Mayor Kimberley Driscoll is pleased to announce that Salem will hold its Independence Day celebration at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf on Friday, July 4th.
“There is no better place to be than Salem on the 4th,” Mayor Driscoll stated. “We have consistently put together one of the most spectacular live concerts and fireworks extravaganzas anywhere in Massachusetts.” American Profile magazine has ranked Salem as one of the ten best places in America to celebrate July 4th.
Free children's activities begin at 4:00 p.m. with the opening of the Kids' Space, where young ones can play games and get their faces painted, all thanks to the generosity of the Gathering, the MeetingHouse Church and the First Universalist Society of Salem. Food tents on site also open at 4:00 p.m. with hot dogs, French fries, fried dough, kettle corn, and other fair favorites.
Live entertainment on the Main Stage begins at 5:00 p.m. with the Pocket Money Orchestra. Come down early to hear this amazing young funk group from Salem, featuring energetic original music by Brian Cogger (trumpet), Seth Bailin (tenor and baritone sax), Aidan Scrimgeour (piano), Ben Siwak (bass), Derek Hayden (drums), and Danny Dugan (percussion). The band's repertoire includes a wide range of musical styles, influenced by groups like Booker T and the MG's, Charles Mingus, and early Santana. The Pocket Money Orchestra has a growing presence on the North Shore music scene and plays regularly at local venues. They are also slated to play at this year's Salem Jazz and Soul Festival.
Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. when Mayor Driscoll and other local dignitaries will lead a parade down the wharf accompanied by the Salem Veterans Honor Guard and Salem Boy Scout troops. The National Anthem will be sung by Grace Bigus, Sam Bigus, Danielle Lovasco, Chloe Panico, Jacob Pini, Mariella Robinson, Delaney Sprague, and Aly Yanishevsky from the YMCA of the North Shore Glee Club. The YMCA of the North Shore Glee Club is an a cappella group for children ages 12-18 directed by YMCA Music Director Samantha Gambaccini. These students work as a team to create and sing a wide variety of repertoire from classic to contemporary. The popularity of this ensemble has grown exponentially since its creation in the fall of 2013.
Immediately following opening ceremonies Maestro Dirk Hillyer and his orchestra will offer a Pops experience you will never forget. This year soloist Jean Danton joins the orchestra with musical selections from Sondheim. Her singing has been described as “stunning,” ”outstanding,” “wonderfully controlled and full-voiced,” and “stylishly stellar.” Her artistry has led to acclaimed performances throughout the United States in oratorio, opera, recitals, and as a soloist with symphony orchestras. She is a favorite soloist with Pops orchestras including the Boston Pops Orchestra with Keith Lockhart and Bruce Hangen, North Shore Music Theatre, North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, and New England Light Opera.
At 9:15 p.m., Salem ends its Independence Day celebration with a fireworks extravaganza, accompanied by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra playing the 1812 Overture and other patriotic music throughout the entire fireworks display.
Part of the allure of this celebration is its setting. The first National Historic Site in the National Park System, Salem Maritime National Historic Site consists of nine acres of waterfront land and houses a dozen historic structures. These include the Custom House, where famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and Derby Wharf, which was used by America's first millionaire, Salem merchant Elias Hasket Derby. With historic Salem Harbor, including hundreds of boats moored and the replica of a 1700's sailing vessel, the Friendship, as a backdrop, Independence Day in Salem is filled with the history that helped make American the free nation it is today.