Independence Day Celebrations

Monday, July 4th

Read Our Press Release

Saturday, July 2 at 2 PM, African Meeting House

Reading Frederick Douglas 

Join us as we celebrate the legacy of Frederick Douglass by reading a passage from his famous Fourth of July speech " What to the Slave is the Fourth of July". 

Frederick Douglass had strong connection to the island of Nantucket where his career as a public speaker was launched.  His first speech was at the anti-slavery convention on August 11, 1841, at the Nantucket Atheneum Great Hall at the invitation of William C. Coffin, an abolitionist and businessman.  

The event is a part of a statewide initiative where a number of communities read the address together and reflect on our past and present.  

This event is sponsored by the Museum of African American History Boston | Nantucket, Cape Cod Verdean Museum and Cultural Center, and the Town of Nantucket Culture & Tourism Department.

Main Street Morning Activities 10AM-Noon

At 10:00am at the Dreamland Theatre, there will be a Spotlight on Democracy roundtable with Peter Baker, chief White House Correspondent for the New York Times, Susan Glasser columnist for the New Yorker magazine and former CNN and NBC host David Gregory. 

At 11:00am on Main Street, students from the Nantucket Community Music Center will sing. The morning will be capped off by a "contained water contest" between the Town of Nantucket Fire Department versus the Boynton Lane Reserves at Noon

Noon, Water competition between Nantucket Fire Department and Boynton Lane Reserves. This modified water competition will not have public participation. The public is asked to refrain from bringing water balloons, soakers and other 'water competition' material. the public should expect to get wet within the “Spray Zone”. The public will only be limited in participating in the handling the fire hoses of both Fire Companies. But not in the fun of getting wet. Both firetrucks will attempt to fill a 55 gallon drum with water first.

Hungry for breakfast? Be sure to stop at the food trucks on Federal Street. 

Don't forget to visit the Farmer's Market on Cambridge Street and the Nantucket Island Center for Entrepreneurs showcase in the Atheneum garden on India Street:

  • Nantucket Crisps - hand out samples
  • Pocomo Wine - hand out cards, build custom wine cellars
  • Pampr - concierge service will hand out t-shirts, bags and cards
  • Scout Guide - book of women entrepreneur businesses on Nantucket.  Will hand out copies of the Guide.
  • Ellie O's - starting ice cream sandwich business, will likely hand out samples and cards
  • Chamber Pitch Competition - have applications for those who want to enter to pitch and flyers about the live event
  • Atheneum - Display of entrepreneurship books available at the library.

Please note that the reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Orange Street has been cancelled this year and will return in 2023.

Children's Beach Activities 10:00AM-Noon and again at 5:00PM

Enjoy the Matt Fee Tea Toss (while they last) Participate in a cornhole tournament, Visit the NiSHA table. P.J. Moody kicks off the morning with some patriotic music. Then watch the Nanpuppets on the bandstand at 10:30am, Stick around for the Bike Parade around the park perimeter after 11:00am. P.J. Moody returns to the bandstand to sing during the 11:00 hour. Don't forget to celebrate the day by hamming it up at the Zofia & Co. photobooth with your friends. At 5:00pm, be sure to watch the potato sack race, three legged race, wheel barrow race, and famous tug of war on the beach. It will be a fun time for all!

Fireworks at Jetties Beach at 9:00PM

End the day with the best fireworks display on Nantucket. Fireworks will be shot from a barge just offshore and will last about 25-27 minutes. 

Starting at 6:00pm, Cranberry Transportation vans will depart outside the Whaling Museum on Broad Street every 10-15 minutes and will return from Jetties Beach after the fireworks up to 10:30pm.