Leave your car at home. With Main Street and some side streets closed to traffic, parking will be difficult. Walk into town, bike in, or take the NRTA Wave shuttle bus.
Know what is happening and when. Main Street will be full of people who want to participate in the watermelon- and pie-eating contests, in the face painting for children, in the dunk tank, and in the decorated bike contest. It can get confusing! Nantucket Visitor Services has printed a handy flyer that lists the location of each Main Street event, and signs on the event tables will give the time when your age-group can compete.
Be Patient. Nantucket’s July 4th Festivities are largely manned by volunteers. Expect lines and be ready to help your youngsters understand they must wait their turns. And remember: the free facepainting, which is often done by some of the island’s professional artists, is for children, not adults.
Plan to get wet! If you are on or near Main Street at 11:45 am for the waterfight, you will get wet, if not from the fire trucks, then from the enthusiastic watergun-toting participants. Protect your camera and plan accordingly. This is the highlight of the Main Street activities, so relax and enjoy!
At 9 pm, fireworks are shot from a barge 1,000 feet west of the west jetty at Jetties Beach, making the very best vantage point the deck of a boat. But if that is not an option, then stake out a spot on Jetties Beach early in the evening, bring a blanket and a sweater. The best way to get to Jetties Beach for the fireworks is on foot, by bicycle, or by the NRTA Wave shuttle bus. Beginning at 6 pm, the buses will leave the Whaling Museum on Broad Street approximately every 10-15 minutes and will stop at the corner of Bathing Beach Road and Hulbert Avenue. After the fireworks the buses will leave from this same location approximately every 20 to 30 minutes until 11 pm. Fare is $1 each way; half-price for seniors. Children under six ride for free.
Check the Nantucket.net Events Calendar for the latest.