Fourth of July Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular Restrictions and Information

The fireworks over Boston during the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.
The fireworks over Boston during the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. –Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff

Are you going to the 41st annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade? The first thing you need to know is it has been changed to July 3 due to the weather. We’ve got all the information you need, including new restrictions, who’s performing, what you can bring, and where you should park.

The free concert is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m., followed by the fireworks, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m.

The Boston Pops concert will take place at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell. The performance will be led by Keith Lockhart, and guest performers include The Beach Boys, Megan Hilty, and the Boston Children’s Chorus.


WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM will begin local coverage at 7 p.m. and WCRB-FM Classical 99.5 will begin at 8 p.m. For the first time this year, there will be a webcast streaming live on and The event will be hosted by WBZ-TV news anchors Lisa Hughes and Jonathan Elias and broadcast live on CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV from 8 to 11 p.m.


5:00 p.m. Oval (grass-filled area directly in front of Hatch Shell) and Island open

7:00 p.m. WBZ News Radio 1030 simulcast begins

7:50 p.m. Live web stream begins

8:00 p.m. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular begins on WBZ-TV Boston

8:30 p.m. Concert begins

10:30 p.m. Fireworks begin

11:00 p.m. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ends


There are two secured areas for the event — the Oval and the Island. You will be required to pass through a bag/screening entrance to these areas and will receive a wristband specifically for that area. Admission to this free event is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once the areas fill up, no more wristbands will be distributed. The checkpoints open at 5 p.m. The Oval checkpoint will be located between the Island’s Clarendon Footbridge and the Berkeley Footbridge. The Island checkpoint will be located by the Clarendon Footbridge. If you arrive to the Esplanade before 4 p.m. to begin lining up, use the Dartmouth or Fairfield Street Footbridges instead of Storrow Drive.


There are new bicycle restrictions this year. The Massachusetts State Police say bicycles will not be allowed into secure areas (Oval and Island areas). Bikes will be allowed throughout the rest of the Esplanade, but they cannot be left unattended and cannot be locked to fences or poles. If you do this, your bike is subject to removal.

Also, please take note that construction on the Longfellow Bridge prohibits folks from viewing fireworks there this year. And, finally, boaters will not be allowed between the bridge and barges because the fireworks barges have been moved westward, closer to the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge.

Prohibited Items:

No backpacks, shopping bags, or similar type containers

No coolers on wheels (coolers must be carried by a shoulder strap)

No firearms, weapons, sharp objects, or fireworks

No glass containers

No cans

No alcohol or pre-mixed beverages

All liquids will be carried in sealed clear plastic containers and cannot exceed 2 liters in size

No grilling, propane tanks, or open flames

No unattended bags

No bicycles will be allowed through the checkpoints

Allowed Items:

All personal items must be carried in clear bags (Wondering about purses and diaper bags? Here is what Mass. State Police Media Relations Director David Procopio told us in an email: “Small purses are fine to carrying into the Esplanade, and diaper bags also should be fine, within reason. We will use our discretion, but if we are satisfied at the checkpoint that it is a standard diaper bag, that will be okay.’’


Pop up tents and canopies without sides cannot exceed 10X10

Blankets or tarps cannot be bigger than 10X12

Folding/beach chairs only


Storrow Drive will close going in both directions at starting at noon, and sections of Boston streets leading to Storrow Drive will also be closed. The Boston Globe has a full list of streets closed to vehicular traffic, as well as streets with parking restrictions.

The Hatch Shell is located at 47 David G. Mugar Way in Boston, on the east side of Storrow Drive. Organizers recommend taking the commuter rail and subway systems to the Esplanade instead of driving and parking. The two closest T-stations on the Boston side are Charles-MGH on the Red Line and Arlington Street on the Green Line. On the Cambridge side, the Kendall and Central Square stations on the Red Line are nearby. The subway will offer extended service from 1 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Also, fares will not be collected after 9:30 p.m.

If you drive to the Esplanade, there are several public parking garages within walking distance to the Hatch Shell, including the Motor Mart Garage at 201 Stuart Street.

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