The 4th of July on Cape Cod kicks off the summer season. There isn’t any other place we would rather celebrate. You can watch parades and fireworks all week long or spend the day with friends and family celebrating on the beach well after sunset. Here is our guide to all of the best Independence Day events with travel tips to avoid the holiday traffic.
Cape Cod 4th of July Events
While the majority of Cape Cod towns have canceled their 4th of July events, there are several events still on to help you celebrate our nation in traditional style:
Thursday, July 1
6 to 9 p.m., Fireworks & Fun at Veteran’s Field (15 Veteran’s Field Road), children’s activities from 6 to 8:30 p.m.; Dan Clark, “The Singing Trooper,” entertaining from 8 to 9 p.m.; Fireworks Spectacular at 9 p.m.
8:45 p.m. Thursday, July 1 (rain date is Friday, July 2), fireworks display at Mashpee Middle-High School, 500 Old Barnstable Road. Parking will begin at 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 3
9:30 a.m. Chatham Independence Day Parade will have a theme of “Chatham: From Shell-tering in Place by the Sea, to Celebrating a New Beginning.” The parade route begins at the intersection of Shore Road and Main Street and ends at the intersection of Crowell Road and Tip Cart Road.
Sunday, July 4
9 a.m., annual Barnstable-West Barnstable Parade
The route will leave the Barnstable County Courthouse Complex and travel east on Route 6A. It will turn left on Millway then right on Commerce Road back to Route 6A, right on Route 6A through the village to turn left on Parker Road, continue on to Church Street, turn right on Route 149, right on Route 6A and back to the Barnstable County Courthouse Complex.
Revelers dressed in red, white and blue are invited to gather between 9 and 10 a.m. planning to walk or ride any decorated, non-motorized transport in a parade that steps off at 10 a.m. A fire engine from the Barnstable Fire Department will lead the way, accompanied by Barnstable Police, down Main Street to the Centerville Recreation Center. Viewers are encouraged to line Main Street. At the center, at 534 Main St., games and festivities will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
11:30 a.m. Cotuit 4th of July Parade will begin in front of the Post Office, 45 School St.. The parade will leave School Street, take a left on Main Street and continue down Main Street to the former Cotuit Elementary School. The parade ends in the public field behind the old school building.
9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Hyannisport Mini-Marathon & Parade; the run starts at 9 a.m. at the Post Office, followed by the parade at 11 a.m. which starts at the Hyannisport Post Office on 44 Longwood Ave., takes a left onto Washington Avenue, a right onto Lafayette Avenue, left onto Winchester Avenue, a left onto Scudder Avenue and continuing onto Dale Avenue and ends at the West Beach Club.
2 p.m.: Hyannis Marina Boat Parade will start in Hyannis Harbor on Ocean Street. Boats should line up at the marina starting at 1 p.m., the parade will enter the Harbor at 2 p.m. There will be family activities from 2 to 6 p.m. at Aselton Park on Ocean Street.
2 p.m. to 8 p.m.: There will be family activities on the Hyannis Village Green between Main and South streets, including the Roaming Railway (which loops around the Hyannis Village Green and Harbor Overlook brick pathway) and the interactive Fun Zone with family-friendly games. The Hyannis Town Band will play on the bandstand from 5 to 6 p.m. followed by special guests Mamma’s Marmalade.
4 p.m.: Mile-long Hyannis Main Street will have activities that include jugglers, stilt walkers and other revelry makers for “Dancing in the Streets of Hyannis.” There will also be DJ stations and live musicians and dancing.
Dusk (approximately 9 p.m.) in Lewis Bay: Hyannis Fourth of July Fireworks, main viewing locations include Aselton Park, Bismore Park and Veteran’s Park Beach, all on Ocean Street.
10 a.m., Orleans Parade with a theme of “America is back”.
The parade will start from Eldredge Park Way, turn right onto Route 6A, travel along Route 6A before turning right at Main Street, turn right onto Route 28, then travel Daley’s Terrace and Marstons Way to the parking lot at Nauset Regional Middle School for awards.
4 p.m., Spirit of Sandwich 4th of July Parade from the Henry T. Wing School, 33 Water St. The parade exits Morse Road, turns right onto Route 130 (Water St.), right onto Main Street, right onto Beale Avenue, then left onto Morse Road to end the parade.
9:30 a.m. Good Ol’Fashioned Hometown Holiday Hurrah, local chamber of commerce’s annual Fourth of July Parade. Classic car parade begins at 9:30 a.m., the float parade begins at 10 a.m. The route begins at the Town Pier (255 Commercial St.), goes up Holbrook Avenue, turns right on Main Street, then turns right on East Commercial Street, and ends back at the pier.
There is usually a TON of traffic 4th of July on Cape Cod and throughout the week leading up to the holiday. If you are renting a home, most rentals are Saturday to Saturday. We recommend requesting to stay through Sunday or leave on July 4th as these are the best travel days.
Since traffic gets busy throughout the holiday weekend, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destinations. That may mean waking up bright and early on the 4th to head to the Cape for a 10am parade start time!
Visit our Cape Cod Vacation services page to see how we can help make your 4th of July celebration a success. Happy July 4th and stay safe!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.