funtown/Splashtown USA, rear parking lot, 774 Portland Road
Sanford – July 3, 9 p.m., No. 1 Pond
Scarborough – July 3, 9 p.m., municipal landfill and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Searsport – July 4, 9 p.m., Mosman Park
South Harpswell – July 4, 9:15 p.m., 70 Whites Point Road
Thomaston – July 4, 9:15, Downtown
Winslow – July 4, 9:30 p.m., Fort Halifax Park
Winthrop – July 4, 9 p.m., Norcross Point
Wiscasset – July 4, 9 p.m., Wiscasset Middle School
Woolwich – July 5, 9:15 p.m., Reed & Reed Lot, 275 River Road
York – July 4, 9 p.m., York Beach
York Harbor – July 4, 9 p.m., York Harbor Beach