4th of July on Cape Cod: Displays, Parades & Travel Tips

The 4th of July on Cape Cod kicks off the summer season, and 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 Independence Day festivities with travel tips to avoid the holiday traffic.

Cape Cod 4th of july Events

  • Barnstable Village: Attend the village parade kicking off at 9 a.m. from Barnstable County Courthouse Complex traveling east on Route 6A.
  • Centerville: Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at Centerville Elementary School with a flag-raising and Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Chatham: Enjoy one of the oldest Independence Day parades in the country, with this year’s theme being “Timeless Chatham: It’s A Shore Thing.” The procession starts at 9:30 along Main Street.
  • Cotuit: The parade begins at 11 a.m. on School Street in front of the post office, then turns left on Main Street and continues down Main Street to the former Cotuit Elementary School.
  • Falmouth: Experience fireworks at Falmouth Heights Beach at dusk.
  • Hyannis: Starting at 5 p.m. the traditional Hyannis Marina Boat Parade will take place in Hyannis Harbor. A procession of boats decked out in a sea of red, white, and blue will wind their way around the inner harbor!
  • Orleans: Enjoy fireworks at Rock Harbor on July 2nd and a parade on July 4th kicking off at Eldredge Parkway at 10 a.m.
  • Plymouth: See the fireworks at Plymouth Harbor.
  • Provincetown: Watch the fireworks display at Ptown Harbor at dusk and consider a special whale-watch cruise for a unique viewing experience. The festive and colorful July 4th parade kicks off at 11 a.m. down Commercial Street.
  • Sandwich: The 4th of July “Spirit of Sandwich” parade starts at 10:30 a.m. from the Henry T. Wing School on Water Street.
  • Wellfleet: The nostalgic classic car parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and the float parade starts at 10 a.m. The route begins at the Town Pier.

Travel Tips

There is usually a TON of traffic on Cape Cod during the 4th of July and throughout the week leading up to the holiday. Here are some tips to help you navigate the busy summer holiday:

  1. Optimal Travel Days: If you are renting a home, most rentals are Saturday to Saturday. We recommend requesting to stay through Sunday or leaving on July 4th as these are the best travel days.
  2. Early Departure: Since traffic gets busy throughout the holiday weekend, be sure to plan ahead and 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 parade or event.
  3. Alternate Routes: Use alternate routes to avoid the main highways, especially Route 6, which can become very congested. Consider taking scenic backroads for a more pleasant journey.
  4. Parking Tips: Arrive early to secure parking spots, especially for popular events. Utilize public transportation options where available to avoid the hassle of parking.
  5. Stay Informed: Check local traffic reports and event updates to stay informed about any changes or delays.

Pro Tip: Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks to stay comfortable throughout the day. Having a cooler with refreshments can make a big difference during long events.

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.