The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular show has been moved to today, July 3, to avoid any impact from Tropical Storm Arthur. State officials scrambled to announce the change at a press conference late Wednesday afternoon.
“Tomorrow, the third, gets us the best opportunity to get the musical portion of the show and the fireworks show off,’’ said Massachusetts State Police Col. Alben during a short Wednesday afternoon press conference. “In essence, what we plan on doing is taking the July 4 show and moving it up to tomorrow.’’
The public will be allowed to enter the secure area on the Esplanade starting at 5 p.m., according to police.
Even though Thursday is not a holiday, officials will begin closing roads around the Esplanade Thursday afternoon, which could cause difficulties in the evening commute. Alben said the morning commute should not be affected.
Storrow Drive will close at noon on Thursday. Memorial Drive, the Longfellow Bridge, and the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge will close at 6 p.m. The MBTA will run its normal service. Further details will be posted to the state police news website later on Wednesday.
“It’s not optimal. We wish it were,’’ said Alben. “We’ve done this after extensive conversations with all the departments involved.’’
Even with moving the show a day earlier, there’s a chance the concert will be cancelled. It all depends on the weather, according to Alben.
“The concert is going to take place tomorrow or not.’’
Alben said that if the concert gets cancelled tomorrow, the fireworks could still take place on Saturday.
Both Tropical Storm Arthur and a strong front moving in from the midwest are the two factors driving the weather concerns. Boston.com’s own David Epstein describes the situation thusly:
Late at night on July 4th Arthur is forecast to make its closest pass to New England. The rain shield will likely stay off the coast, but could clip Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. As the storm passes it will pull in drier air and set us up for a very nice Saturday. If the storm intensifies a lot then the rain could push west and cover more of southern New England. Seas are going to be rough and if you are heading to the beach this weekend be aware of strong rip tides.
A hurricane warning was issued for parts of the North Carolina coast around 5 p.m.