Historical Summer Events in Boston

With mild temperatures and a bevy of events, summer is an excellent time to visit Boston. Consult our guide to find this summer’s best history-minded happenings.
A bevy of tall ships will take to Boston Harbor to celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 at this summer's Harborfest.

A bevy of tall ships will take to Boston Harbor to celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 at this summer's Harborfest. (Photo: Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Letters From Home: Boston Families Correspond
June 8, 2012

This Historic New England-sponsored event (the last in a series of three) features mini-tours of five of the city’s most notable historic houses—including the Harrison Gray Otis House, the Paul Revere House, and the Gibson House Museum—focusing on the correspondences of their original occupants. From noon to 4 p.m.; see historicnewengland.org for details.

Bunker Hill Parade
June 10, 2012

This annual parade in the city’s Charlestown neighborhood commemorates the Revolutionary War battle that took place here in 1775. Expect plenty of period garb, fife and drum corps, and spectators waving American flags.

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Opening
June 25, 2012

After an extensive makeover that includes the reconstruction of two ships used in the famous pre-Revolution tax protest, this museum will reopen to the public this summer with a new interactive focus. Re-enactors will take visitors through a simulation of Boston Tea Party events aboard the ships, culminating with tossing tea crates into the harbor. Visit bostonteapartyship.com for more information.

Bicentennial Harborfest Celebration
June 28-July 4, 2012

Few cities can match Boston’s patriotic display for the Fourth. This year, the city’s annual Harborfest Celebration gets juiced with the addition of several tall ships (including the USS Constitution and USS Coast Guard Eagle) sailing in Boston Harbor to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Traditional day-of festivities include a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Old State House, and Boston Pops-accompanied fireworks.

Revelers at the annual North End Italian Fisherman's Feast.

Revelers at the annual North End Italian Fisherman's Feast. (Photo: Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau)

North End Italian Fisherman’s Feast
August 9-12, 2012

A tradition brought to the U.S. by Sicilian immigrants, this annual festival is historic in its own right, celebrating its 102nd year in 2012. The four-day celebration of food and music centers around the Madonna del Soccorso; the festivities conclude with the “Flight of the Angel,” in which a young girl dressed as the Madonna “flies” over the crowd. Visit fishermansfeast.com for more information.

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