Salem loves Independence Day, and since 2000 we have celebrated it in style with the Hillyer Festival Orchestra and a fantastic fireworks display, all staged over our National Historic Site at Derby Wharf. It is a glorious event, infused with patriotism and celebration and staged in one of the most historic locations in New England.
If you have joined us in the past, you know how well Salem Celebrates the Fourth, but you may not be aware of new safety measures being put in place this year. If you have not yet experienced the festivities on Derby Wharf, you are in for a treat. Newbie or seasoned patriots alike will want to read our tips for a safe and happy 4th in Salem. Click here for the complete safety advisory.
Arrive Early. The free (free!) Kids Space, presented by REMIX Church and the Salem YMCA, opens at 4:00 PM. Magic 106.7 is sending their street team this year, and the food vendors open at 4:00, as well.
Bring a blanket, your chairs, and your July 4th picnic, but please pack your things in clear plastic bags. There will be enhanced security this year, and Salem Police will be conducting random bag checks to ensure all of our safety.
Plan for traffic and some parking challenges. Beautiful weather and a Saturday holiday will likely combine for our biggest celebration to date. Derby Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 4pm - 11pm. (See point 1: Arrive early.)
The opening band, LUX, will begin on the Main Stage at 5:00 PM. The Hillyer Festival Orchestra will begin with our opening ceremonies, including a color guard and the singing of the National Anthem, at 7:15 PM.
One of our favorite annual features of the program is the Armed Forces Salute, when we as a community have the opportunity to honor and appreciate our active military and veterans. We appreciate their service. This year will be especially dramatic, as the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Unit will be doing a Flyover.
There are restrooms at the National Park, and those will be supplemented with portable toilets.
The Fireworks are scheduled for 9:15 PM, and they will be accompanied by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra. For all of the people who come out for the fireworks, and just the fireworks, consider alternate viewing at Shetland Properties or Winter Island Maritime Park. Shetland is also providing overflow parking.
When it's all over, please pick up your trash (take only pictures, leave only footprints, please!) and be patient as you depart the Wharf. Drive safely, and have a happy weekend!