Fourth of July on Nantucket
2019 is the third year in a row that the Town’s Main Street Fourth of July activities win the “Best of Nantucket” presented by the Inquirer and Mirror. And here’s why:
Watermelon and pie-eating contests, face painting, a dunk tank, a photo booth, bicycle-decorating contest, Matt Fee Tea Toss and a water fight (without water balloons) at noon: these are the activities that make up Nantucket’s annual Fourth of July celebration on Main Street. It all begins with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs at 10 am on the steps of the Pacific National Bank. And, as part of the Town’s effort to inform the public about the single-use plastic ban (effective June 1, 2020), the Office of Culture and Tourism will be distributing free aluminum water bottles in a collaboration with ReMain Nantucket. Stop by the corner of Main and Federal Streets and get yours while they last.
Here’s a gentle reminder about appropriate behavior during the water fight – please don’t bring water balloons and please don’t spray anyone smaller than yourself. Additionally, both your feet need to be on Main Street to participate in the water fight unless you’re a firefighter on the Town’s fire truck or a member of the Boynton Lane Fire Reserves. Have fun - Safely!
At 5 pm, the fun continues at Children’s Beach with games for children ages 6-12 including races that involve running, three-legs, potato sacks, and wheelbarrow style. The games conclude with the infamous Tug-of-War! Ribbons will be awarded to the winners of the games and races. The games are followed by a concert at the Children’s Beach bandstand.
The Fireworks will go off at 9 pm from a barge off Jetties Beach, on Friday, July 5th. The rain-date is Saturday, July 6th. Pack your picnic and head down to Jetties to enjoy the show and the finale to our fantastic, award-winning, traditional, and fun July 4th events. Or, make a dinner reservation at Sandbar at Jetties Beach and enjoy the pyrotechnics from their deck.
Safety Advice from Chief of Police William Pittman
We remind beach goers that glass containers are prohibited on all beaches. And, consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on all public beaches. Underage consumption of alcohol is prohibited and will be enforced. Smoking of marijuana or use of other cannabis based products is not legal on public beaches and will be enforced. We want to remind all beach goers to only leave their footprints. Trash barrels and/or dumpsters are being placed at nearly all beaches. Please use them.
On beaches where driving is allowed, vehicles will be allowed to enter until police officers determine that it is no longer safe to have vehicles moving among large crowds. Parking is going to be significantly restricted in areas around the beaches, beach goers are urged to ride bikes or use public transportation to access their favorite beaches. The areas outlined in yellow will be designated No Parking. The dots represent Police information checkpoints.
Culture & Tourism Summer Activities
From mid-June to mid-August, the department of Culture and Tourism sponsors games and activities for everyone at Children’s Beach. Offerings include yoga for adults and for children, weekly puppet show performances, an assortment of free family-friendly games and activities on the lawn, and the weekly tie-dye clinic. Stop by the Culture & Tourism office at 25 Federal Street to pick up a copy of the schedule or visit www.visitnantucketisland.org to download it.
Activities at Children’s Beach also include Friday Night Flix beginning at 6 pm with music by P.J. Moody and Movie-Themed Karaoke at 7 pm. The movies start at 8:30 pm in July and 8 pm in August. On Sunday evenings at 6 pm, the department offers a free concert. Come on over to Children’s Beach, pick up a bite to eat at The Hungry Minnow and have a great time!
Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, was born on August 1, 1819. Eleven days later on August 12, the whaleship Essex left Nantucket for its fateful journey and encounter with a whale in the Pacific. Moby Dick is based on the story of The Essex. This summer, several non-profits, two restaurants, and department of Culture and Tourism have put together a variety of activities to acknowledge Melville’s birthday, the sailing of the Essex, and Moby Dick. There are exhibitions at the Whaling Museum and Hadwen House, the Artists Association of Nantucket will have a special show in August, the Lightship Basket Museum has a Moby Dick basket on display, and there will be a Melville symposium in August at the Quaker Meeting House.
But wait, there’s more! Throughout the months of July and August, you’ll have an opportunity to participate in “pop-up” Moby Dick readings. Ten podiums with a selection from Moby Dick will be placed around town and in Sconset. Visit each of the ten sites, take a selfie of yourself reading the selection and post it to Instagram using the hashtag #ACKMobyDick. Winners will be selected for a gift certificate to one of the participating restaurants: Queequegs and Or, The Whale.
A special thanks from the department of Culture and Tourism to our partners for helping to make Melville 200 an interesting and engaging series of events.
Brochures listing the calendar of events for the Melville 200 celebration are available at the Culture & Tourism office at 25 Federal Street or on our website at www.visitnantucketisland.org.