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Fourth of July 2017: Where to see fireworks in central N.H.

  • Fireworks light up the sky above Memorial Field in Concord on July 4, 2016. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor file

  • Fireworks light up the sky above Memorial Field in Concord on Monday, July 4, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor file

  • Firework shows will be available to watch throughout the first weekend of July and not just on the Fourth. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor file

  • Isabella Jackson of Contoocook waves to her grandfather while riding in a wagon with her 1-year-old brother Colby during the kid’s parade in Contoocook on July 4, 2016. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor file



Monitor staff
Monday, June 26, 2017

Since Independence Day falls on a Tuesday this year, public fireworks displays are scheduled not just on the Fourth itself, but for the entire preceding weekend.

In fact, a particularly patriotic celebrant could take in pyrotechnic displays four nights in a row without paying a dime or leaving central New Hampshire.

If one night is enough, the full listing of the local goings-on is published below, but here we’ll imagine that action-packed long weekend of back-to-back events.

It starts bright and early Saturday in Bradford – a small town that does Independence Day big, 30 minutes west of Concord.

“We’ve always had a big Fourth, and we’ve always drawn a crowd from surrounding areas because we’re known for our fireworks,” said Claire James, the chairwoman of the town’s Fourth of July committee.

Between 7 and 9 a.m., there will be a breakfast, church fair, library book and plant sale and a 5-kilometer road race.

At 1:30 p.m., the parade will feature pets and pedals, with residents encouraged to dress up their dogs and bicycles to take part. James said awards will be doled out for the bikes that are deemed most colorful, most patriotic, most creative and “best transformation.”

“For example, one person came in a couple years ago, and he was a cowboy and transformed his bike into a horse,” she said.

At Brown Shattuck Field, starting at 2 p.m., there will be vendors, face-painting, balloon animals, a bouncy house, guided canvas painting for kids and cow flop bingo. Music will continue until the fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.

James said the fireworks show is visible from the field, but she advises that the best viewing is from an adjacent garden on East Main Street.

The fireworks show will be extended this year in honor of a local Army sergeant who died in a dive training exercise off the coast of Key West, Fla., last year, James said. David Whitcher, 30, lived in Bradford and served in the special forces.

“It should be, I’m guessing, around twice as long,” James said.

The next two days have one fireworks show each. On Sunday, about 9:20 p.m., they’re in Sunapee over the harbor, and on Monday, scheduled for 11:59 p.m., just in time to ring in the Fourth, at Weirs Beach in Laconia.

For the Fourth of July proper, it’s a viewer’s choice with at least 12 public shows advertised online in towns nearby.

Festivities in Concord begin at 6 p.m. at Memorial Field, with the fireworks show set to start at 9:15 p.m.

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @NickBReid.)

Saturday, July 1

Bradford, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Brown Shattuck Field, 5K, parade, fireworks

Gilmanton, 9:30 p.m., Crystal Lake Park, fireworks

Sunday, July 2

Sunapee, 9:20 p.m., Sunapee Harbor, fireworks

Monday, July 3

Weirs Beach, 11:59 p.m., Weirs Beach, fireworks

Tuesday, July 4

Andover, 7 a.m. to dusk, Carr Field/Village Green, 5K, parade, fireworks, rain date July 8

Canterbury,  9:30 p.m. at Canterbury Elementary School

Center Harbor, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Harbor, race, parade, fireworks

Concord, 6 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., Memorial Field, fireworks, rain date July 5

Gilmanton, 10 a.m., Gilmanton Academy, parade

Hanover, 10 a.m., Dartmouth Green, games, pie-eating contest, food, pony rides, crafts, live music

Hopkinton, 8 a.m., Slusser Senior Center, pancake breakfast, road race, canoe and kayak race, parade

Laconia, 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wyatt Park to Opechee Park, parade, fireworks, rain date July 5

Lebanon, 9 a.m. to 9:20 p.m., Storrs Hill Ski Area, 10K, 5K, fun run, fireworks

Moultonborough, 11 a.m. to dusk, Center Harbor Beach, parade, barbecue, fireworks

New Boston, 10 a.m. to 9:15 p.m., Hillsboro County Youth Center Foundation, parade, games, barbecue, mud volleyball, watermelon eating contest, climbing wall, DJ, band

Waterville Valley, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Corcoran Pond, parade, fireworks

Wolfeboro, 10 a.m., downtown, parade

Saturday, July 15

Weare, Centerwoods Elementary School, 10:30 a.m., parade