Arts & Culture Community Photos & Videos

Photos: Boston Harborfest Kicks Off Independence Day Festivities

Photos by Gerri Paladino

July 4th holiday festivities kicked-off with the 34th annual Boston Harborfest at Faneuil Hall Marketplace on Thursday, July 2nd. Boston Harborfest is a five-day festival with over 200 activities celebrating American Independence and honoring the city’s colonial roots.

Mayor Walsh was out of town, but other city officials were joined by Commander Sean Kearns, Captain, USS Constitution; Captain E.J. Marohn, Chief of External Affairs, United States Coast Guard Sector Boston; Pat Moscaritolo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau; Richard Doucette, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism; and Carol Troxell, President of Faneuil Hall Marketplace Merchants Association during the celebration to kick-off the festival.

The patriotic opening ceremony featured the United States Army National Guard’s The 215 Army Band, and the ceremonial cutting of the Harborfest cake. Captain Gelzer and Commander Kearns and special guests used a cutglass (sword) to cut the cake, provided by Faneuil Hall Marketplace and created by Montillio’s Baking Company. National Park Service Park Rangers and Freedom Trail® Players, dressed in 18th-century costumes.

Held from July 1 through July 5, Harborfest celebrates the colonial and maritime heritage of America’s independence in Boston. Over the years, Harborfest has grown from a local event to a national celebration. In 1982 there were 35 activities over the course of three days. Now in its 34th year, Harborfest is considered to be the largest patriotic celebration in the nation.

For more Harborfest information and a list of activities, please visit