Don’t let the parade pass you by. Especially if you haven’t seen it in three years.

That’s the case for the legion of fans of the Heritage Days Fourth of July Parade in Bath, usually the biggest in Maine. It hasn’t been held since 2019 but is back in all its glory this year.

“I think it means a lot for us to be able come together and celebrate as a community,” said Amanda McDaniel, director of Main Street Bath, organizer of Heritage Days. “I think we all need to be able to relax a little bit and have fun again.”

All over Maine, there are more Independence Day celebrations to choose from this year, as pandemic restrictions ease. So no matter where you are, you should be able to find fireworks, a parade or some similarly joyous commemoration of our nation’s birth. July 4 is on Monday, but some events are planned for Saturday and Sunday, too.

Here are a few highlights of Maine’s Fourth of July festivities.



About 100 groups – including bands, occupants of floats and old cars, police and firefighters, community organizations and exuberant young people – are scheduled to march in the Heritage Days Parade in Bath this year. The parade is scheduled to step off at 10 a.m. Monday and wind its way through downtown for about an hour and a half. The parade usually starts at the corner of North and Lincoln streets, then heads south on Lincoln, east on Centre and north on Front, ending just past the Patten Free Library. The grassy hill by the library offers a shady place to watch, but people also pull up chairs or stand or sit at various spots along the route. The exact route of this year’s parade will be posted on the Main Street Bath website.

Heritage Days is actually a four-day festival with carnival rides, concerts and other events around Bath’s historic, riverfront downtown. There’s an antique car show at 9 a.m. Sunday and there will be fireworks on Monday at 9:15 p.m. For more information about Heritage Days, go to

Front Street will likely be buzzing with visitors at the antique car show during Bath Heritage Days on Sunday. The event’s Fourth of July Parade, which ends on Front Street, will be Monday. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer


Sitting on the Eastern Promenade in Portland with Fourth of July Fireworks bursting overhead is quite an experience. But have you ever wondered what the Portland fireworks might look like from a distance, with the city’s skyline and glimmering Casco Bay framing the show? You can find out by watching Portland’s fireworks from just across the harbor at South Portland’s Bug Light Park.

South Portland Parks and Recreation will host a July 4 celebration in the park beginning around 4:30 p.m. and ending by 11 p.m. Monday. The park has a large, grassy space right on the water with plenty of room to spread out your blankets. The festival will include about half a dozen food trucks, karaoke contests, music and an Elvis impersonator. For more information, click on events at Facebook: South Portland Parks and Recreation.

The Portland fireworks on the Eastern Promenade won’t be accompanied by any music or performances this year. A staffing shortage among city employees convinced city officials to keep this year’s celebration pared down, so the focus will be on the fireworks show that starts at 9:15 p.m. Monday. The Eastern Promenade park hosted much bigger July 4 celebrations before the pandemic, which usually included vendors, performers and a concert by the Portland Symphony Orchestra.


As usual, people can set up blankets on the hill in the park facing the water. Last year, the city also hosted a fireworks-only event, which attracted an estimated crowd of about 15,000. The city’s Fourth of July celebrations before the pandemic had been estimated to attract 50,000 or more people. Licensed food trucks will be allowed to park in the Cutter Street lot in the park during the event. The rain date is July 5. For more information, go to Facebook: City of Portland, Maine or and scroll down to the events calendar.

The Eastern Promenade lawn was more sparsely populated during the 2021 fireworks show than in past years. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer


L.L. Bean in Freeport has long hosted a July 4 celebration that features music, a parade and fireworks. But this year, the retailer is switching things up a little by replacing the fireworks with a laser light show. The Monday evening festivities will start at 7:30 p.m. with a free concert by Pink Martini, a nationally-known orchestra that blends pop, jazz, Latin and other sounds, in Discovery Park on the L.L. Bean campus. After the concert, people are invited to “stick around for our new take on pollution-free fireworks, as we fill the night sky with a stunning display of colorful laser lights,” according to the L.L. Bean website.

The 30-minute laser light show will be accompanied by patriotic music, but without the pops and bangs of fireworks. L.L. Bean decided to switch to a laser show for July 4 because it’s more environmentally friendly and will be “a unique new experience,” said Jason Sulham, manager of public affairs for L.L. Bean. There will also be a parade down Main Street in Freeport at 10 a.m. Monday. For more information on L.L. Bean’s Fourth of July Celebration, go to

Ocean Park’s July 4th parade will be in motion Monday. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer


Old Orchard Beach is always a happening place in summer, what with vacationers from all over the place. But it also has a long tradition of July 4 celebrations, particularly in the Ocean Park section of town. The 72nd Annual Ocean Park Independence Day Parade, for example, kicks off at 10 a.m. Monday at the Bell Tower on Temple Avenue. The parade is a proudly small-town event, known for kids on colorfully-decorated bikes riding down the route. The parade is followed by a band concert in the Ocean Park bandstand.


Then at 6 p.m., there’s a free concert by the Don Campbell Band at the Seaside Pavilion on 6th Street in Old Orchard Beach. The popular Maine band describes its music as “American crossover,” blending country, rock and acoustic music, among other styles. The band’s violinist, Tom Yoder, will play a solo rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The band will also perform one or two songs Campbell has written about veterans, Campbell said. The concert is slated to end around 8:30 p.m.

Then around 9:45 p.m. Monday, there’ll be a fireworks show, on the beach near the Pier and Palace Playland. For more information on Old Orchard Beach’s July 4 events, go to and search upcoming events.

People were dancing at last year’s Music by the Sea Celebration in Camden. This year’s is scheduled for July 4th. Photo courtesy of Camden Rotary Club


There’ll be free music all day long in Camden on Monday. The Camden Rotary Club is presenting Music By the Sea: A Fourth of July Concert Event. There’ll be a show by the Bay Chamber Jazz Ensemble on the village green at noon, followed by three consecutive shows in the Camden Amphitheatre: Casco Bay Wind Ensemble at 2 p.m., singer-songwriter Chris Ross at 4 p.m. and The Right Track Rhythm and Blues band at 6 p.m. The latter band usually has people up and dancing. For more information, go to and scroll down to the events calendars.

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