Independence Day on The Rock
Nantucket goes all out for the Fourth of July. Not only are we celebrating the birth of a nation, we are welcoming another summer season. Our seasonal residents have been arriving in droves over the past week; The rental homes, guest houses and hotels booked months in advance. With that many people around, it only makes sense to throw a party, and it’s quite an event the town puts on every year.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the full Fourth of July experience, it pays to get up early. The Firecracker 5K road race takes off from the Nantucket Health Club on Young’s Way, heads out to Monomoy and returns to the club, all before 9 a.m. If you’re not in the mood for a quick jog, head downtown at 9 a.m. for a reading of the Declaration of Independence. It’s a great way to remind yourself what this day is really all about: The freedoms we as Americans are so privileged to enjoy (For more on that thought, click here). After the reading, the fun really starts downtown. There are kids games, pie- and watermelon-eating contests, and the big water fight on Main Street at noon. This year’s group spray has been shortened from a half-hour to 15 minutes due to water conservation measures, but it promises a good soaking nonetheless.
The activities calm down a bit mid-day, giving you more than enough time to hit the beach or attend a back-yard barbecue. They start ramping up again around 5:30 p.m. at Jetties Beach, with contests like three-legged-races and a tug-of-war. Of course, this most patriotic of days is capped off by a fireworks display launched from a barge off the beach at dusk. In the event of inclement weather, they will be held Saturday night.
So put on your red, white and blue, take a moment to savor the meaning of the day, and then head out and have a good time. Happy Fourth of July Nantucket!
– Joshua Balling, I&M Managing Editor