Special Events in Boston

Tall Ships
Boston's location right on the harbor makes it a great place for sailing and viewing the variety of boats that come in and out of the city. One of the best events in Boston that involves viewing ships is the Tall Ships. This event involves a fleet of ships being invited to Boston to show off for residents and tourists. In 2012, there were 120 tall ships gracing the harbor. This is all part of the Sail Massachusetts Visiting Ship Program.

Free Concert at the Hatch Shell
The Fourth of July is special throughout the United States. Boston is no exception. It was here that many of the ideas that shaped the revolution took form. Today, the people of Boston celebrate in several ways, including a free concert at the DCR Memorial Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. The Boston Pops play there every year and are followed by fireworks.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Boston is the recipient of a very special Christmas tree every year. Nova Scotia sends the city a large tree annually in thanks for Boston's rapid response to a tragedy that occurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1917. An accident between two ships in their harbor devastated the region and Boston sent help almost immediately. The lighting of that tree takes place in December on the Boston Common.

L Street Brownies Swim
The L Street Brownies Swim is a good example of crazy New England winter fun. Every New Year's Day for more than one-hundred years, the L Street Brownies have taken a swim in the bitter January waters of the Boston Harbor. It starts at 8 a.m. and often involves hundreds of swimmers. Those not brave enough to take the plunge can stop by to watch the event.

Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is a running marathon held on the third Monday of April every year. Like the L Street Brownies Swim, this tradition has lasted more than a century. Today, runners train all year to take on what has become one of the toughest marathon runs in the country. There are many hills along the course and the weather varies greatly from year to year. It can be very cold or even in the 80s, as it was in 2012. Roughly 20,000 runners take it on every year.