AYER — Ayer’s Fourth of July celebration will kick off on Saturday, July 1, with the “Main Street Parade” at 1 p.m. The parade will start at Hannaford’s on Fitchburg Road, with the best viewing places along Park and Main streets. Children participating in the bike-decorating contest will enter the parade at the Rail Trail.
The color guard will be provided by the Joseph M. Connors American Legion Post 139. The parade includes three groups celebrating milestone anniversaries this year — the Harvard Town Band at 30 years, the Ayer-Harvard-Shirley Rotary Club at 50 years, and the Federated Church of Ayer at 75 years.
Food and vendor booths will include Moon Dragon Designs, Sharon’s Treasures, Destination Imagination, Hannaford’s, The Slush Lady, Ayer Youth Baseball, Ayer High School Class of 2007, Boy Scout Troop 3, Madman’s Corner, Ayer Gun & Sportsmen’s Club, Caleb Butler Lodge, Amethyst Moon Creations, New Hope Community Church, Mango Grill, King David Chapter, Eastern Star, Ayer Greenway Committee, and the Fourth of July Committee. This list is subject to change.
Tickets for the popular raffle baskets will be sold throughout the day at the Fourth of July committee tent. Baskets include Red Sox tickets and team items, Day at the Beach basket, Just for Kids, Kitchen Gourmet, Summertime Garden and a mystery basket.
Peter O’Malley will entertain children of all ages with his magic and music at Pirone Park from 3 to 5 p.m. The evening band concert will feature the Harvard Town Band, followed by fireworks at dusk.
The rain date for the fireworks will be Saturday, July 8.
DEVENS — Independence Day will be celebrated at Devens this year on June 30. Festivities kick off at 5 p.m. on Rogers Field.
The event is expected to draw more than 10,000 people and culminates at dusk with a display of fireworks second in scale only to Boston’s show on the Esplanade. The rain-date is scheduled for July 1st.
For early arrivals, the Lions Club Marching Band will take the field at 5:30 p.m. A short speaking program will follow and include remarks by U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Caryn Heard, a U.S. Marine Corps color guard presentation of the flag, and a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by guest soloist Melinda Biocchi.
Along with equipment displays by Devens DPW and Fire Department, there will be static displays by the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, the First Battalion, 25th Marines, and the Army National Guard. New this year will be the ReMax Balloon, providing tethered hot air balloon rides, with all proceeds donated to the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry. In addition, there will be children’s activities and food and beverage vendors will be front and center to cater to the hungry. Parking is available and the Massachusetts State Police will be on hand to provide traffic control.
For event information and driving instructions, visit www.devenscommunity.com.
HARVARD — The fireworks were washed out by rain on June 24, but there is still a Fourth of July observance planned in Harvard.
The first scheduled event on Independence Day will be a 5-mile road race, starting at 8:45 a.m., with registration beginning at 7 a.m. at the field at the Old Bromfield/New Library location. Registration for classic cars will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the same location.
The parade, under the guidance of Grand Marshal Dr. Jeffrey Harris, begins at 11 a.m. with the theme of “Celebrating Harvard’s Past, Present and Future,” past the judging stand at Depot Road, then proceeds to the Old Bromfield grounds for opening ceremonies and a flag-raising at noon.
Events throughout the day include a pie-eating contest, greased pole, and field events including sack races, egg toss and candy scramble. A mini-muster is planned for 1:30 p.m. and beach events take place at 3 p.m.
Groups, clubs and teams are invited to take part in the parade by calling Mary Ellen Miller at (978) 456-8852 or Piali De at (978) 456-8577. Volunteers are also needed to assist and judge the many events.
Note: Depot Road, from Ayer Road to Underpin Hill Road, will be closed on July 4 from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. for the parade line-up.
Steve Miller from the Fourth of July committee said the fireworks will be rescheduled at a later date.
GROTON — The last hurrah for the 350th Anniversary Committee in Groton will be an evening of entertainment and fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July. The date is Friday, June 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Four musical groups, The Indian Hill Big Band, The Church Ladies, Contrabanditos and The Billhillies will each play for a half hour, and the fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m.
Summer food will be available from Chef on Wheels.
PEPPERELL — This year’s festivities will be held Saturday, July 1, beginning at 10 a.m. with a crafts fair and booths by local businesses on the town field. There will be contests, raffles, and more, continuing until 4 p.m.
The parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Town Hall and continue down Main St. to the VFW. Chef on Wheels’ famous chicken barbecue will be ready at the town field immediately following the parade. Bring your family and join your friends for music and dancing in the back field, behind Varnum Brook, at 4 p.m. Ellen Hollingworth will be providing music and hosting dance contests at 7 p.m.
Fireworks will begin at dusk.