Festivities include the reading of the Declaration of Independence, children’s events, a military flyover, Pops concert, and Fireworks.
Mayor Kimberley Driscoll is pleased to announce that Salem will hold its Independence Day celebration at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf on Monday, July 4th.
“There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in historic Salem,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Start off bright and early at Salem Common for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, spend the day visiting the City’s numerous historic sites and attractions, dine at one of dozens of remarkable restaurants, and end your day at historic Derby Wharf for all of the festivities.”
“This year we are very excited to have a flyover by the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Unit,” Mayor Driscoll added. The 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard is located in Westfield, Massachusetts and proudly claims the honor of being one of the oldest flying units within the Commonwealth. “As the birthplace of the National Guard, it is especially meaningful for Salem to have a flyover by the 104th.” Salem Common was the site of the first muster in 1637 and continues to host the annual National Guard muster to this day.
“Salem is fortunate to have such a generous business community that continues to support this celebration,” Mayor Driscoll commented. “I’d like to express a special thank you to our Skyrocket Sponsors: Footprint Power – Salem Harbor Station, Salem Five, Tropical Products, and Walmart, along with our Star Spangled Sponsors: Aggregate Industries, Tache Real Estate, Market Basket, Eastern Bank, and KV Associates.”
Free children’s activities begin at 4:00 p.m. with the opening of the Kids’ Space, where young ones can play games, win prizes and get their faces painted, all thanks to the generosity of the MeetingHouse Church in Salem and Walmart. Also, look for the MAGIC 106.7 street team along with the MGH Pediatrics tent on-site with lots of cool give-a-ways.
Food tents on site also open at 4:00 p.m. with hot dogs, French fries, fried dough, kettle corn, and other fair favorites.
Live entertainment on the Main Stage begins at 5:00 p.m. The DITTO band will entertain the crowd on main stage. Lead vocalists and guitarists Gary Santarella and Roger Kimball have entertained audiences for over forty years and play mainstream music classics of James Taylor, Neil Young, Harry Chapin, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby Stills and Nash, The Beatles, and many others.
Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. when Mayor Driscoll and other local dignitaries will lead a parade down the wharf accompanied by the Salem Veterans Honor Guard and Salem Boy Scout troops. The National Anthem will be sung by Nadine Adisho, Leah Morgenstern, Danielle Gautier and Tyler Leger of Salem High School’s a cappella group Witch Pitch?.
Immediately following opening ceremonies Maestro Dirk Hillyer and his orchestra has another great program in store for us. Dr. Hillyer commented, “This year we are doing a 50 year anniversary of the music from 1966—The Mamas and the Papas (California Dreamin’), Beach Boys (Good Vibrations), Henry Mancini film hits (Pink Panther, Peter Gunn), and cartoon favorites like Flintstones! Of course we’ll do our popular Tchaikowsky 1812 Overture to the fireworks along with other patriotic greats! Bring your blanket and join in on the fun!”
For this year’s intermission entertainment we have two treats. Some talented 8th grade singers from Salem’s Collins Middle School will be performing and members of the Marblehead Little Theater will entertain us with songs from Broadway.
At 9:15 p.m., Salem ends its Independence Day celebration with a fireworks extravaganza, accompanied live by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra playing the 1812 Overture and other patriotic live music throughout the entire fireworks display.
Part of the allure of this celebration is its setting. The first National Historic Site in the National Park System, Salem Maritime National Historic Site consists of nine acres of waterfront land and houses a dozen historic structures. These include the Custom House, where famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and Derby Wharf, which was used by America’s first millionaire, Salem merchant Elias Hasket Derby. With historic Salem Harbor, including hundreds of boats moored and the replica of a 1700’s sailing vessel, the Friendship, as a backdrop, Independence Day in Salem is filled with the history that helped make American the free nation it is today.
Please note the following information for those planning to attend the July 4th celebrations in Salem this weekend:
Be safe. To ensure a safe and fun celebration, the Salem Police Department will have enhanced security in place on July 4th. Guests are asked to carry any items in clear plastic bags and be prepared for possible bag checks.
Say something. If you see something, say something to uniformed police at the celebration. In addition to officers who will be moving throughout the area all evening, you can also always find officers at the public safety tent, which will be clearly identifiable on site. Concerns can also be called into the Salem Police at (978) 744-1212.
Derby Wharf access. Police will be monitoring access points into the Derby Wharf area throughout the afternoon and evening. Please plan for additional time to arrive at the wharf for the festivities.
Road closures. Derby Street from Herbert Street to Daniels Street, and Orange Street and Curtis Street at Essex Street, will all be closed to traffic on Saturday from 5:00 pm. until 11:00 p.m.
Avoid driving to Derby Wharf. Seek parking downtown in a lot (parkinginsalem.com), or at Museum Place Garage on New Liberty Street or the South Harbor Garage on Congress Street, which are available for parking at $5 for the day, with the proceeds helping to fund the July 4th celebration. There is overflow parking at Shetland Properties on Congress Street, or take the commuter rail or Salem Ferry (salemferry.com) to avoid anticipated traffic congestion. The last MBTA trains depart Salem station at 10:40 p.m. (southbound) and 10:51 p.m. (northbound).
Handicapped parking. There is limited handicap parking at Derby Wharf and in the Immaculate Conception parking lot on Hawthorne Boulevard, which is first-come first-serve, and there is a mobility impaired/wheelchair seating section reserved at the beginning of Derby Wharf, so attendees do not have to traverse the park’s terrain.
Don’t bring fireworks. Salem has adopted the maximum fines allowable for both the sale ($1,000 fine) and use ($200 fine) of fireworks. In addition, a dedicated police unit will be tasked with enforcing the laws prohibiting the private use of fireworks. Please help ensure a safe July 4th for all and leave the fireworks to the professionals.
Harbor access. Recreational boaters and other craft will be restricted from the area around Derby Wharf and the channel in Salem Harbor and the South River for much of the evening. Mariners can call the Harbormaster’s Office at 978-741-0098 or on VHF 16 for emergencies after hours or for more information.
For more information check salem.com, follow the event on Facebook, or call Salem City Hall at 978-745-9595, ext. 5676.
Morning Independence Day Event in Salem
Monday, July 4
Join Mayor Driscoll on Salem Common at 9:00 a.m. for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Dann Maurno will read the document. Bob Kendall will provide piano music, a quintet from Salem High School’s Witch Pitch? will sing the National Anthem, and audience singing will be led by Maureen Dalton. Coffee will be provided by the Salem Common Neighborhood Association.