Fourth of July: Here's what's planned in York, Ogunquit, Kennebunk and Sanford (2024)

Ready for America’s birthday bash? Communities throughout southern Maine are, with fireworks and fun planned for Independence Day on Thursday, July 4.

York will host two fireworks shows, one on Thursday, July 4, and another on Saturday, July 6. Ogunquit has a "giant fireworks show" planned on the Fourth of July, while Sandford will host its annual block party and parade.

Fourth of July: Here's what's planned in York, Ogunquit, Kennebunk and Sanford (1)

Here is a look at the events planned in York, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, Wells and Sanford.

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York lights up: Two nights of spectacular fireworks

York is offering two nights of fireworks the week of the Fourth of July.

First, fireworks will be set off July 4 from a barge off Short Sands Beach for the crowd at Ellis Park on Ocean Avenue.

Then, on July 6, fireworks will go off near the York Harbor Reading Room at 491 York Street.

Fourth of July: Here's what's planned in York, Ogunquit, Kennebunk and Sanford (2)

York Parks and Recreation Special Events Coordinator Nick Darby said the July 4 show is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and the Reading Room fireworks should go off around the same time, or after dark.

The week will also feature fun events and entertainment on Long Sands Beach.

A dance party will be held with music near the Long Sands bathhouse on July 4 led by one of the Parks and Recreation Department’s dance instructors.

“For anyone that wants to jump in and show their moves,” Darby said.

The next night, July 5, the 195thArmy Band will perform in front of the Long Sands Bathhouse.

Darby said the Fourth of July is a special time of year for York that holds more meaning than “just another summer day.”

“There’s a little bit more patriotism and love for our veterans,” Darby said. “It’s a little more appreciation for the country we live in.”

The 45th annual Four on the 4th Road Race brought to you by York Parks and Recreation and York Rotary Club is also set for July 4.

Registration is online only and closes July 2 at 8 p.m. The race starts at York High School at 7:30 a.m. and runs along Long Sands Beach. Bib pickup starts at 6:15 a.m. on race day, but participants are encouraged to pick up bibs at the family-friendly Pre-Race Party on July 3 between 3 and 5 p.m. at York High School.

Visit yorkmerotary.org for the race registration link.

A pre-race party will be held on July 3 from 3 to 5 p.m. at York High School. Brought to you by York Rotary, this event is open and free to everyone. It features activities for the whole family, including an obstacle course and bouncy house, yard games, music, refreshments, and early bib pickup for race participants.

Sanford: Block party, fireworks and a parade

In Sanford, the fun starts on Wednesday, July 3, with a block party set to begin on William Oscar Emery Drive at Number One Pond at 4 p.m.

According to Sanford Parks and Recreation, vendors will open their food trucks, tents, and stands at 4 p.m.

The Maine Attraction Water Ski Team will begin its warmups on the water at 6 p.m. and will liven up the pond with an entertaining show at 6:30 p.m.

The fireworks will begin at dusk – or nine-ish, as the Rec Department says on its website. Per tradition, friends and families alike can view the display from the shore of the pond, the hill at Gowen Park, the bridge on Winter Street, or near the waterfall at Gateway Park on Washington Street, to name just a few choice spots.

Then, on Thursday, July 4, the city will hold its annual Independence Day Parade, which will step off from streets surrounding Sanford Car Wash at 10 a.m. and will proceed north to Gowen Park. The theme for this year’s parade is “Sea to Shining Sea.”

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Ogunquit plans 'giant, dazzling fireworks show'

Earlier this year, Real Simple, a New York-based magazine, hailed Ogunquit as the world’s top vacation destination. Part of its appeal, no doubt, is the reputation the seaside town’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show has earned over the years.

“We have a giant fireworks show, which I’m told is one of the very best in southern Maine,” said Alice Pearce, the executive director of the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce, which is presenting this year’s display.

On July 4, the “dazzling show,” as Pearce described it, will begin at Ogunquit Beach at 9:15 p.m. Anyone who finds a spot between Main Beach up to Footbridge and North beaches and beyond is assured “great views,” the chamber stated on its website.

Musicians will provide live entertainment in the couple of hours leading up to the show.

If it rains, the town will bump the fireworks show to the next night, Friday, July 5, at the same time.

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Kennebunk, Kennebunkport team up for fireworks show

On Wednesday, July 3, the Kennebunk River Band will perform a free concert at Lafayette Park at 9 Storer Street at 6:30 p.m. The show is the holiday week’s entry for the town’s annual Concerts in the Park Series, which is offered every Wednesday night, now through Aug. 14.

Per tradition, the towns of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport will team up for their fireworks show at Kennebunk Beach at dusk on July 4.

Fourth of July: Here's what's planned in York, Ogunquit, Kennebunk and Sanford (3)

Earlier on the Fourth, the Kennebunkport Resort Collection will host a Fourth of July Lobster Bake at The Lodge on the Cove at 29 South Main Street, with two seatings at noon and at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $70 and are available online.

Billed as “the quintessential Maine experience,” the Bake will give attendees a chance to “immerse themselves in classic New England flavors of the sea,” according to the KRC. On the menu will be 1.25 pounds of fresh lobster per person, barbecue chicken, clams, corn on the cob, potatoes, cornbread, and Maine blueberry crisp.

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Wells: A concert to end the holiday weekend

While the town of Wells does not have any traditions on the Fourth, the community is offering an entertaining way to wrap up the holiday weekend.

As part of the 2024 Wells Harbor Summer Concert Series, which recently began, the Deep Blue Sea Studio Orchestra will perform at the Hope Hobbs Gazebo at 331 Harbor Road on Saturday, July 6, at 6 p.m.

According to Rebekah Kelley, the town’s communications and volunteer coordinator, the orchestra will perform songs including “Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days of Summer,” “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” “Under the Boardwalk,” and more.

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The orchestra is led by international touring artist Dave “Doc” Vose, a longtime professor at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, a Yamaha clinician, and a published music composer.

“The orchestra focuses on two things: high-quality performance and entertaining its audiences,” Vose said.

Parking and admission are free. There are park benches for seating, but attendees are welcome to bring their own blankets, folding chairs, and more.

Kelley even encouraged people to pack a picnic.

“Our summer concerts are the perfect way to enjoy great music in the beautiful setting of Wells Harbor,” Kelley said. “We invite you to round out the July 4th weekend with a relaxing evening of wonderful entertainment, with good folks in a scenic spot.”

Fourth of July: Here's what's planned in York, Ogunquit, Kennebunk and Sanford (2024)

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