Portland will host fireworks on the Eastern Promenade this year, but hope that crowds will be more spread out more than in years past. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Fourth of July fireworks will light up the night sky over several Maine cities and towns this year. Though not as many as before the pandemic.

Last year, the spread of  COVID-19 forced the cancellation of large fireworks displays across Maine, but this year, they’re back – somewhat. With state restrictions on large outdoor gatherings lifted in May, some cities and towns have decided to go forward with fireworks this year. Many are not including vendors, entertainment and the other festivities that often accompany a July 4 celebration. But others are hosting parades along with the fireworks.

Some towns that were considering fireworks on Independence Day have decided against them. Officials in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport decided to postpone any fireworks shows this year until Labor Day weekend, said Kennebunk Town Manager Michael Pardue. The town of Ogunquit also canceled its fireworks show. Interim Town Manager Matt Buttrick said in an email that he didn’t think it was “prudent” to hold an event that brings people – including families with young children – close together in large numbers. Bath Heritage Days canceled its Fourth of July fireworks and parade earlier this year, before restrictions were lifted.

Below are some of the places where fireworks can be seen this year across Maine, on or around July 4. As we’ve all learned during the pandemic, things can change quickly, so check websites and Facebook pages for the latest event information. July 4 is Sunday.

POW ON THE PROM

Portland’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show, on the Eastern Promenade near Casco Bay, will resume this year after being canceled in 2020.  The event is scheduled for Sunday around 9:15 p.m., and the rain date is Monday. But to keep crowds smaller, the event won’t have its usual festival-like atmosphere. There will be no vendors or food trucks, and no performance by the Portland Symphony Orchestra. The PSO has entertained the crowds before and during the fireworks most years since 2010.

Usually for the fireworks, crowds of thousands gather on the Eastern Promenade’s hillside to get a good close look. But in statement on the city’s website announcing this year’s fireworks, officials wanted to “remind” people that the fireworks can be seen well from several other locations, including East End Beach, Fort Allen Park, Amethyst Park, Baxter Boulevard, Payson Park, Martin’s Point and Bug Light Park in South Portland. City officials say they might livestream the fireworks so people can watch from home. For more information on the Portland fireworks, go to portlandmaine.gov.

Portland will host fireworks on the Eastern Promenade this year, but no extra activities.  Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

GIVE THEM LIBERTY

The Lewiston Auburn Liberty Festival is also bringing back its fireworks this year. But, like in Portland, the Liberty Festival won’t have music, food or crafts, according to organizers. What it will have is a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Saturday over Great Falls on the Androscoggin River, between the two cities. The rain date is Monday.

The Liberty Festival organizers and the city have created a map that shows viewing spots in Auburn and Lewiston, on both sides of the river, plus parking lots and garages. To see the map and get updated information on the fireworks, go to the Lewiston Auburn Liberty Festival Facebook page.

Motor Booty Affair, posing with Portland municipal organist James Kennerley, will perform before fireworks at Cook’s Lobster & Ale House on Bailey Island on Saturday. Photo by Tim Pro Media, LLC

A FUNKY DISPLAY

Cook’s Lobster & Ale House on Bailey Island in Harpswell is resuming its recent tradition of hosting an outdoor concert by Maine funkmasters Motor Booty Affair, followed by fireworks. Known for its over-the-top ’70s look, the band plays disco, dance and funk favorites. The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday with fireworks to follow, and the restaurant will be closing at 4 p.m. so staff can watch the show too. Tickets are $30, but you don’t necessarily need to go to the show to the see the fireworks. Cook’s is on a point near the Cribstone Bridge between Bailey Island and Orr’s Island, and fireworks can be seen from various points nearby. For more information or tickets to the show, go to cookslobster.com.

INDEPENDENCE CENTRAL

One event that does include lots of other festivities, besides fireworks, is the Central Maine 4th of July Celebration in Clinton, north of Waterville. The Sunday event is slated to include live music, a police K-9 demonstration, a horse show, food, kids events, a parade and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. People can bring chairs and blankets to enjoy the show.  The event will be held at the Clinton Lions Fair Grounds. It’s free to enter, but parking is $5. For updated information, go to the Central Maine 4th of July Celebration Facebook page.

The Central Maine 4th of July Celebration in Clinton – seen here in 2019 – returns this year. Photo by Michael G. Seamans 

BLAST ON THE BAY

The seaside town of Bar Harbor, near Acadia National Park, is hosting a parade downtown and fireworks over Frenchman’s Bay. The parade is Sunday at 11 a.m. with a craft fair before and after, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fireworks are at 9:15 p.m. Sunday. Agamont Park, at West and Main streets, is one favorite area for viewing the fireworks over the water. For more information, including a map of the parade route, go to VisitBarHarbor.com.

OOB AND AAH

Old Orchard Beach is hosting fireworks for the Fourth of July on Sunday around 9:45 p.m. in front of Palace Playland. Also this year, Old Orchard Beach will be hosting its weekly summer fireworks shows on Thursday nights beginning June 24. Those are at the same time and place as the July 4 pyrotechnics. For more information, go to the special events calendar at oob.maine.com.

The Ocean Park section of Old Orchard Beach is hosting its 71st Annual Independence Day Parade on Monday at 10 a.m. The parade begins at the Bell Tower on Temple Avenue and is led by a color guard and the Ocean Park Band. Kids are invited to decorate their bikes and ride along. A concert at the bandstand will follow. Organizers ask that participants wear masks and social distance as much as possible. Information on the parade can also be found at oldorchardbeachmaine.com.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.