Hingham Harbor celebration — including spectacular fireworks — attracted a large and happy crowd

Photo by Josh Ross

September 12, 2022 by Carol Britton Meyer

Photo by Jack Burns

Saturday's well-attended Hingham Harbor Celebration Day was enjoyed by children and adults alike, with the pleasant weather and lots of sunshine adding to the spirit of festivity that lasted throughout the day and into the evening.

The events started off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new boat ramp and the blessing of the harbormaster fleet and continued with a fun-filled time of music, Hingham Historical Society-hosted harbor walking tours, children's activities, good food, and Hingham Maritime Center's Harbor Feast.

Photo by Hilary Jenison

All these activities led up to the promised more spectacular-than-ever fireworks display presented by Showcase Cinemas in partnership with the Hingham Lions Club.

“It was amazing to see everyone out enjoying the beautiful day at the Hingham Bathing Beach and witnessing the incredible fireworks that evening. Showcase is so fortunate to have been part of this incredible community program,”  Mark Malinowski, Vice President of Global Marketing for Showcase Cinemas, told the Hingham Anchor.

(Photo courtesy of Showcase Cinemas)

“Our Showcase Cinema de Lux Hanover team was there throughout the day and gave away hundreds of beach balls, bracelets, and concession treats to celebrate the fireworks and the upcoming opening of our Hanover theater. There will be more details to come on that exciting opening in a few weeks!”

Harbor Development Committee Chair Marco Boer, who was involved in planning many of the events, called Saturday "a joyous occasion -- one that came together like so many good ideas through an impromptu conversation with volunteers who care passionately about Hingham."

People's “re-discovery" of Hingham Harbor is "one of the silver linings that came out of the COVID pandemic.  Combining the re-scheduled fireworks, the ribbon cutting of the new town boat ramp, and Hingham Maritime Center's Harbor Feast gave us an opportunity to collaborate on a new event for the town -- Harbor Celebration Day. Without the passion of all the volunteers, the generous sponsors, and support from the town, this day could not have happened."

The food trucks and music were provided by the Hingham Lion’s Club and its key sponsor, Showcase Cinemas,  as a prelude to the fireworks. "Thousands of people waited for more than four years to once again enjoy them from the Bathing Beach to Hingham Maritime Center [during Harbor Fest]," Boer said.

The Harbor Development Committee, Hingham Lions Club, and Hingham Maritime chose the Saturday after Labor Day specifically, since children would be back to school and there would be fewer other conflicting activities that happen later in the Fall.

Photo by Jack Burns

"Given the success and enjoyment of this inaugural event, about 20 volunteers -- including Mark Casale, President of the Hingham Lions Club, and Liza MacKinnon, HMC Board of Trustees President -- are investigating the possibility of making this an annual event," according to Boer. "Could you imagine a 50-piece symphony playing the 1812 Overture before fireworks or a light show over the harbor?”

Casale expressed appreciation for club members and other volunteers, Showcase Cinemas, and everyone involved in making the day a special one. "The whole event was a huge success -- the food, music, weather, and moon were almost as spectacular as the fireworks. It's all about family and community -- something everybody can enjoy!"

Photo by Josh Ross

Town Administrator Tom Mayo was pleased with the turnout.  "It was really nice to see the town socializing together again -- it’s been a long time. There was a great turnout, we had beautiful weather, everyone enjoyed themselves safely,  and the evening culminated in a wonderful fireworks display," he told the Hingham Anchor.

"A lot of work went into this day from many people and organizations -- including the Lions Club, private sponsors, state and federal agencies, the Harbor Development Committee, Trustees of the Bathing Beach, Hingham Maritime Center, Hingham Fire Department, Hingham Police Department,  the Hingham Harbormaster, Executive Health Agent, Hingham DPW, and the Hingham Recreation Department.  All in all, it was a great day for Hingham!"

Photo by Hilary Jenison

Select Board member William Ramsey shared, "It was wonderful that we could come together again and celebrate our harbor and community. I want to thank all the volunteers and town staff who invested countless hours to make this event happen."

More than 400 people enjoyed the ticketed  “Harbor Feast,” fundraiser at Barnes Wharf including a successful live auction. "This awesome annual event benefits Hingham Maritime Center, the Hingham High School Rowing Association, and the Hingham High School Sailing Team," MacKinnon said.

Photo by Hilary Jenison

"It was truly amazing to see these three community organizations come together to support each other in their collective missions to get people on the water and utilize our harbor," MacKinnon shared. "Student athletes from both sailing and crew volunteered the whole evening to make the event a great success. The fireworks were spectacular addition, and everyone had a blast (pun intended!)"

According to Boer, the genesis of Hingham Harbor Celebration Day can perhaps be traced back to Hingham’s 2020 Master Plan, "which called out the harbor as one of its top three assets.   Lots of money has been invested in what 50 years ago was a heavily industrialized area of car dealerships and gas stations -- and before that, coal docks and lumberyards," he explained.

Photo by Hilary Jenison

With the opening of the Community Bathing Beach House, the new town boat ramp,  and the dredging of the inner harbor, the Harbor Development Committee "felt it was a great opportunity to celebrate the $5 million-plus in investments that have been made in the harbor front during the last five years, which is just a preview of what else is to come."

Boer noted, "It literally took a village to pull off all of the days' activities.  From the kick-off with a moving rendition of the National Anthem -- courtesy of the South Shore Conservatory -- and the blessing of the harbormaster fleet by Father Tim of St. John’s to the children’s activities courtesy of key sponsors and the Hingham Recreation Center, Touch-a-Boat by the harbormaster and Hingham Maritime Center, and the history tours, the morning’s activities could not have been enjoyed more by the thousands of people who attended.”

*Slideshow photos below by Josh Ross

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