Thursday April 17th 2014

1776 things to do this Fourth of July

By: Shannon Bryan

Okay, we really don’t have 1,776 things on this list. But we needed to squeeze the year of our nation’s independence in somewhere. Besides, between the politically incorrect parades, the BBQs and the Casco Bay fireworks cruises, there’s plenty to do this Fourth of July:

Round Pond Parade

A shot from the 2011 Round Pond Parade
Shannon Bryan photo

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 | Free | Round Pond | Map

Fourth of July in Portland

Press Herald file photo

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 ($5), a Patriotic Pops Concert from the PSO, and Mr. American Pie himself – Don McLean will perform. The 25-minute fireworks show starts around 9:20 pm.

Don McLean is bringing his American Pie: Don McLean rocks the Fourth in Portland via Press Herald

Fourth of July in South Portland

It’s a community BBQ in one of South Portland’s sweetest locales: Bug Light Park. The food hits the grill at 11 a.m. (4th of July favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage sandwiches and more – at decent prices, too). At noon, Benjamin Franklin makes an appearance for a lively reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will be afternoon activites for the kids, music, and that purty view. Fly a kite if you’d like (Bug Lite is a kite’s favorite place) and stay for the fireworks!
10 am-sunset July 4 | Free | Bug Light Park, South Portland | FMI: on Facebook

Fourth of July at L.L. Bean

Matt Nathanson. That’s what you need to know about L.L. Bean’s Fourth of July festivities. Sure, there will be a 10K at 7:30 am, a parade at 10 am, and, of course, an inspiring display of fireworks at 9:15 pm. But Matt Nathanson! For free! It’s a winning day, all around.
FMI: llbean.com/summer
Read about how excited Matt Nathanson is to perform for you: Matt Nathanson headlines L.L. Bean’s July 4 bash via Press Herald


More fireworks!


Looking to see some colorful explosions in the sky this Fourth of July? Check out our list of Independence Day fireworks displays to find a celebration near you.

2013 Fourth of July fireworks in Maine


Independence Day and Canada Day in Ocean Park

All the 4th classics are lined up for Ocean Park’s annual celebration: A decorated bicycle contest, art show, and the 63rd annual Independence Day community Parade, which starts its march down Temple Avenue at 10 am. Young participants get a free popsicle for parading.
9 am July 4 | Free | Ocean Park, Old Orchard Beach | FMI: www.oceanpark.org


July 3: Sand Sculpture Competition


On July 4th eve – that’s July 3 – Ocean Park will be hosting their annual Family Sand Sculpture Competition on the beach. The sand sculpting runs from 1-3 pm, which means great things are going to appear out of nowhere in pretty short order. Sand pyramids. Sand lobster rolls. Sand turtles, and mermaids, and ice cream. 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


FIREWORKS CRUISES in Portland

Press Herald file photo

Aboard The Bay Mist
Casco Bay Lines, Maine State Pier, Portland
Dress in your best white attire – or any white attire – or whatever color attire you want, although white is encouraged, and climb aboard The Bay Mist. Music from DJ Dre, DJ Roy, and DJ Merk
7:30-11 pm July 4 | $40 | www.eventbrite.com

Cruise to benefit All About Prevention
Casco Bay lines, Maine State Pier, Portland
The annual July 4th Cruise to benefit All About Prevention raises funds for HIV prevention. Music from DJ Haunt, food, and a cash bar – plus a view of those awesome Portland fireworks, assuming Mother Nature agrees.
7 to 10:30 pm | $25 | allaboutprevention.org/july4cruise.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 onboard. Passengers can bring their own snacks, but beverages have to be purchased on board
7-10 pm| $35 adults, $25 kids under 13 | 774-0808

Portland Schooner Company
Maine State Pier, Portland
Guests can feast on pies from Rosemont Market and enjoy hot coffee – and guests are also welcome to bring aboard other beverages like beer and wine. Should the fireworks get rained out, the cruise will take place July 5.
8:15 to 10:15 pm | $65 | 766-2500 | portlandschooner.com

The Chippewa
Long Wharf, Portland
A family-friendly event that includes a narrated cruise of the harbor. No smoking or drinking allowed. Soda and chips will be available, and passengers can bring their own snacks. Call ahead.
7 to 10 pm | $30 adults/$25 seniors and ages 13 to 18/$15 ages 12 and under | 207-632-8842