The 4th of July on Nantucket is filled with fun activities this year. The day’s events will be different from what you may recall pre-pandemic, but there will still be lots of old-fashioned fun finished off with fireworks!
Starting at 8:30 am and continuing till 12:30 pm, the Nantucket Farmers & Artisans Market presented by Sustainable Nantucket will be set up along Cambridge Street and North Union Street, with local vendors offering jewelry, crafts, sweets, artwork, and more and island farmers selling their fresh harvests.
Food trucks will be on Federal Street between Main and India from 10 am till noon, and in the Atheneum Garden on India Street, the Nantucket Island Center for Entrepreneurs will host a showcase of local start-ups. Stop by to meet the business owners, learn about their ventures, and get some free goodies!
Downtown storefronts will be specially adorned for July 4th, and everyone can participate in voting for the store that should get the People’s Choice award from the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce.
At 10 am, history teacher Peter Panchy will host a panel discussion called “Spotlight on Democracy,” focusing on the weakening of our democracy and how to better sustain it. This roundtable will feature journalists David Gregory of CNN; Susan Glasser, Washington columnist for the New Yorker; and Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for the New York Times. This event is free but tickets are required: reserve your free ticket from the link at nantucketdreamland.org/shows/showing-today
On lower Main Street near the Lt. Max Wagner Memorial Fountain—adorned by members of the Nantucket Garden Club—students from the Nantucket Community Music Center will perform. You might even be able to sing along!
Contemporaneous with the downtown events, there will be family fun presented by the Town of Nantucket Department of Culture and Tourism at Children’s Beach, Harbor View Way, walking distance from Main Street.
Island musician PJ Moody starts the Children’s Beach events at 10 am with a rendition of our National Anthem and other patriotic songs. At 10:30, kids will be entertained by Lizza and her NanPuppets. At 11 am, PJ Moody returns to the bandstand to play more music, and at 11:30 am, children can ride in the parade of decorated bicycles.
Also during the morning, from 10 am to noon, children can participate in 3-legged races, wheelbarrow races, potato sack races, and a tug-o-war. A Matt Fee Tea Toss will be held by the bandstand, along with a cornhole tournament and a photo booth.
At high noon on Main Street, the Nantucket Fire Department will compete with the Boynton Lane Reserves to see who can fill a 55-gallon container with water first. All are welcome to watch the dueling fire trucks compete, but there will be no audience participation this year, so leave all water balloons, soakers, and other water fighting items at home and cheer on your favorite. There is a chance (if one of the participants happens to miss the container) that you might get a little wet, so be prepared. But no promises and no public participation!
The Independence Day Fireworks Display will be held Monday night, July 4th at 9 pm, with the fireworks shot from a barge just offshore. The show will last about 25 minutes. In case of rain or bad weather, the fireworks will be postponed till Tuesday, July 5th at 9 pm.