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Fourth of July Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular information

Posted by Nicole Cammorata  June 20, 2012 03:26 PM

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Travis Dove for The Boston Globe

The 39th annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will take place Wednesday, July 4, along the Esplanade. The pops will perform at the Hatch Shell, led by conductor Keith Lockhart and joined by special guest Jennifer Hudson.

The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 10:35 p.m., and visitors can watch along the Charles River in Boston and Cambridge. The music from the Hatch Shell performances will be piped in via sound towers located throughout the area. Visitors can also listen in by tuning to WBZ News Radio 1030 and WGBH-FM Classical 99.5. The event will be broadcast live on television on WBZ-TV from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The nation-wide telecast begins at 10 p.m. on CBS.


Tuesday, July 3, concert

6 p.m. Oval opens

8:20 p.m. Concert begins

9:30 p.m. "1812 Overture" is played

10 p.m. Concert ends

(There is no fireworks display on July 3)

Wednesday, July 4, concert and fireworks

9 a.m. Oval opens

noon Recorded music begins in Boston

6 p.m. Recorded music begins in Cambridge

7 p.m. WBZ News Radio 1030 simulcast begins

8 p.m. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular broadcast begins on WBZ-TV Boston

8:20 p.m. Boston Pops concert begins with the National Anthem and flyover

9:30 p.m. "1812 Overture" is played

10 p.m. CBS Network national broadcast begins

10:35 p.m. Fireworks begin

11 p.m. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ends


Visitors desiring access to "the oval" — the restricted area in front of the Hatch Shell — should plan to arrive early. Those who arrive early will receive wrist bands, which typically run out by 2 p.m. The wrist bands will allow visitors access in and out of the oval until 6 p.m.; after this time re-admittance will not be allowed. Alcoholic beverages, sharp objects, glass containers, and tarps larger than 8 feet x 10 feet will not be allowed.


There will be more than 350 portable restrooms located along the Charles River in Boston and Cambridge, including handicap accessible options at all restroom locations.


The Massachusetts Avenue bridge, the Longfellow bridge, parts of Storrow Drive, and parts of Memorial Drive will be closed to traffic during the fireworks display and will be expected to reopen by the morning of July 5. For more detailed road closings and parking restrictions, check out the official press release here. To check traffic advisories, click here.

The use of public transportation is highly recommended for the event, due to the large amount of people and the scarcity of parking. Visit to plan your trip. If driving is absolutely necessary, visitors are urged to use nearby parking garages. Handicap parking is available July 4 at at the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. In Cambridge, there will be a reserved handicapped parking area on the Cambridge Parkway.

For complete information about the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, visit

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Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.

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