Salem Celebrates Independence Day on July 2nd, 2022!

Festivities return to Derby Wharf July 2, 5pm

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 Saturday, July 2nd.

Over the past few years the Covid-19 pandemic has put a damper on the celebration loved by both tourists and locals alike that takes place annually at Derby Wharf. This year the community will come back together to celebrate the 4th with live music, food, entertainment, and activities for all ages. Mayor Driscoll comments on the celebration stating “It has been two years since Salem has really been able to celebrate the 4th of July, so I am excited that we will once again gather for America’s birthday. This year we will pay tribute to those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic and celebrate our first responders, medical professionals, and frontline workers whose dedication and commitment never wavered during these difficult times.”

The Salem Harbor is the perfect location to set up a lawn chair and hangout for the day to the celebrate the 4th with friends and family. You can sit back and listen to live music while you watch the colors of the bursting fireworks cascade down onto the reflection of the water in the harbor. The silhouette of the Friendship of Salem docked at the Maritime National Historic Site transports onlookers back to 1796 the year the ship began its long journey of being built, and only twenty years after our nation gained independence on July, 4th 1776. With welcoming cobblestone streets and historic homes, Salem offers a glance back in time at the fruition of our countries founding and sets the scene for a patriotic and festive Fourth of July celebration!

Live entertainment on the Main Stage begins at 5:00 p.m. featuring Dis-N-Dat, a reggae and steel drum band. Formed in 1999 by four-time Grammy nominated Black Uhuru drummer ‘Rangotan and 6 time steel pan champion Sista D, Dis-N-Dat has a unique sound. Dis-N-Dat incorporates Roots Reggae, Dance Hall and R&B into a sound all their own by combining the sounds of Jamaica and Trinidad with foundation reggae and the steel pan, moving audiences all over the U.S. for 20 years. The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is the sponsor of this opening act, with the good news that the Jazz and Soul Festival will return this summer to the Salem Common on August 6th as part of the City’s annual Heritage Days celebration.

Also at 5:00 p.m. The Kids’ Space tent, sponsored by Amazon, will open. This year, little ones will be able to pick-up individually wrapped crafts to take back to their seats.

Food tents will be open on site selling hot dogs, French fries, fried dough, kettle corn, and other fair favorites.

Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. when Mayor Driscoll and other local dignitaries will lead a parade down historic Derby Wharf accompanied by Salem veterans and the Salem Boy Scouts Color Guards. The National Anthem will be sung by members of the Salem High School’s a cappella group Witch Pitch?.

Immediately following opening ceremonies Maestro Dirk Hillyer and the Hillyer Festival Orchestra (HFO) will take center stage and perform a program packed with Broadway show tunes, famous movie themes, and patriotic music. This year’s featured performer is Helen Hassinger, a very talented soprano and classically trained violinist. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College (BA Music, Women’s Studies) in Northfield, Minnesota and Boston University (MM Vocal Performance). In 2018 Ms. Hassinger received her Certificate in Opera Performance from the Boston University Opera Institute.  A native of Wisconsin, Ms. Hassinger currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

Intermission entertainment will showcase the talented singers from Salem High School’s Witch Pitch? a cappella group.

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 tunes throughout the entire fireworks display.

Please note the following information for those planning to attend Saturday’s July 2nd celebration in Salem

  • Be safe. To ensure a safe and fun celebration, the Salem Police Department will have enhanced security in place on July 2nd. Guests are asked to carry any items in clear plastic bags and be prepared for possible bag checks by uniformed officers.
  • 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 from 5:00 pm. until 11:00 p.m.
  • Avoid driving to Derby Wharf. Seek parking downtown in a lot, the Museum Place Garage on New Liberty Street, or the South Harbor Garage on Congress Street (www.salemma.gov/parking/pages/parking-rates-locations-hours). There is overflow parking at Shetland Properties on Congress Street or take the commuter rail or Salem Ferry (www.salemferry.com) to avoid anticipated traffic congestion. The last MBTA trains depart Salem station at 10:40 p.m. (southbound) and 10:30 p.m. (northbound/Newburyport Line) and 11:30 p.m. (northbound/Rockport Line)
  • 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 www.salemma.gov or call Salem City Hall at 978-745-9595, ext. 5676.

Check out the poster below for more details!



Skyrocket Sponsors


Footprint Power – Salem Harbor Station

Salem Five

Tropical Products


Star Spangled Sponsors

Aggregate Industries

Eastern Bank

KV Associates

Market Basket

Tache Real Estate

Thermal Circuits

Witch City Walking Tours


Red, White & Blue Sponsors

BMC Corp.

Claire & Jim Bailey

Correnti & Darling LLP

Jolie Tea Company

Mazow/McCullough PC

Granese & Sons

Peabody Essex Museum

Prime Group Shetland Park

Thai Place

Woodard & Curran


Friends of the Fourth Sponsors

Bobrek Engineering  Fiesta Shows  Lotus Gifts  RCG  Salem Trolley  The Salem Witch Museum  Tighe & Bond  Witch Dungeon Museum


Color Guard Sponsors

BNS Fitness  Carpenters Union Local #339  EJ Prescott  New England Civil Engineering  PUMEL Enterprises  St. Jean’s Credit Union  The Salem Inn  The Trolley Depot  Village Tavern  Weston & Sampson Services, Inc.

The City of Salem – Kimberley Driscoll, Mayor

Illegal Fireworks in Salem

A message from the Salem Fire and Police Departments

With the July 4th holiday approaching, the City of Salem, Salem Fire Department, and Salem Police Department would like to remind the community that fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts. State law prohibits the detonation of fireworks, the sale of fireworks, and the purchase of fireworks out-of-state that are subsequently transported into Massachusetts.

In the last decade there have been nearly 1,000 major fires and explosions in the Commonwealth due to illegal fireworks, including fires right here in Salem. Fireworks can cause brush and residential fires, even from a single ember landing in a gutter or lawn.

Fireworks cause extreme stress to veterans and others who may struggle with mental health challenges exacerbated by the loud noise they cause. Panic attacks, injury, loss of sleep, and other disruptions from fireworks being detonated place a tremendous burden on seniors, veterans, and pets.

Lastly, fireworks can result in extreme injury both to the individual setting them off and those nearby. Even small fireworks like sparklers can cause significant and permanent damage, including burns and loss of limbs or fingers. Two out of every five fireworks-related burn injuries are to children and one quarter of them are to children younger than 10 years old. Fireworks are unpredictable and dangerous.

Fines for illegally using fireworks are enforced in Salem at the maximum levels allowed under state law. That means $300 per offense from the Salem Police Department for detonating them, up to $1,000 and potential incarceration for illegally selling fireworks, and up to $1,000 from the Salem Fire Department in additional fines.

Salem Police and Fire Department personnel respond to illegal fireworks complaints in a targeted manner. You can help them respond effectively to these incidents by reporting them using the online tool at www.salem.com/fireworks or by calling 978-744-1212. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

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