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Massachusetts July 4th Guide

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ur Massachusetts July 4th Guide is new today, July 1, 2016. Rain is predicted for the entire state tonight. Any event that you might be interested in today may be cancelled or rescheduled, so make your plans accordingly. Always call and confirm before you travel! Massachusetts Regions - Counties

We’ll cover every region of the state and list every single celebration, whether it be big or small. This feature will give you an overview of the types of celebrations happening across the state, in your region, and in your neighborhood. We’ll feature concerts, patriotic parades, arts festivals, boat parades, small town commemorations, barbecues, picnics and more.

Our 4th of July Fireworks Guide will be a huge feature in its own right and one that we will update all the way through the holiday weekend.

Northeast Massachusetts July 4th Events

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Southeast Massachusetts 4th of July Events

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Central Massachusetts July 4th Events

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Western Massachusetts July 4th Events

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We will be making updates to the Massachusetts July 4th Guide on a regular basis, all the way to Independence Day. If you know of any events that we’ve missed, just let us know. We are still waiting for many towns to post their information for this year.

Image credits: Copyright: djahan / 123RF Stock Photo

Featured Photography

How to Photograph Fireworks

Learning how to photograph fireworks is one of the most frustrating things that we’ve ever tried to learn. We’ve taught ourselves and most of what we now know, we learned by trial and error, or more accurately, experiment, refine and repeat. To get the perfect shot of fireworks requires the patience of a saint and the planning of an engineer. We started photographing fireworks a few years back and we’ve made some pretty dreadful mistakes. We’ve also had some great productive sessions. We’ve put together a few tips to get you started on taking better shots of fireworks and included a short tribute to a great fireworks photographer.

How to Photograph Fireworks: Tips from two dedicated amateurs

  1. Do your research online to see if you can find any published photos of the fireworks event that you are attending. Check out the shots and choose the ones that you like best. Once you have the shot or shots that you like, go to Google Maps and try to determine the location. You can use street view and satellite view to pinpoint the area. Very often you can look at the lay of the land and the geographical characteristics and make an educated guess at the exact location. You can even get some free information on the EXIF information. For example, you can find photos on Flickr of the fireworks taken in previous years that will give you the exposure, the ISO and other settings used in really outstanding photos. In this way, you won’t be totally shooting in the dark (haha, I know). That is how we created some of our best shots ever.
  2. Arrive extremely early to choose your spot or to find the location that you picked out on Google Maps. When you get there early, you can ask the show organizers to help you locate the fireworks staging area. You’ll need to know this exact location so that you can point the camera right at it. Then you will need to estimate how far back to set up and what else to include in the frame of your photographs. This entire process can get complicated and drawn out. It also might require a lot of walking to pick out just the right spot. One good idea is to do this the day before the fireworks show. That way you can take some test shots to see what you like best.
  3. Don’t even try to take a photograph of fireworks without a really steady tripod and a remote shutter release cable. This tip alone will make your photographs 1000 % better.
  4. Claim your spot early and spread out. You are going to choose a premium spot to take your shots. You are going to lay claims to this spot hours before the crowds arrive. By the time the first shot goes off, entire families will move in and let their children bump into your tripod. Other photographers or television crews will come and set up in front of you. I know all of this from experience. It has happened to me.
  5. Bring more than one camera if you can so that you can use one for great landscape shots and another one for great detail shots.

How to Photograph Fireworks: Gallery click to see larger version

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Here’s a list of the photographs shown in the gallery above:

  • Brilliant fireworks display featuring a multicolored Chrysanthemum burst of green, purple, red and hints of blue streamers or trails of sparks.
  • Purple Pyro Photo: Purple Chrysanthemum
  • Boston Massachusetts Fireworks July 4th © e2dan/Shutterstock
  • multicolored Ring Fireworks, in green, red, blue and white
  • multicolored Peony burst of gold, white and purple streamers with white or silver star bursts
  • Fireworks at the park with friends by Adam Baker, see below
  • Red & White or Silver Chrysanthemum
  • Brilliant fuchsia or purple fireworks display featuring a white and fuchsia Chrysanthemum burst of streamers
  • multicolored Chrysanthemum burst of yellow, purple, red, green and blue streamers or trails of sparks
  • Big White Chrysanthemum (with red streak and willow streamers?)
  • Patriotic Pyrotechnics Photo: fireworks display featuring a red, white and blue Chrysanthemum
  • Deep Purple & Gold Chrysanthemum Fireworks Shell

How to Photograph Fireworks: Learning from Masters

When I was learning how to photograph fireworks I found the work of Bob Jagendorf. He’s one of my favorite photographers of all-time. His images of the Macy’s Fireworks blew me away when I first saw them. I never studied with him or met him, but he taught me a lot by simply being open and generous. His photos on Flickr list with all of the EXIF metadata there for everyone to study. Especially relevant for our purposes here are the ISO, exposure, and aperture settings. I suggest that you write down the settings of the photographs that you like the most and try them out for yourself. That is exactly what I did to get the results below.

This is the photograph that we found on Flickr:

and this is the photograph that we took as our tribute to Bob:

Shown below is another one of Bob’s fireworks photos. Bob passed away in October of 2013. We deeply regret that he has left us. His work will endure forever because it was and is, brilliant and unique.

Photographing Fireworks: Learn More

See our Other Fireworks Guides:

Northeast Massachusetts Fireworks
Essex, Middlesex & Suffolk County Fireworks
Southeast Massachusetts Fireworks
Norfolk, Plymouth, Bristol, Barnstable, Dukes & Nantucket County Fireworks
Central Massachusetts Fireworks
Worcester County Fireworks
Western Massachusetts Fireworks
Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden & Berkshire County Fireworks

How to Photograph Fireworks: Learn by Experimenting at these Massachusetts Fireworks Shows

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Featured Lifestyle Travel

Best Blogs: Massachusetts

Best Blogs: Massachusetts Here’s a list of our favorite Massachusetts-based blogs and blog articles about Massachusetts. We’re starting small with a few of our favorites, but we’ll be adding more as we go along.

Best Blogs: Massachusetts, Local: Good Morning Gloucester

GMG is a local blog that’s written with knowledge, love, and respect. This is the type of thing that a tourism board or a chamber of commerce always try to achieve and can never quite get there. The photographs of the Fourth of July Horribles Parade are incredible. The blog serves the community with a calendar, local business listings, and a podcast. Good Morning Gloucester is so good that it even has its own Wikipedia page.

Best Blogs: Massachusetts, Art: Big Red & Shiny

Big Red is an art blog created in 2004 that features the best of the contemporary arts in Boston. It is run by a small but dedicated group of editors. The blog/site has style, great writing, and a unique perspective. The site also offers event and exhibition listings.

Best Blogs: Massachusetts, Travel Article: Young Adventuress

Liz Carlson is a world traveler, writer, and photographer who went to school in Massachusetts. She has a deep admiration for the state. We love her for her article on Western Massachusetts, an evocative virtual tour of the region. Featured in this photo documentary are the Montague Bookmill, Historic Deerfield, and the Sugar Maple Trailside Inn. We can’t wait to visit the Bookmill and Deerfield.

Best Blogs: Food, The Girl Who Ate Boston

Nicole Fleming is a Northeastern journalism student, foodie, and active food writer. Her food blog is stunning in design and features exceptional writing and food photography. She writes for the Boston Globe, WGBH and Edible Boston. That outrageous mile-high sandwich from the Little Goat Diner and the unusual molecular gastronomic creations from Moto are wonderfully seductive.

Best Blogs: Massachusetts: Food Articles: Man Fuel Blog

Youssef is a man who loves to cook and eat and write. His reviews of Massachusetts and Rhode Island restaurants has already proved inspirational. He has given us several restaurants to add to our to-do list and there will be more.

[<a href=”//” target=”_blank”>View the story “Best Massachusetts Blogs” on Storify</a>]

Other Massachusetts Blogs of note:

If you know of a great Massachusetts blog that we’ve missed, please drop us a line. We want to hear from you.

Image Credits for photos and vectors used in our hero photo: Grunge Letter Background: Copyright: pashabo / 123RF Stock Photo Made in Massachusetts Graphic: Copyright: aquir / 123RF Stock Photo


Alford Massachusetts

Alford Massachusetts was incorporated in 1773. It is located 19 miles south-southwest of Pittsfield on the western border of the state, next to Columbia County, New York in Berkshire County.

The population of the town in 2010 was 494. It has a total area of 11.5 square miles.



Annual Events:

  • Patriot’s Day – Acton Minutemen March &  Revolutionary-War Reenactments: April
  • Winter Carnival
  • Relay
  • Family Campouts at NARA Park: Summer & Fall
  • Beach Party
  • Walden Shakespeare: Theatre in the Park
  • Classical, Pop. Ethnic & Rock Concerts: June to August
  • 4th of July Celebrations, Concert & Fireworks
  • Monsterbash: Halloween celebration

Local Landmarks:

  • Isaac Davis Monument, an obelisk commemorating the Revolutionary War
  • Hosmer House: Revolutionary-War era home
  • Acton Memorial Library: Circa 1890
  • The Acton Arboretum: a 65-acre conservation area in the heart of town with trails, picnic areas and gardens

Acton Bucket List:

Known for:

  • Setting for Robert Frost’s poem, The Vanishing Red
  • One of the Best Places to Live in America: #11 on Money Magazine’s list of great small towns in the U.S.
  • Steve Carell, grew up in South Acton
  • Issac Davis, the captain of the Acton Minutemen, was the first officer to die in the American Revolution. (‘There can never be but one man who headed the first column of attack on the King’s troops in the Revolutionary War. And Isaac Davis was that man.’ So spoke Reverend James Trask Woodbury of Acton, Massachusetts, in 1851. See for more info)
  • Drew Houston, founder of Dropbox graduated from local school

Local Resources:

Acton Feature Photo:

The photos on this page are provided to us courtesy of the Acton Minutemen. Every year the group sponsors numerous events to commemorate the sacrifices of local men and women in the Revolutionary War. See more photos on their website.

Photo Credit: Singlespeed Photography: Acton Conservation Land: Acton Ice Pond

Acton, Massachusetts Hero Feature Photo Information:

Description Acton Memorial Library this library is both parent and child-friendly
Date (original upload date)
Source No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims).
Author No machine-readable author provided. LWV Roadrunner~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims).

Alford, Massachusetts backroads bike ride by Brent Soderberg, part of the Beartown State Forest Berkshires Ride.

Also a nice photo of Alford Church from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism:

Photo Credit: Ogden Gigli, photo on Flickr

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