Get Creative At Home

You don’t always have to go outside to celebrate 4th July. There are a ton of activities which you can do from the comfort of your home. For example, you could bake patriotic red, blue, and white desserts. The family can join in on preparing some 4th July cakes, brownies, and cupcakes. You could also start a barbecue. Just fire up the grills and make some burgers and hotdogs. No party is complete without great music, so get someone to play a patriotic tune on the guitar while everybody else sings along. Games are always a great way to keep your spirits up. You can play a trivia revolving around 4th July and some of the significant events in America’s history. To top it all off, you could grab a patriotic movie to watch in the evening.

Portland Museum of Art

Are you an art lover? A tour to the Portland Museum of Art is a great way to spend 4th July. The Portland Museum of Art houses works of icons such as Andy Warhol, Winslow Homer, and Claude Monet, among others. The museum also has an extensive collection of contemporary, American, and European works, as well as collections by Maine Artistes. You will also find sketches, Photographs, sculptures, ornate silverware, pottery, furniture, and so much more. With over 18,000, you will be hard-pressed not to find something interesting to view. The collection at the Portland Museum of Art is so big that it would take you approximately ten years of continuous gallery rotations to view all the items in the museum. The museum also has a store and a cafe on-site.

The Portland Museum of Art is located about half a mile southwest of Old Port, near downtown Portland. Public parking is available for a fee on the streets around the museum. The museum is open during the regular hours from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free for members and people under 21 years, $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather as a guide on some of the activities you can do on 4th July in Portland, Maine to celebrate America’s Independence. There are a handful of other places to visit, sites to see, and activities that you can do at home. Regardless of how you chose to celebrate 4th July, it is important to take a moment and reflect on how far America has come. It is essential to appreciate the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of those who came before us, and to live by the founding documents drafted by our forefathers that made our nation the greatest nation on earth.

What to Do on July 4th in Portland, Maine

Narrow Gauge Museum & Waterfront Train Ride on Casco Bay

If you think that you have been to all the tourist attractions in Portland, the Narrow Gauge Museum might make you change your mind. You’ll get to see several historic rail cars and much more when you make a trip to this museum. Whether you’re a railfan, history buff, or just looking for something fun to do on 4th July, you will find a trip to Maine Narrow Gauge Railway Co. & Museum to be quite a delightful experience. You will feel as if you’re taking a journey through time when you step aboard and travel in one of the historic coaches. You will also learn a great deal about the history of Narrow Gauge Railways. Some of the historic equipment you’ll get to see include, Rangeley which was built in 1901 for Rangeley Lakes and Sandy River Railroad, and is America’s only 24-inch gauge Parlor; SR&RL Combine coach 14; and the Bridgton & Saco River RR Coach 16 which was built in 1882 and is among the oldest equipment in the railway. The museum is open during regular hours from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

During the evening, you can catch the waterfront train ride on Casco Bay. Train rides run from Ocean Gateway to Eastern Promenade, and the drop off point is at Cutter Street. The ride operates from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm and usually costs $5. There are two advantages to the waterfront train ride. The first is that you get to experience a fantastic view of Casco Bay. The second is that you get to experience the fireworks on Eastern Promenade.

Boat Cruise along Casco Bay

Whether you only have hours or an entire day, the best way to experience Casco Bay in its entirety is on the deck of a ferry. Although you can still catch a glimpse of Casco Bay by taking the waterfront train ride, it isn’t as in-depth an experience as that of a cruise ship. There are various cruise companies that operate along Casco Bay. One of the most popular Fourth of July cruises is the one offered by Casco Bay Lines. The annual event falls under the cruise company’s “special event” cruises and is usually presented by DJ Haunt. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Casco Bay Line and other cruising companies have halted the sale of cruise tickets.

Old Port Holiday Historic Walking Tour

Old Port’s Historic Walking tour is an exciting two-hour activity that provides a historical adventure for families and friends. In this walking tour, you get to explore the rich history of Old Port and places of interest since 1632. Did you know that the 1866 Great Fire of Portland occurred on 4th July? The celebration in 1886 was the first independence day celebrated since the end of the American Civil War. The Great fire originated from a boathouse and spread in a way that had never been experienced in an American city. It was the most dreadful fire in America before the 1871 fire of Chicago. The tour addresses how the fire occurred, how it spread, as well as how the citizens of Portland have triumphed time and again. You also get to experience Portland’s beautiful monuments, historical landmarks, and architecture and learn how prohibition began in the Old Port, including the famous Rum riot of 1855 and other significant events that have taken place in Portland since 1632. The walking tours also discuss some of the best restaurants in Old Port and the best places to sample local craft beer.

A Short History of Independence Day

Since 1941, the 4th of July or Independence day has been a federal holiday in the US. However, the tradition of hosting celebrations on the 4th of July dates back to the American Revolution of the eighteenth century. The continental congress voted for America’s independence on 2nd July 1776, and the thirteen colonies adopted the historic declaration of independence (drafted by Thomas Jefferson) 2 days later. It was then that America was born. From 1776 to date, various celebrations have been held in America to commemorate the historic event. These celebrations range from family gatherings and barbeques, parades, concerts to fireworks.

In present-day Portland, people participate in various activities to commemorate Independence Day. Some of these activities include watching fireworks on Eastern Promenade, a trip to Narrow Gauge Museum, waterfront train rides and boat cruises along Casco Bay, Old Port walking tour, barbeques, baking patriotic desserts and much more. Above everything else, the best thing we can do on 4th July is to celebrate. Celebrate the birth of America, celebrate the rights we enjoy but too often take for granted, Celebrate the sacrifices of those who came before us, and appreciate the fact that we also have a role to play in determining the direction our nation will take next.

Fireworks on Eastern Promenade

Traditionally, fireworks celebrations on the 4th of July have been one of the common activities across America. In Portland, Maine, the situation is no different. 4th of July fireworks celebrations are usually held on Eastern Promenade. The annual event is usually free to attend, and thousands of people from across Portland attend. It is characterized by the presence of a lot of picnic spots and food vendors on the grassy hill, and the Casco Bay usually fills with people watching the fireworks on boats.

Other than being a time to celebrate America’s independence, the event also provides a commercial opportunity for vendors to sell food, souvenirs, and various merchandise. On 4th July 2019, the firework celebration was accompanied by a treat from the Portland Symphony Orchestra as well as Covantage. This was not the first time that Portland Symphony Orchestra has made a performance during the 4th July fireworks celebrations. For many years since 2010, they have entertained the audience before and during the event.

However, in 2020, the event was canceled as a safety measure against the spread of COVID-19. City Manager of Portland, Jon Jennings, announced that he had no option but to cancel the event because the State of Maine had forbidden social gatherings of over 50 people. Budget constraints were another reason why the event was canceled. According to Portland’s spokesperson Jessica Grondin, the city did not have sufficient funds to hold 4th July celebrations in 2020. Following these two events, the celebrations have been rescheduled to 4th July 2021.