Home / Locations / Local Events / Boston Harborfest event guide

Boston Harborfest event guide

The Fourth of July is perhaps the country's most important holiday, celebrating the independence of the country from the British and its adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Those who want to honor the tradition with a bang can rent a Massachusetts car rental and head to the historic city for the beloved Boston Harborfest. This event is much more than just a day of fun, fireworks and festivities - it's a five-day party with more than 200 different events happening all throughout the city. Get ready for an exhilarating celebration with this helpful guide!

History of the Boston Harborfest

Compared to the country's past, Boston Harborfest is a relatively young event. It dates back to 1981 when the first installment took place as a recreation of the 1976 bicentennial celebration of the nation's founding. While it was a humble event at first, it has grown in popularity and size over the years and has become one of the most prolific displays of American patriotism. Today, it attracts thousands of visitors from across the country, and area businesses and organizations put on hundreds of events around the city, which guests can access with an affordable Boston car rental.

Boston Harborfest events and activities

There's are more activities during Boston Harborfest than one person can do in the span of five days, so guests should plan their agendas ahead of time to make sure that they don't miss out on the best of the best. The festivities kick off on day one with Children's Day at City Hall Plaza, where families can listen to live music and join in on sing-alongs. Day two is generally comprised of open-air concerts at the plaza, where, on other days, there are huge parties featuring food, drink and live music. Visitors won't want to miss out on the annual Boston ChowderFest, which lets area restaurants compete for the title of best New England chowder in the city. Walk about to sample the regional delight and vote for your favorite. During the fest, there are also lectures, exhibits, art displays and other activities held at various venues throughout Boston.

July 4 is the highlight of the event, offering residents and visitors a day full of special features, from dinner cruises to museum open houses. It begins in the morning with a flag raising ceremony and lively parade that runs from city hall to the Granary Burial Ground. There are also special tours of the Freedom Trail, live readings of the Declaration of Independence, a luncheon that includes a showing of the USS Constitution and other unique historical activities.  The evening comes to a close with a grand fireworks display that lights up the sky over the harbor. Take note that parking downtown can be difficult during the duration of the fest, and organizers recommend that you leave your Boston Harborfest car rental at the hotel and utilize the city's subway system to get to the plaza.

Get your lowest rate here!
Click to select your travel date.
Click to select your travel date.
Promo Code:
Dollar Express
Reservation Status   View, Modify, Cancel , Rapid Rental
Sign up for Dollar E-mail Specials