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By Samantha Johnson, AmeiCorps member of the 2012-2013 National Grid team with Blackstone Elementary School

In Boston, July 4 is an esteemed holiday. Residing in arguably the most patriotic city in America, there is an air of excitement lingering throughout the build up to the big holiday. For today’s Friday Five, we have five exciting activities and events you can do for your special fourth of July!

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular!

This annual event seems to not only be the largest and most popular July 4 event in Boston, but also is sought throughout the nation. Enjoy different activities along the Esplanade and Charles River. There is a concert series throughout and while you’re enjoying the music you can also enjoy cannons, fireworks, and church bells for the classic patriot zeitgeist. There is even face painting, balloon hats, and more! And just for fun, here is a Survival Guide to July 4th at the Esplanade from CBS!

If you can’t make it but want to be part of the festivities, you can always watch nationally on CBS or locally on Channel 4 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Don’t forget to download a program from their website! You can also follow Boston Pops on Facebook, Twitter, or check them out on Youtube.

Boston Harborfest

In case you’re feeling adventurous enough to celebrate for more than one day, Boston Harborfest has four main events throughout the week and then tons of smaller ones. Events run from July 2 to 7. Certain exhibits have admissions, but remain fairly cheap: $1-$6 or $3-$5. Keep up with all the happenings via Facebook and Twitter.

Bridgewater Arts & Music Festival

This local festival is for the more artsy types, or perhaps those who like to stay outside of the bustling city. Located in Bridgewater, this event consists of a Fourth of July “hometown parade” and a fireworks display.  There are plenty of arts and crafts, including an art show/contest with no entry fee, live art performances, and the Kid’s Festival.

Personalized Family Gatherings

If you’d rather celebrate from the comfort of your home there are tons of activities you could do! You could have your own picnic with Fourth of July popsicles, have your own barbeque, or do some arts and crafts/creative food making. Here are a few additional ideas:

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