4th of July Weekend Guide (July 1-4)

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by Ali Piva

2012 New bedford Firework details here. Also, check out the 14 Events for the 2012 4th of July week here. 100s of other events on our event calendar here.

It’s going to be a warm, wonderful Fourth of July Holiday Weekend! According to weather.com, temperature highs will range from 81°F – 85°F. Weather predictions are for a mix of sun and rain over the weekend, with PM showers on Friday, sunny skies on Saturday, isolated thunderstorms on Sunday, and partly cloudy skies for Independence Day. Such typical New England weather!

This Fourth of July weekend enjoy fun-in-the-sun, barbecues, beaches, and fireworks! From Wikipedia: Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

While enjoying the weather and celebrating the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend, definitely check out one or some of the many opportunities in the area to listen to local music, celebrate nightlife, enjoy the arts, benefit a good cause, or watch local fireworks. Most events discussed here are from LocalOracle.com. To have your events promoted for FREE, submit them HERE. If you need directions, simply click on the venue name to get their contact info and directions.


Celebrate the Fourth of July a few days early with FREE admission to Buttonwood Park Zoo (425 Hawthorn St). This free event is part of Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays. Buttonwood Park Zoo will be open from 10am-5pm. Bring your friends and family for a great afternoon with amazing animals. This is the perfect opportunity to visit the zoo’s Asian elephants Emily and Ruthy, and show some love to Ruthy for her 25 Year Anniversary at Buttonwood Park Zoo!

Free Admission today (July 1) at the Buttonwood Park Zoo until 5pm!

If you haven’t been yet, spend Friday evening at WaterFire Providence! This is a beautiful and awesome summer event. WaterFire takes place in downtown Providence, RI along Memorial Blvd., Providence River and Woonasquatucket River.

Sunset will be at 8:22pm on Friday, so make sure you are in Providence at that time to enjoy a beautiful, outdoor, evening event. From WaterFire: WaterFire’s over eighty sparkling bonfires, the fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke, the flickering firelight on the arched bridges, the silhouettes of the firetenders passing by the flames, the torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and the enchanting music from around the world engage all the senses and emotions of those who stroll the paths of Waterplace Park.

Looking to start Fourth of July Weekend off with a traditional celebration? Head over to UMass Dartmouth (285 Old Westport Rd., Dartmouth) for Bristol County Savings Bank’s Freedom Festival! This is UMass Dartmouth’s annual celebration of Independence Day and display of fireworks.

This is an alcohol-free, family-oriented event with great music. This is such a wonderful local event to celebrate Fourth of July Weekend! From Herald News: The fun begins at 6:15 p.m. with a concert by the Pop/Latin band Santa Mamba, followed by performances by Rock/Jazz/Zydeco oriented-Entrain at 7:45 p.m. and the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet prior to the fireworks scheduled for 9:30 p.m.In the event of rain, the concerts and fireworks will be held on Wednesday, July 6, at the same times.

For Friday nightlife, Iron Mustache will be performing at Black Watch Pub (266 Dartmouth St.) with Mother Night and Thrillhouse at 10pm; this is a benefit show for Jeannine Catz. Or check out McCarthy & Legge at the Bayside Lounge (125 Sconticut Neck Rd.). Also, Reggae Band Ting and I will be at No Problemo (813 Purchase St.) at 10pm and DJ Eddie Freitas will be at the Ice Chest Bar & Grille (136 Huttleson Ave., Fairhaven).


Spend a beautiful, sunny Saturday in true South Coast style – at the beach!! Horseneck Beach (5 John Reed Rd., Wesport) is one of the most popular beaches in the South Coast and is part of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Day passes are $7/car or season passes are $35 for Massachusetts Residents. Spend the day with your friends, or bring your family and enjoy the ocean, sun and sand. Be sure to wear SPF and stay hydrated!

Every day of the holiday weekend looks like a beach day.

This Saturday kicks off the first day of an incredible, two-day South Coast event – SummerFest! The 16th Annual Greater New Bedford SummerFest is an International Folk Music and Arts Festival, described as an affordable destination for families seeking a fun-filled Independence Day Weekend. SummerFest takes over the streets of Downtown New Bedford with amazing vendors, local artists, and New England treasures.

Festival hours are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at $20/day (available on-site only); Weekend Pass (Saturday and Sunday only) at $20 advance/ $25 gate. SummerFest: “The two day family-oriented festival offers continuous folk music from 11am to 9pm on seven sound stages throughout the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park ranging from the 1200 seat “Custom House Stage” to the intimacy of the 55 seat ‘Meet the Performer’ area. The Artisans’ Marketplace showcases the handcrafted work of many local artists as well as crafters from Maine to California and the International Bazaar offers high-quality, imported handcrafts from around the globe. Hosted by the City of New Bedford and The Standard-Times, the Greater New Bedford Summerfest offers an exciting atmosphere with great music, beautiful arts and crafts and fun activities for the whole family.”

Don’t miss out on another awesome South Coast event on Saturday – the Just Beer Summah Open House at Just Beer, which is the former Buzzards Bay Brewing Inc. (98 Horseneck Rd., Wesport). The blues, BBQ, and raw bar event is free admission and a perfect way to celebrate Fourth of July weekend. Enjoy cold beer and local Cuttyhunk oysters – YUM! There will be music by Neal McCarthy Problem. Bring your own chair, blanket, and sunscreen and enjoy a fun, celebratory afternoon; event is from 12pm-5pm.

For Saturday nightlife, see Johnny’s Basement at the Ice Chest Bar & Grille (136 Huttleston Ave., Fairhaven) or The Outer Limits at Kirby’s Pub (818 Kempton St.); both at 9pm. Tom Allen Band will be at No Problemo (813 Purchase St.) at 10pm.


Enjoy Sunday afternoon being thankful for our Independence! Celebrate by spending time with your friends and family, swimming in the pool or running through the sprinkler and cooking on the barbecue. Relax and celebrate the long weekend!

If you didn’t make it to SummerFest Saturday, definitely check it out on Sunday! This is really a wonderful event and a good chance to explore Downtown New Bedford. Especially don’t miss the 16th Annual Greater New Bedford SummerFest’s fireworks display! Fireworks will be over the harbor Sunday night, at 9:45pm!

Or, just like every other Sunday, enjoy a late brunch or lunch date at Cork Wine and Tapas (90 Front St.) or Dog Day Sundays with your BFF (best furry friend) at Hibernia Irish Pub (109 William St.). Wind down with Karaoke at the Catwalk Bar and Grille (34 Union St.) at 9:30pm.



Celebrate Independence Day by supporting a wonderful cause! Rose Alley Ale House (94 Front Street) is having the July 4th Barbecue to support the Schooner Ernestina. This is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday with an outdoor barbecue in Downtown New Bedford. The barbecue is an all-day event from 12pm-10pm – enjoy a special 4th of July menu, and live music from Rebecca Correia! From Rose Alley Ale House: The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. (SEMA) is a 501c(3) not-for-profit corporation with the purpose of raising funds to provide for the maintenance, equipment, manning, programming and operation of the Schooner Ernestina ex Effie M. Morrissey as a sail training vessel, school ship, and educational enterprise.

There will also be a fireworks display launched from a barge in New Bedford Harbor at 9:15pm. The public will have a clear view of the fireworks presentation from almost every point around the Harbor.

As always, have a wonderfully awesome weekend! Be safe and enjoy the holiday to the fullest!

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