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Over the past 30 years, Matt Lincoln and has family have trooped to the Esplanade to celebrate the Fourth, bringing a sickle to clear view-blocking weeds along the river, using a hammer to drive in the stakes that secure two roomy tents, and pushing a cart loaded with bunting, flags, chairs, tables, and a sizable buffet.
This year, however, his family is experiencing a kind of patriotic crisis.
For the first time, Lincoln’s wife and daughter have balked at joining him, and even he may not go.
A slew of new security rules and worries about about safety at the city’s first large event since the Marathon are forcing many to reconsider traditions.
“It’s sad it’s come to this,” said Lincoln, 52, of Mansfield.