Yes, fireworks are returning for the first time since 2019 to New Bedford's harbor for this year's Fourth of July celebration – albeit a day early this time around.

While news of Fall River's fireworks display was announced earlier this week, many folks are eagerly waiting to hear about New Bedford's Independence Day celebration plans.

Mayor Jon Mitchell recently told WBSM's Phil Paleologos that the city will host its fireworks display on Saturday, July 3. Mayor Mitchell noted that despite the holiday being on a Sunday this year, many other cities and towns had already booked that day for their fireworks displays, leaving Saturday to be the most viable option.

"We can have a really good showing on the third, so that is what we'll do," he said.

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Mayor Mitchell today officially announced that the fireworks display will return the New Bedford Harbor and again be staged from a barge off of State Pier. The city was able to secure funding for this year's fireworks display thanks to generous sponsors including lead sponsor Hawthorn Medical Associates who contributed $9,000 and BayCoast Bank who contributed $7,500 to support the event. In addition to the financial sponsors, Tucker Roy Marine Towing & Salvage and AGM Marine Contractors will be donating use of the commercial barge.

“Thanks to the generous support of Hawthorn Medical Associates, who have been a close partner as we have managed the effects of the pandemic over the past year, and BayCoast Bank, a longtime supporter of charitable and civic events in the city, New Bedford is looking forward to hosting a festive Independence Day weekend in downtown New Bedford,” Mitchell said. “We invite residents and visitors to spend time downtown on the Independence Day weekend to celebrate and enjoy the fireworks display.”

The free showing begins at 9 p.m. and during that time, there will be no parking on the State Pier. Spectators who plan on watching the show from downtown are encouraged to park for free in the Elm Street Garage and Zeiterion Parking Garage. For prime viewing locations, spectators can see the display from lower Union Street and Front Street.

The 2020 Fourth of July fireworks display – along with any other events with the potential to have more than 10 people in attendance – were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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