Whether you’re looking for a free event for the family or a way to give back to America’s military heroes, there’s something for you to do in the Commonwealth this Independence Day.
Free Events and Activities
Wherever you plan to celebrate in the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) has each region covered. Check out event listings for Greater Boston, North of Boston, South of Boston, Cape Cod and the Islands, Central Massachusetts, and Western Massachusetts to plan your holiday. A few notable, free events highlight the wide range of activities to choose from this Independence Day:
- Blue Star Museums — Explore Blue Star Museums across Massachusetts that offer free admission to active-duty military members and families between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular — Listen to the Boston Pops perform patriotic tunes like “The Stars & Stripes Forever” and the “1812 Overture” followed by a fireworks display that lights up the night sky over the Charles River. The Boston Pops concert starts at 8:30 p.m. and fireworks start at 10:30 p.m.
- Edgartown Parade — Head to the Old Whaling Church, a great location to watch the annual 4th of July parade in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. The free event starts at 5 p.m. and is followed by fireworks at dusk.
- Pittsfield Parade — Catch the Pittsfield Parade in Western Massachusetts, which was ranked as one of the top 4th of July parades in the country. Festivities start at 10 a.m. at the intersection of South and East/West Housatonic Streets and end at Wahconah Park.
Volunteer to Support Massachusetts Heroes
There are more than 379,000 veterans living in Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). You can mark our country’s Independence Day by volunteering and assisting local military members. Consider one of the unique opportunities supported by the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS):
- Give an Hour — Providing free mental health services to military personnel and their families, Give an Hour seeks year-round volunteers with a wide range of skills, including professional experience in mental health, graphic design, marketing, grant writing, and public speaking.
- NEADS Service Dogs — Based in Princeton, Massachusetts, National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans, has a Service Dogs for Veterans program. Animal lovers can get involved by helping raise puppies, working at the organization’s campus, or donating items to NEADS.
- Women Veterans’ Network — Offering services to female veterans in the Commonwealth, the Women Veterans’ Network (WVN) is looking for people to join the WVN Volunteer Committee. This group organizes social and networking events to strengthen female veterans’ communities across Massachusetts.
Safety Tips for the 4th of July
However you choose to celebrate, make sure safety is a priority. Follow tips from the Department of Fire Services (DFS), Department of Public Health (DPH), and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to stay safe this holiday:
- Leave Fireworks to Professionals — Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts. Fortunately, local fire departments across the state supervise professional fireworks displays so you and your family can enjoy a red, white, and blue sky on the night of the 4th.
- Mind the Grill — If you decide to celebrate America with hot dogs and hamburgers in the backyard, keep an eye on your grill at all times. Grill-related incidents caused $3.5 million in property damage between 2011 and 2015. Make sure you follow grilling safety tips from DFS for your gas or charcoal grill. DPH also offers guidelines for food storage and proper cooking temperatures for meat and poultry products.
- If You See Something, Say Something — Be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious behavior or items to the closest law enforcement officer or by calling 9-1-1. If you see something, say something.
With so many ways to celebrate our nation’s independence, you can enjoy the holiday no matter where you are in the Bay State this 4th of July weekend.
What are your plans for the 4th of July? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting @MassGov.
Tags: 4th of July, barbecue safety, bbq safety, cooking safety, cooking safety tips, department of fire safety, department of veterans services, fireworks safety, food safety, Independence Day, public safety, summer safety, veteran, veterans, veterans programs, volunteer, volunteer organizations, volunteering, women veterans
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