Fitchburg Civic Days, 4th of July festivities return (2024)

FITCHBURG — Family-friendly activities and local patriotic gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate our nation’s birthday and the fun starts on Wednesday with the return of Fitchburg Civic Days.

The popular Fitchburg Civic Days Block Party will be taking place all along Main Street and downtown on Wednesday, July 3 from 4-10 p.m. with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Next, the annual Fourth of July parade will take place on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m., which runs from Summer Street to the Upper Common. The WooSox Fitchburg Town Takeover is on Saturday, July 6 at 4 p.m. at Polar Park in Worcester, and the Amazing Duck Race on Sunday, July 7 from noon-3 p.m. at Riverfront Park.

“The goal of doing this multi-day tradition is that a lot of people in Fitchburg still spend this week working and we want them to be able to attend at least one of these events,” said Civic Days Committee member Monique Reverie. Find out more info at Facebook.com/FitchburgCivicDays.

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Other Fourth of July events in the region include the annual Ashby bonfire, which is set for Wednesday, July 3 from 4-10 p.m. at Allen Field, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the First Church in Templeton.

Fitchburg Civic Days is long-running tradition organized through the mayor’s office by a committee and supported by various city departments including Parks and Recreation, the Board of Health, the Department of Public Works, Community Development and Planning, the fire and police departments, and key partners such as Fitchburg Access Television, Fitchburg Public Schools, and InTown Fitchburg.

“Fitchburg’s Civic Days is a tradition that has grown and changed much like the city over the course of six decades and it has not only become a representation of the beautiful, artistic, and welcoming community within our city but has grown to encompass the entire region as the largest cumulative Fourth of July event throughout North Central Massachusetts,” Civic Days Committee member Luisa Fernandez shared.

She said they added several new committee members this year, including co-chairs Alexander Vera, the mayor’s chief of staff, and Parks & Recreation Assistant Ama Baker, “who have each been instrumental in picking up the baton and running with an entirely new team.”

Three committee members returned – Fernandez, Reverie from InTown Fitchburg, and Parks and Recreation Director James Bunnell – and Sean-Michael Tantinarawat from the Health Department, Fitchburg Access Television Executive Director Nate Glenny, and mayoral Deputy Chief of Staff Myles Phillips-Wilcox also joined in.

“About 75% of the committee turned over from the previous Civic Days and it was our intent to include a wide array of departments to expand interdepartmental involvement and increase the diversity of ideas shared between members,” Fernandez relayed. “Working with this team has highlighted the great things about Civic Days itself — teamwork, community, camaraderie, and fun. We’ve all put a lot of hard work in and come July 3rd, it will be rewarding to see the city come alive and watch people from all over the region enjoy our music, food, fireworks, and entertainment.”

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She went on to say that they appreciate the help from everyone involved in making sure Civic Days runs smoothly, including fire and police and the DPW, “to ensure the safety of our guests,” and that they welcome anyone interested in being a part of it to email CivicDays@FitchburgMA.gov.

“This is one of the biggest events in the community and has the most families from Fitchburg in the same place at the same time. It is an opportunity for families to see the potential in their city that they call home with their neighbors,” Fernandez said. “We love seeing Fitchburg Public Schools families and community members come downtown and enjoy the free activities.”

She and Rivera said they enjoy being part of “bringing wonderful, free, family-friendly fun to the city, seeing how much everyone enjoys it each year, and highlighting Main Street Fitchburg as a place to be.”

“It is important to spotlight our local artists, artisans, and small businesses in a setting where they can truly be appreciated and celebrated,” they continued. “The committee is making sure that this tradition represents all different cultures and backgrounds that are present in the community with the music, entertainment, food, and vendors.”

Baker echoed their sentiments, saying that Fitchburg “is a great community” and Civic Days showcases just that.

“Sometimes we aren’t always acknowledged for what we are capable of,” she said. “These are the events where everyone really comes together as a community and enjoys each other around food, entertainment, friends and family – an annual event that is very important to and for the community.”

New this year is a shuttle service provide by Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) that will bring Civic Days guests to and from parking areas at the intermodal T station located at 150 Main St. and the Fitchburg State University Athletics and Recreation Center, 130 North St., in 15 minute intervals.

There will be over 100 vendors including food trucks and artists, more prizes for the Ray C. Memorial Car Show on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and the duck race on Sunday, and e-bike demos from Main Street business The Break. In addition, there will be a seating area at Monument Park where people can sit and enjoy their food, designated smoking sections and more porta potties, and the return of a parade king and queen

“Joe Fiore and Janet Powers met at our senior center and got married just last year,” Fernandez disclosed about the royal couple. “They are a beautiful symbol of the past and the future that we wanted to highlight this year.”

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She said the city’s Director of Housing & Development Maribel Cruz, who was born in Fitchburg, has been named this year’s parade grand marshal.

“She has been a major force in the city advocating for those who may encounter challenging circ*mstances, along with those who come looking for opportunity and a new start,” Fernandez said of Cruz. “Maribel represents all the best of the ‘burg and it will break barriers to have a tri-lingual Latina launching our historic event.”

Old favorites include the wrestling show, sand area for kids, carnival games, bouncy houses, bubbles, live music on the Upper Common and the main stage, and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

“We are looking forward to seeing all the pieces come together for the people of the community, and even those who aren’t from Fitchburg to enjoy,” Baker said. “We take pride in every event part of Civic Days and we feel each event has something different to offer everyone, and of course watching all the hard work come together the day of each event is really rewarding as well.”

Fitchburg Civic Days, 4th of July festivities return (2024)
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