Fourth of July celebrations arrive early in Boston, with the Harborfest kicking off Friday with an arts market, music by local groups and other attractions.
Secretary of State William Galvin continued his holiday preparations on Thursday, previewing historical documents to be displayed at the Commonwealth Museum’s annual Independence Day exhibit.
In years past, several hundred people have flocked to the Columbia Point museum the morning of the Fourth before they head off to other celebrations. Galvin said he’s excited for that tradition to continue Tuesday.
The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and visitors will get a chance to get up close to the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Watertown — a July 1776 international agreement that was the first to recognize the new United States as an independent nation — and other historic passages.
“It brings to life the history of our state but also of our country, very much the case that the history of our state is the history of the country,” Galvin told the Herald. “It is a way that people can actually relate the celebration they’re engaging in to that history.”
A letter written by Alexander Hamilton in 1780 to Marquis de Lafayette, the French aristocrat who served as a general in the Continental Army, will be on display for the second straight year.
The letter, detailing an imminent British threat to French forces in Rhode Island, is believed to have been stolen decades ago from the Massachusetts state archives, but it returned to the Commonwealth Museum after a lengthy court battle, said Debra O’Malley, the secretary’s communications director.
“Some others have been on display once or twice before,” O’Malley said. “They come out every couple of years because they can’t be exposed that much because they are fragile documents. The Hamilton letter is kind of a popular one given its saga.”
Here are some ways to celebrate America’s 247th birthday in Boston:
Fireworks will be launched from a barge at Long Wharf, between Columbus Park and the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel, from 9:15 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The display will light up the night sky along the Inner Harbor waterfront.
Want to kick back and enjoy some chowder? Head down to Downtown Crossing for the Harborfest’s Chowderfest Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. The treats are free until supplies run out between Winter and Bromfield streets.
Starting the Fourth nice and early, City Hall Plaza will host the City of Boston’s 247th Independence Day Celebration from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday.
A parade will follow to the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street for a wreath-laying ceremony. From there, participants head to the Old State House for a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 10 a.m.
Gates open at noon for the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the Esplanade. The iconic show will begin at 8 p.m. and run until around 11 when fireworks wrap up.
If you can’t make it to the Esplanade, concert viewing screens and sound towers will be set up on the Boston and Cambridge sides of the river, and an additional screen is expected to be set up on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.