Quincy 4th of JulyTwo kids from Quincy, John Hancock and John Adams, ignited American independence. So it’s only natural that America’s Most Patriotic City celebrates the 4th of July in grand fashion with beachfront bonfires, block parties, historically-inspired performances and re-enactments.

A list of celebratory events around the city appears below. You can see more at DiscoverQuincy.com.

Hancock, born in Quincy Center on the site of what’s now the Quincy Historical Society, funded the early years of the American Revolution and presided over the Second Continental Congress that declared independence on July 4, 1776. This Quincy kid’s dramatically scripted name remains a symbol of defiance and a synonym for “signature” itself 240 years later.
Adams, born in a simple saltbox-style home that stands today outside Quincy Center, was the great intellectual light of the Founding Fathers. It was this Quincy kid’s impassioned rhetoric in Philadelphia that inspired 56 of the most powerful men in colonial America to pledge “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” and declare independence from England.

Adams then wrote to Abigail Adams at their home back in Quincy that the Declaration of Independence “ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with (Shows), Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

And so we still celebrate American independence today in the manner Adams wanted – here in Quincy and from sea to shining sea.

Saturday, July 2

The Letters of John and Abigail Adams Set to Opera & Orchestra
Adams National Historical Park, Beale Estate, 181 Adams Street, 2 p.m. Free.
Hear the moving letters of Abigail and John Adams set to music in the free showing of My Dearest Friend: A Song Cycle for Soprano, Baritone, and Orchestra on the very grounds where many of these letters were composed.

The performance is made possible, in part, by a grant from Opera America. A free trolley from the Adams National Historical Park Visitor Center (1250 Hancock Street) will drop off at the location.

Tours of the 1686 Dorothy Quincy Homestead
Dorothy Quincy Homestead, 34 Butler Road, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free. Donations accepted. Dorothy Quincy was a member of the powerful Quincy family, the wife of John Hancock and the first First Lady of Massachusetts. Her gorgeous 340-year-old homestead is just two blocks from Quincy Center T on the MBTA Red Line.
DorothyQuincyHomesteadTours of the Josiah Quincy House
20 Muirhead St.,11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tours on the hour. Last tour at 4pm. $5 adults, $4 seniors, $2.50 students. Free to Historic New England members and Quincy residents.

John Adams Health Walk
Pageant Field, One Merrymount Parkway, 8 a.m. Free

Sunday, July 3

Merrymount Freedom Run & Beach Party
Merrymount Beach, 40 Shore Ave, 5 p.m.
A 2.5-mile run/walk from Shore Avenue to Norton Road and then the perimeter of Merrymount. The finish line is at the main beach. Registration fee for participants. Race is followed by family-friendly beach party overlooking Boston Harbor Islands with contest, games and music.

Hough’s Neck Family Fun Day (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.), Edgewater Drive
This Edgewater Beach family friendly event includes music, games, dunk tank, arts & crafts, tattoo artist, face-painting and much more.

This event is sponsored through donations from local businesses, elected officials, volunteers and the Hough’s Neck Community Council.

Hough’s Neck Independence Day Block Party
Edgewater Drive, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Traditional family-friendly beachfront block party on Boston Harbor with open houses, cookouts and bonfires, with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Monday, July 4

America’s Best Idea: National Parks and America’s Independence
Adams National Historical Park, Peacefield, 135 Adams St.
Celebrate America’s Independence at the home of founding father and 2nd President of the United States, John Adams. All day. Free.

2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Independence Forever: Re-enactment of the Continental Congress Become a delegate to the Second Continental Congress and reenact the passage of the Declaration of Independence. Join the “band of brothers” who changed the course of history in 1776 and sign the historic document.

3:30 p.m. The Reading of the Declaration of Independence
Join the delegates of the Continental Congress, celebrate liberty, and lend your voice to the ceremonial reading of the Declaration of Independence!

4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Jefferson & Adams: A Stage Play
Witness a compelling dramatization of the extraordinary friendship between two American Presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams and Adams’ “dearest friend” Abigail in the performance of this revolutionary dialogue.

Canoe Tour of the Lower Neponset River & Historic Walking Tour of the Quincy Quarries Reservation
Lower Neponset River. Departs at 10 a.m. and expected to return at 2pm. $12 donation and advance reservations required.

Guided tour showcases the flora, fauna and environmental issues of the Neponset River waters of Milton, Dorchester and Quincy. This six-mile tour is recommended for intermediate paddlers. Participants must know how to swim. Canoes are available for use or participants can bring their own canoe/kayak.

Walk to Granite Quarries, first commercial railway in America, incline & Lyons Turning Mill. To register, call Blue Hill Adventure & Quarry Museum, 781-326- 0079 or email motjuste@earthlink.net, and provide name, phone number, and number of participants.

107th Annual Squantum 4th of July Parade
Parade starts at the First Church of Squantum and ends at the Squantum School. 10 a.m. Free
The Squantum Parade Committee runs Squantum’s longest tradition and one that attracts generations of Quincy families.
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Merrymount 4th of July Parade
Parade starts at Merrymount School and ends at Merrymount Beach. 1 p.m. Free

Sponsored by the Merrymount Association, this parade engages the whole neighborhood with many streets making their own floats. Parade Route: Merrymount School on Agawam Road to Narragansett Road, Chickatabot Road, Norton Road, Sea Street, Samoset Road, Longwood Road, Moreland Road, Waban Road, Maypole Road, Squanto Road, Victoria Road and back to Merrymount Beach.

Tuesday, July 5

Guided Tour of 376-year-old Hancock Cemetery
Hancock Cemetery, 1307 Hancock Street, 1 p.m. Tuesdays through July 26. Free. Hancock Cemetery, which dates back to 1640, houses the remains of 69 veterans of the American Revolution and many leaders of colonial America and the young nation, including patriots Josiah Quincy, Colonel John Quincy and early Harvard president Leonard Hoar.

Every day through November 12

Church of the Presidents and the Presidential Crypt, 1306 Hancock St.
The United First Parish Church (“The Church of the Presidents), directly across from Quincy Center T on the MBTA Red Line, houses the remains of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams and First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Catherine Adams.

Visitors can touch their granite tombs, draped in period flags, and see prize artifacts of American history, including the birth notice of John Hancock (whose father was minister of the congregation) and the July 4, 1826 death notice of John Adams.

The church is a classic example of Greek Revival architecture designed by Alexander Parris, who also gave Boston Quincy Market.

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One of the founders of Dirty Water Media, Julie Fairweather serves as the company’s managing editor, marketing director and contributing writer/producer. In addition to her work with Dirty Water Media, Julie is also an award-winning journalist with 20+ years experience developing marketing and public relations strategies for emerging businesses. Julie has also worked as an assignment manager and reporter for WLVI-TV 56 in Boston and a news anchor and reporter from an NBC affiliate in North Platte, NE. Julie is a past President and former Executive Director of The Publicity Club of New England, a 300-member trade organization for the Greater Boston public relations community. She also taught broadcast journalism and radio and television producing at her alma mater Emerson College in Boston, MA. Her most accomplished position is as the mother to her three amazing children.

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