How to do July 4th on Nantucket

2012 brings America’s 236th birthday! All day long on July 4th, Nantucket is bursting with activities, many of which are suitable for families but still cool enough for college kids.

  • 9 a.m.: Be at at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House at 11 Orange Street. The day kicks off with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence and singing of patriotic songs. Everyone is welcome, and it’s free! Following the program, all are invited to sign a large copy of the Declaration. The event grows in popularity every year, so the earlier you arrive, the better.
  • 10 a.m.: Be on Main Street. The kids can get their faces painted by local artists, create sand art, see a puppet show, enjoy a dunk tank and a number of contest: bike decoration, pie-eating, watermelon-eating.
  • 11:45 a.m.: Stay on Main Street and get ready to be sopping wet! It’s time for the 15-minute water fight between two fire trucks and their giant hoses!
  • 5 p.m.: Be at Children’s Beach if your kids are ages 6-12. They’ll enjoy an hour of tug-of-war, and potato sack, three-legged and wheelbarrow races!
  • 9 p.m.: Be at Jetties Beach. Fireworks are shot off from a barge anchored one mile out in the Nantucket Sound. There are public restrooms on-site, and if you forget a blanket to sit on, you can just pop over and get one at The Jetties, which is right on the beach. Incidentally, The Jetties is also the perfect spot to grab delicious beach picnic fare and delightful cocktails!

Maybe it’s our forefathers’ British roots that steer us to island life on July 4th each year. Or it could just be the lure of Nantucket’s friendly faces and pristine beaches. Whatever it is, there’s no denying that this island is a spectacular place to be on Independence Day. The spirit of Nantucket makes it easy to imagine Thomas Jefferson and the boys waving sparklers and singing America The Beautiful right next to us on Jetties Beach, enjoying the freedom we have to celebrate our nation, party ‘til dawn if we want to, and take pleasure in each precious moment.