Go Fourth and celebrate Independence Day (on July 5)

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July Fourth fireworks on July 3, of course. (It's a Manchester thing).
July Fourth fireworks on July 3, of course. (It\’s a Manchester thing).

As always, Manchester is the city that boldly asserts its independence from the constraints of the holiday calendar. Tradition here means the annual fireworks display goes off one day early, on July 3.

Newsflash: Manchester police announced July 2 that the annual fireworks celebration would be rescheduled for July 5 due to a stormy forecast for July 3.

Hey – it’s a Manchester thing!

The fireworks usually begin around 9:30 p.m. Best vantage point is Arms Park(ing lot) which is down by the Merrimack River between UNH Manchester and Stark Brewing Co. (formerly Milly’s Tavern) just off Commercial Street. Bring a chair and some snacks and enjoy the river view.

Highlights: The 39th Army Band will be performing at 7:30 p.m. until the fireworks display begins at approximately 9:30 pm. Food and beverage vendors will be available beginning at 6 p.m. or you can bring your own. (No alcoholic beverages allowed). Admission is FREE!

Find more info here.

Advantage: You are right where the action is.

Downside: Sometimes crowded to the point of having trouble finding a place to park. Best to find a parking space and walk down if at all possible.

Unsolicited advice: It’s “cheap wing night” at The Farm, 1181 Elm St,, and an easy walk from there to Arms Park. Or, enjoy any of the city’s popular downtown eateries, take a fireworks break and then resume your downtown activities.

Advisories:  

  • Manchester Police advise the public avoid the Bridge Street Bridge from 8 a.m. to midnight on July 3 due to the set up and launch of the holiday fireworks display. The Amoskeag Bridge, the Granite Street Bridge, and the Queen City Bridge are all viable options for travel east/west across the Merrimack River although the Granite Street Bridge will have a noticeable increase of traffic due to the holiday fireworks and should probably be avoided as well.
  • Commercial Street will be limited to pedestrian traffic only from 8:30  to 11 p.m. on July 3 due to the fireworks.
  • Avoid Bridge Street from Mammoth Rpad to Pine Street on July 3 from 6:30  to 9:30 p.m. due to a road race. Webster Street, Hanover Street, Lake Avenue, Spruce Street, Valley Street, and Cilley Road are all viable alternative routes for east/west travel in Manchester during this time. Also avoid Maple Street northbound from Hanover Street since Maple Street will be closed at Bridge Street due to the race. Information on the road race can be found at Millennium Running.

Another popular viewing outpost is Derryfield Park, on the hill next to the playground, at the top of Bridge Street.

Advantage: You can see the entire skyline, and the kids can run around without getting lost in a crowd.

Downside: The main attraction is off in the distance, so it doesn’t pack the same punch as being right there, but it is a lovely vista just the same.  There are usually mosquitoes buzzing around, so remember your bug spray.


For those who want to make an evening of it, the Queen City Ballroom’s annual Dance Party and Fireworks Celebration will be held July 3 at the studio, 21 Dow St., 2nd floor, from 7 p.m. until a half hour after the end of the fireworks display. Come dance to a mix of ballroom, Latin and swing recorded music. Singles and couples of all ages and dance levels welcome. Friendly crowd. Bring a potluck dish to share if you wish.

Advantage: Great view of the Manchester fireworks and you can spend the half hour after the fireworks dancing while traffic clears.

Disadvantage: We can’t think of any – food, dancing and fireworks? Let freedom ring!

Other info: Tickets $10 per person at the door. Call 603-622-1500 or e-mail karen@queencityballroomnh.com to make a reservation. Studio located at 21 Dow St, 2nd floor, Manchester, NH 03101.

Rain date for this party will correspond with Manchester’s rescheduled fireworks date, if necessary.


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About Carol Robidoux 5217 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.