Bar Harbor, ME Day 9 4th of July Parade and Fireworks

July 4, 2023 HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

We set the alarm for 7 AM so we had enough time to get ready to leave at 9:00. We were planning to take Highway 3 towards Bar Harbor to sit on the parade route for the town parade at 10:00. The weather forecast was for no rain in the morning, but maybe later on tonight. The sky was clear of fog and the sun was trying to peak out. On our drive, we finally had a good view of the mountains and farther out into the bay than we’ve had since we’ve been here.

The timing was right so we were able to see the area with the tide in for a change.

We had a plan to approach the parade route from one of the back roads and sit on the route about halfway. We picked up Mary and John and headed towards Bar Harbor. Traffic was light. so we were able to get very close to town and found a parking spot on the side of the road where lots of other people seemed to be parking. From there, we only had to walk two blocks to end up exactly at the spot we wanted to be–on the corner of Highway 3 (main road into town) and Cottage St. This is where the parade would make a turn.

They posted the parade route in the paper so that was very helpful in making our plans.

We got there around 9:30 and set up our chairs along the road in front of the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop. People had started to line up along the streets and by the time the parade started, the sides of the streets were lined with people and kids who had their bags ready to collect the candy. The police finally blocked off the streets near us and we knew the parade was ready to begin. Around 10:30, we could see the police car with its lights flashing coming down the road leading the parade.

There were all sorts of cool things to see in the parade. There were quite a few old cars and trucks and unusual-looking cars,

These Shriners’ mini-trucks were a hit. They were wearing helmets instead of their usual Fez headgear.

Everyone loved the bagpipe band as they played and marched in formation.

The kids loved these familiar characters and of course, the candy.

Smokey the Bear rode in the Acadia National Park float with the park rangers walking along.

These were some of my favorites, especially the two guys in lobster costumes.

There were quite a few floats representing different companies in town. There were the MDI Search and Rescue Volunteers with a very unique float and the Selki Sauna with lots of ladies in swimsuits.

No hometown parade would be complete without the John Deere tractor.

After the parade passed us around 11:00, we left and were back in the Jeep after the short walk back. Traffic hadn’t started to move yet, because the parade still had halfway to go, so we were out of there in no time. We got back to the campground about 11:30 and did some decorating for the 4th. I was hesitant to put up anything outside until I knew if it was going to rain or not. It wasn’t much, but I brought it from home and wanted to use it.

We had lobster rolls for lunch and I did some wash. The campground had a golf cart parade around 1:00 and there were about 12 carts all decorated in red, white, and blue. They did a great job with their decorations.

The kids got into the spirit riding their decorated bikes, one boy rode on a scooter, and one of the kids was walking. Loved his red, white, and blue tutu.

We hung out in the afternoon and the skies were partly cloudy with the sun peeking out every now and then. The temp was a pleasant 80 degrees. We planned to grill hamburgers for dinner. Mary wanted to use our grill to do theirs, so they came over and ate with us. After dinner, we took Auggie for his walk and then packed up to head into Bar Harbor for fireworks down at the waterfront. We left the campground around 7:00, but stopped in at the camp store for an ice cream to enjoy on the drive into Bar Harbor. We took Highway 3 into town and parked on the side of the same road that we had parked on in the morning for the parade. It was 1500 steps (Bob measured on Google) to walk from there to “the Bar” where we planned to sit to see the fireworks over the water. The tide was way out so it was the perfect place. There were people walking on the bar and kids enjoying skipping stones and looking for that special “treasure:.

We arrived on “the bar” around 8:00 and saw this schooner doing its sunset cruise out in the bay. The sails were glowing with the setting sun.

The schooner pulled into the harbor at the end of their cruise. The boat was loaded with lots of people enjoying that cruise.

We watched the sun drop behind the hills about 8:40 setting the sky aglow. Once the sun went down, it got a little chillier. Luckily, Bob, Mary, and I had worn our jeans and fleeces. John had kept on his shorts from the afternoon and was feeling the chill, so he took a walk into town and came back with a Bar Harbor sweatshirt that helped warm him up. It would be his souvenir reminder of the night.

After the sun set, we watched the tide slowly start to come in. We wondered how long it would take to reach us. We were on somewhat “high ground” for the time being. As the tide returned, people began to inch their way towards us so they wouldn’t get their feet wet. The tide eventually overtook part the bar” and cut it in half. It actually cut off some people who hadn’t been paying attention to what was going on and were still on the other side. We had to move our chairs back a few times to stay away from the encroaching tide.

The fireworks started promptly at 9:15 and they filled the air with colors and booms for 30 minutes! It was one of the best fireworks shows I’ve seen, especially the finale. By the time the finale rolled around, we were standing because the tide was now approaching us from both sides and we wanted to be able to move quickly once the fireworks had finished. There were a couple of vehicles who were on “the bar” when we had arrived and twice they had to move when the water approached their tires. They stuck it out until the end, but it was close. We took the walk back to the Jeep with lots of other people headed in that direction. The police were directing traffic which helped us all cross the busy intersection with no stoplights or crosswalks. We made the drive back without much traffic in our direction and were “home” by 10:30. We turned on the fireplace and watched a little TV to unwind before going to bed. The weather was perfect and although they had been predicting rain earlier in the week, there was never a threat of rain. We had heard a few people say that they hadn’t seen the fireworks in Bar Harbor for a couple of years because of the fog, but that never came either. It was one of the best weather days we’ve had in Bar Harbor since arriving. We had a memorable 4th of July in Bar Harbor!

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