It's that time of year again, the 4th of July is right around the corner. 241 years ago the United States gained its independence and today we celebrate by gathering with friends and family, barbecuing, heading to the beach and watching...fireworks. Ah yes, fireworks. Glorious bursts of light and color dancing across the sky as we exclaim "ohhh" and "ahhhh" beneath them.
You don't need much to enjoy fireworks but a little extra planning beforehand will make sure you are not just happy this July 4th but comfortable as well! Here's our checklist to ensure you have the most comfortable experience yet plus a list of where to watch this year's celebration.
Water and snacks. Stay hydrated and fed. There's nothing worse then being dehydrated from a day in the sun, growling stomachs or becoming hangry right as the fireworks begin. Plan ahead and you'll be viewed as the fireworks god or goddess that you are when you hand over a water bottle and granola bar to someone in need.
Comfortable light-weight chairs. Light-weight chairs will ensure that you don't agitate your shoulders on your walk to that ideal firework-watching spot and chairs that recline and/or a blanket to lay on, alleviates future stiff necks on the walk or ride home post-show.
Layers. In case it cools down or a rain jacket in case the weather turns, layers are a must. Choosing to wear brighter colors is always a great idea so when you're walking home or to the car afterwards in the dark, you're easily visible by cars.
Appropriate shoes. Think about the path you'll take to get to your fireworks watching destination and determine the best shoes for the occasion. Sturdy/comfortable shoes while walking on paths, grass or docks is optimal so you don't twist an ankle. If you do twist an ankle, don't worry, we're open again on Wednesday, July 5th!
Bug spray, tick repellent and sunscreen. You can thank us later for this one. Here's a natural tick repellent recipe that you can try as well for those DIYers out there!
Ear protection for you or your children. If you or your children are sensitive to loud noises but still want to partake in the festivities, just grab some ear plugs or other ear protection to bring.
Flashlights. Many phones have a flashlight option these days, just test it out the day before and make sure it sheds enough light to illuminate your path, if not, grab an additional flashlight!
Route home that won't have a lot of traffic congestion. Park in an area that you can easily access. Even if you have to walk a little further, you'll be thanking yourself at the end of the night when you're not waiting in a long line of cars.
A place to meet in case you get separated. Especially with a family, make sure to designate a meeting place just in case. No need to panic when a plan is set out and agreed upon in advance.
Leave the fireworks to the professionals, opt for sparklers or glow sticks for personal fun!
Portland 'Stars and Stripes Spectacular' Free Concert & Fireworks:
When: Tuesday, July 4th
- 2:00 PM - Vendors open to public along the Prom
7:00 PM - Opening Ceremony
7:40 PM - PSO Patriotic Pops Concert
- 9:20 PM - Fireworks begin!
Rain date: Wednesday, July 5th.
Where: Eastern Promenade. Enjoy from the Prom or from the water if you have, or know someone with, a boat!
- VIP tickets are available for $100 each and they include reserved seating in front of the concert stage, transportation to the Eastern Promenade on the Narrow Gauge Railroad, and a BBQ dinner.
- Listen to the broadcast of the "Stars & Stripes Spectacular" on WHOM 94.9
Although there are no town fireworks in Brunswick (that we could locate), the Brunswick Rotary and the Town of Brunswick/Brunswick Downtown Association will be offering their annual 4th of July Games on the Town Mall from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for Brunswick area kids of all ages on July 4. Participation in traditional races and games is free to all and includes Relay Games, 3-Legged Races, a Pie Eating Contest, Wheelbarrow Races, Sack Races and a Watermelon Eating Contest. There will be ribbon awards. Water, popsicles, oranges, and juice will be provided.
For fireworks, head to nearby Bath, Maine for a day packed full of celebration marking the last day of:
Here's the rundown for July 4th in Bath:
- 7:30am: 1 Mile Fun Run
- 8:15am (City Hall): 5 Mile Road Race
- 10am-2pm (Winter Street Church): Friends of Patten Free Library Book Sale
- 10:00am – (Pre-parade show 9:00am): Independence Day Parade
- 12pm-11pm (WP): Smokey’s Greatest Show and Carnival
- 10am-11pm (WP): Food and Other Vendors
- 11am-11pm (WP): Live Entertainment
- 8pm (LP): Bath Municipal Band Pre-fireworks Concert
- 9pm: Fireworks over the Kennebec River