Top Navigation

Featured Articles

Fourth of July Means Lakes Region Fun!

Kathi Caldwell-Hopper - June 26, 2013


What is the Fourth of July without a great parade?

If you are vacationing in the Lakes Region during the Fourth of July, you are in for a treat. There are many parades and fireworks, not to mention concerts, barbecues and other fun activities in the area and most are free of charge.


For a good, old-fashioned parade, head to Laconia for the annual Independence Day. The parade forms at Wyatt Park at 3:30 p.m. and wends its way to Opechee Park where vendors and activities will offer family fun. Fireworks end the day with a great display at 10 p.m. The rain date for fireworks is July 5.

Two bands will be playing during the Lake Opechee festivities, starting at 5:30 p.m.: Living on a Bad Name, a Bon Jovi tribute band, and the Swift River Jazz Band. Call Laconia Parks and Recreation at 603-524-5046 for updates and information.

Weirs Beach is the place to be on July 3 when fireworks light up the sky at midnight. Before the fireworks, there is plenty to do at Weirs Beach in the hours leading up to the fireworks where the M/S Mount Washington boards passengers for daily lake tours. There are many restaurants and shops and arcades, as well as the wonderful beach.


On July 4, there will a Fourth of July parade in downtown Bristol (Newfound Lake Region) starting at 10 a.m., sponsored by the Bristol Lions Club.

On July 5, bring a blanket or lawn chair and watch a movie at Kelley Park in downtown Bristol at dusk.

Fireworks illuminate the sky over Kelley Park on July 6 at dusk.

Plan to be in Bristol on July 7 for the return of the Kelly Miller Circus, presented by the Bristol Lions Club at Kelley Park at 2 and 5 p.m.


Alton Bay is the place to be for great Fourth of July festivities. The Bay area is alive with fun on July 3 with a bandstand concert at 7 p.m. in Alton Bay. The band is a country favorite, Jose Duffy. Bring a chair and a picnic supper to enjoy during the free concert.

Fireworks will be launched from the barge in Lake Winnipesaukee at approximately 9:20 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the rain date is July 6. Call 875-0109 for further information.

Center Harbor

Center Harbor has many Fourth of July activities, beginning with the 35th Center Harbor Foot Race on July 4. Registration is 8-9:30 a.m. at the downtown bandstand. The children’s race begins at 9:30 a.m. and the adult race is at 10 a.m. Call Sandy Frost, Parks and Recreation director, at 455-1632 for registration information.

At 2 p.m. on July 4, the annual parade comes to Center Harbor, starting at Chase Circle and going to the downtown area. The theme of this year’s parade is Center Harbor Then & Now.

A free concert at the Center Harbor bandstand with music by the Moose Mountain Jazz Band begins at 7 p.m. Bring a picnic, a blanket, or lawn chairs for an evening of entertainment, culminating with a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. over Center Harbor Bay.


On July 4, there will be an Independence Day Parade in Moultonborough. The fun kicks off with the parade beginning at 11 a.m. on Blake Road, continuing through town to Old Route 109, and ending at the Lions Club with a free barbecue for all participants.

If you like a good book, get in line early for Moultonborough Library’s annual book sale, taking place on July 6 and 7. This is one not to miss! The sale will be in the library parking lot from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Paperbacks and hardcovers will be on sale. Call the library at 476-8895 for details.


When it comes to celebrating the Fourth, Meredith offers many fun events. Tentatively scheduled is the annual American Legion barbecue at Hesky Park with a concert to follow (definite date not available at press time). Call 279-6016 for updates.

Bring lawn chairs to relax and watch the fireworks sponsored by the Greater Meredith Program; fireworks light up the sky over Meredith Bay at 9:30 p.m. on July 4 with a rain date of July 5.

The fun and popular Rubber Duckie Race takes place at the Inns at Mill Falls in Meredith on July 4 at 4 p.m. For ticket information, call 279-6016.


For old-fashioned farm fun, head to the NH Farm Museum on Route 125 in Milton for its Fourth on the Farm event, from noon to 4 p.m. The old-fashioned event offers strawberry shortcake with homegrown strawberries, old-time games, patriotic music, and living history farm tours. Visitors also can see the farm animals and visit the gift shop. Call 652-7840.


An Independence Day Band Concert takes place in Wolfeboro on July 4 at the Cate Park bandstand in the downtown dock area. A band will perform at 7:30 p.m.; the concert is free.

The parade will be on July 4 at 10 a.m. and will travel down Main Street.

Fireworks will begin at dusk over Wolfeboro Bay. Call 569-2200.

Also in Wolfeboro, history comes alive at the Clark House Museum Complex on Main Street. On July 3, the museum will celebrate from 1 to 4 p.m. with events that include a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a chance to sign the Declaration with a real quill pen, a display of flags, games, role players debating over the Revolution, and a chance to sample drink and food from colonial days. Call 569-4997.


The little town of Ashland really knows how to celebrate and they pull out all the stops for the Fourth of July! Many people say that the fireworks display in Ashland is the best anywhere; if you are heading to the area for the display, plan to spend the weekend in town for some great holiday events.

On July 4, there will be a pancake breakfast at the Common Man restaurant on Main Street at 8 a.m. Following that, there will be a traditional parade on Main Street at 10 a.m.

From noon to 8 p.m., activities and fun take place at the L.W. Packard Ball Field.

On July 5, the fun continues with a 6 p.m. midway and entertainment at the L.W. Packard Field. At 9:30 p.m., fireworks light up the sky.

Waterville Valley

Waterville Valley will celebrate the Fourth of July with a parade at 11 a.m. All are welcome to participate by joining spectators, walking in the parade, helping with a float, or entering a float in the parade.

Family activities and free outdoor concerts also are scheduled. Fireworks end the day in a big way at 9:30 p.m. Call 236-4695.


The Gilmanton Fourth of July Association invites the public to an array of entertainment and celebrations. The parade lines up on High Street in Gilmanton on July 4 at 9:30 a.m. and the parade begins at 10 a.m. Following the parade, there will be demos and food on the Academy Grounds.

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and join friends and neighbors for an evening of fun and a fireworks display on July 4 at Crystal Lake Park on Crystal Lake Road in Gilmanton Iron Works. The fun begins when gates open at 6:30 p.m. Live music will be provided on the bandstand throughout the evening by Bob and the Hay Balers.

Under the pavilion in the park, there will be food for sale by the Gilmanton Youth Organization. Fireworks end the celebration at dusk.


Steele Hill Resort on Steele Hill Road in Sanbornton offers a public event for the residents of Sanbornton and anyone who wishes to attend on July 4. Activities and food will be available on the property and fireworks end the event at dusk. Call 524-0500.


Ossipee celebrates the holiday with a parade starting at 10 a.m. in Center Ossipee on July 4. The parade is followed by festivities in Constitution Park in Ossipee at 5:30 p.m. The block party atmosphere will feature a barbecue, DJ, and a chance to get together with friends.

Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. 

What Do You Think?