It's the Fourth of July again. And some Maine towns really know how to throw a party.
Crowds along the waterfront on South Main Street in Brewer enjoy a view of the Fourth of July fireworks in Bangor in this 2015 file photo. Credit: Michael C. York / BDN

There won’t be any shortage of Fourth of July festivities this year, with towns across the state rolling out the red, white and blue.

For some, it will mark the first full Independence Day celebration since the coronavirus pandemic began more than two years ago.

With all the impressive offerings across the state, you can only pick one. But as hard as it may be, you can’t go wrong with any of the Independence Day bashes at these seven Maine towns and cities. 


People watch the Fourth of July parade in Bangor in this 2016 file photo. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

This will be Bangor’s first full Fourth of July celebration since the pandemic began.

A highlight for the day is the parade. It will begin at 10 a.m. on Wilson Street in Brewer, cross the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge before continuing onto Main, State and Exchange streets.

There will be another special treat for those who turn out for the Queen City’s festivities. The Bangor Symphony Orchestra will perform a free show starting at 8:30 p.m. on the waterfront at the Maine Savings Amphitheater. For those more in the mood to let their hair down, local classic rock cover bands will take the stage before the symphony begins.

Afterward, gather along the banks of the Penobscot River for the 9:30 p.m. pyrotechnic show.

Bar Harbor

Could you find a better place to mark the Fourth of July than in the shadow of Cadillac Mountain?

If the summer throngs don’t dissuade you, Bar Harbor’s Fourth of July festivities have garnered national praise, with even National Geographic listing it among the 10 best local celebrations in the nation.

In Bar Harbor, the celebration has already begun, with its annual scavenger hunt running June 27 to July 5.

On the Fourth itself, there will be a pancake breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. at the Bar Harbor Athletic Field on Park Street. The parade begins immediately after, and it will wind through Main, Cottage, Eden, Mt. Desert streets and Ledgelawn Avenue.

You can catch live music at the town pier from 3 to 9 p.m., and then you can cap off the day with fireworks over Frenchman Bay at 9:15 p.m.


Head farther down the coast, and you’ll find quite the party waiting for you in Bath, where the town will be transformed into a four-day party for Heritage Days.

Starting Friday and running through Monday, Heritage Days features a mass of events for the whole family from beer gardens to carnivals and more.

Monday’s slate starts off with a 5-mile road race at 7:15 a.m. for those hardy early risers before the 10 a.m. parade, which Bath boasts as Maine’s largest Fourth of July parade. There will be live music throughout the afternoon and evening on the waterfront, as well as a beer garden.

And then, assuming you have any energy left, you can catch the 9:15 p.m. fireworks display over the Kennebec River.


U.S. Navy officers and sailors march in the Fourth of July parade in Eastport in this 2017 file photo. Credit: Danielle McLean / BDN

Tiny Eastport is known for more than the deepest port on the East Coast. It also throws an Independence Day bash like no other, boasting the largest Fourth of July festival in Maine.

Not to be outdone, Eastport is throwing a four-day bash for the Fourth, featuring a 7-mile road race, blueberry pie eating, craft fairs, pageants, an ATV scavenger run, pickup softball game, a hypnotist show, live music and so much more.

On Monday, the events start at sunrise with a flag raising at the breakwater and run past sundown. The city’s parade starts at 2 p.m., and the whole day is capped off with a grand fireworks show at dusk.


Despite the stiff competition from other coastal communities, Freeport has a Fourth of July celebration well worth checking out.

The highlights include its traditional Main Street parade, set for 10 a.m., and an evening concert featuring Pink Martini at Discovery Park from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

What makes this town’s celebration stand out is its pollution-free “fireworks” display, which will light up the sky with an array of lasers.


The popular barrel train rolls with the Greenville Fourth of July parade in this 2015 file photo. Credit: Mike Lange / Piscataquis Observer

There’s more to Maine than the coast. If you’re willing to travel a little farther afield, you can catch a tremendous celebration on the shore of Moosehead Lake.

The annual Fourth of July parade will start at 1 p.m. and run from Greenville Junction to Greenville. Monday’s festivities are topped off with a fireworks display near The Birches.

You can find even more activities on July 2 and 3. Saturday will feature a boat parade on Moosehead Lake at 9 a.m. and fireworks cruise at 6:30 p.m. with another light display at dusk. Nearby Rockwood will hold another boat parade at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Each day will feature a craft fair running 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Thousands of people watch the Fourth of July fireworks display on Portland’s East End in this 2018 file photo. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Every year — at least when there’s not a global plague — tens of thousands flock to Portland to celebrate the birth of the nation.

The star attraction is the Forest City’s fireworks display over the Eastern Promenade, which this year starts at 9:15 p.m. A wide array of food trucks will be set up in the Cutter Street parking lot, where you find something comforting to chow on between “oos” and “aahs.”

If you’re looking for someplace less crowded to watch the sky light up, the city suggests the East End Beach, Fort Allen Park, Amethyst Park, Baxter Boulevard, Payson Park, Martin’s Point on Veranda Street and Bug Light in South Portland.