4th of July Parade and Reading of the Declaration of Independance
A Boston Independence Day Signature Event!
Start your July 4th Holiday by observing the AHAC Fourth of July Parade and witnessing the reading of the Declaration of Independence! Every July 4th the Captain Commanding of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts reads the Declaration of Independence from the balcony of the Old State House in Boston, as part of Independence Day ceremonies
Boston City Hall Plaza Assembly: Boston’s Official Independence Day Commemoration
The event is preceded by a flag raising ceremony on City Hall Plaza usually starting at 9:00 a.m. at which time the Mayor of Boston speaks to those assembled. A parade from City Hall Plaza to the Old State House follows. Participants in the parade include: Zarba Military Band, AHAC, USAF Color Guard, Wilmington Minutemen Co., Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums, the 7th Mass. Regiment and the Billerica Colonial Minutemen.
Wreath Laying Ceremony at Granary Burying Ground:
The parade stops at the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street to allow officers and officials to lay wreaths at the graves of the patriots. Interred on the site are three signers of the Declaration of Independence–John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Robert Treat Paine. Paul Revere, Peter Faneuil, Benjamin Franklin’s parents and the Boston Massacre victims graves are also here.
Reading of the Declaration of Independence:
The reading of the Declaration of Independence dates back to July 18, 1776, when Colonel Thomas Crafts, a member of the A&HAC, performed this duty for the first time. The current Captain Commanding of the AHAC continues this long standing tradition.
Independence Day Oration and Swearing In Ceremony:
Following the reading of the Declaration of Independence the parade will reform and march to Faneuil Hall where the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company will file into the Great Hall–the Cradle of Liberty to attend the Independence Day Oration following remarks by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. At the end of the Oration the Company will conduct a swearing in ceremony for several new members.