Where does the event take place?

The event takes place along the Charles River, at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade between the Longfellow and Massachusetts Avenue Bridges, on both the Boston and Cambridge sides of the river.

What is the “Oval”?

The Oval is the grass-filled area directly in front of the DCR Hatch Shell.

How do you access the secured areas?

*SECURED AREAS There are two secured areas for this event: The Oval and the Island/Lagoon. Spectators entering these areas will be required to pass through one of the bag check/screening entrances and will receive a wristband specifically for that area, which must be worn at all times during the event to ensure access in and out of that secured area. When the secured areas are full on July 3rd and July 4th, NO additional wristbands will be distributed.

Because of crowds, be aware that Public Safety may close access to these secured areas as it gets closer to concert time.

There is no PUBLIC access east of the Hatch Shell, ALL Public Access on July 3rd and 4th is west of Berkeley St.

What is allowed and not allowed in the secured areas?

To ensure the safety of all visitors to the Esplanade, rules will be strictly enforced on July 3rd and July 4th.

Download What You can Bring, and What You can Not (PDF)

Can I buy a ticket to the event on the 3rd or the 4th?

The event on the 3rd and the 4th is free and open to the public. Admittance to the event is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where are the restrooms?

There are over 350 portable restrooms located in Boston and Cambridge. Accessible restrooms can be found at all restroom locations. There are restroom facilities located in the accessible area on both the Boston and Cambridge side.

Is there a Accessible Area?

Yes. The accessible area is located within the Oval, to the right of the DCR Hatch Shell. People with disabilities are admitted into the designated area on a first-come, first-served basis. Each person is allowed one guest and that guest is allowed to bring a folding chair. This area will close at 6:00PM or when it has reached capacity, whichever comes first.

Are there concessions at the event?

Yes, there will be a variety of food and merchandise options available for purchase. The food concessions are controlled by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. The merchandise concessions are controlled by Boston 4 Celebrations and all proceeds benefit the event. This year we will have merchandise available for purchase on the 3rd and the 4th.

What is located on the Cambridge side of the Charles River?

The Cambridge side features sound towers, food concessions, restrooms and excellent views of the fireworks.

Where can I stay?

There are a number of great hotels within walking distance to the Esplanade. You can visit the Greater Boston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at www.bostonusa.com for more information.

What is the difference between the shows on the 3rd and the 4th?

The July 3rd show features a full concert; however, it does not include the fireworks display.

How long is the concert and fireworks?

On July 3rd, the concert begins at 8:30 p.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m. On July 4th, the television broadcast begins at 8:00 p.m., the concert starts at 8:30 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. with a fireworks display from 10:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (subject to change)

Where can I get additional information?

If you have a question, or comment, or would like additional information about our event, please contact us here.

The DCR Hatch Shell is located at 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02108 on the east end of Storrow Drive, not far from Mass General Hospital.

By Foot

On July 4th the Esplanade can be accessed from Beacon Street via Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, and Fairfield Streets and Massachusetts Avenue. On July 3rd you will need to use one of the footbridges to cross Storrow Drive. Note: The Fiedler Footbridge will be closed.

Public Transportation

The commuter rail and subway systems are favorable alternatives to driving and parking for Boston events. 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. For more MBTA information please call (617) 222-3200 or visit http://www.mbta.com.

Parking Information

We recommend that you take public transportation (MBTA) to the event. If you do bring a vehicle to the event, there are several public parking garages within walking distance to the DCR Esplanade. The historic Motor Mart Garage, located at 201 Stuart Street, is an easy walk to the Esplanade and you’ll avoid traffic on Charles Street after the fireworks by parking there! Visit: Motor Mart for more information.

Accessible Parking

To be announced

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is held at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. The Department of Conservation & Recreation’s (DCR) mission is to protect, promote and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural and recreational resources. The DCR is steward of one of the largest state parks systems in the country. Its 450,000 acres is made up of forests, parks, greenways, historic sites and landscapes, seashores, lakes, ponds, reservoirs and watersheds. Please visit them at www.mass.gov/dcr or on twitter @MassDCR.

Secured Areas

There is no PUBLIC access east of the Hatch Shell, ALL Public Access on July 3rd and 4th is west of Berkeley St.

There are two secured areas for this event: The Oval and the Island. Spectators entering these areas will be required to pass through one of the bag check/screening entrances and will receive a wristband specifically for that area, which must be worn at all times during the event to ensure access in and out of that secured area. When the secured areas are full on July 3rd and July 4th, NO additional wristbands will be distributed.

Because of crowds, be aware that Public Safety may close access to these secured areas as it gets closer to concert time.

JULY 3rd – The checkpoints on July 3 will open at 5 p.m. or at a time designated by the Incident Commander.

OVAL: The Oval Checkpoint will be located between the Lagoon’s Clarendon Footbridge and the Berkeley Footbridge. Access to the checkpoint can best be accomplished by accessing the Esplanade from Berkeley Street after 4 p.m. Those arriving to the Esplanade prior to 4 p.m. should use the Dartmouth or Fairfield Street Footbridges over Storrow Drive.

ISLAND/LAGOON: There will also be an Island/Lagoon area checkpoint. This checkpoint will be located on the Island/Lagoon by the Clarendon Bridge. This checkpoint will also open at 5 p.m. on July 3, and may be accessed from the Storrow Drive side of the Clarendon Footbridge. Access to the checkpoint can best be accomplished by accessing the Esplanade from Berkeley Street after 4 p.m. Those arriving to the Esplanade prior to 4 p.m. should use the Dartmouth or Fairfield Street Footbridges over Storrow Drive.

JULY 4th – The checkpoints on July 4 will open at 9 a.m. or at a time designated by the Incident Commander.

OVAL: The Oval Checkpoint will be located between the Lagoon’s Clarendon Footbridge and the Berkeley Footbridge. Access to the checkpoint can best be accomplished by accessing the Esplanade from Berkeley Street.

ISLAND/LAGOON: Access to the Island/Lagoon checkpoints can best be accomplished by using Beacon Street to Clarendon Street or utilizing the Dartmouth or Fairfield Street Footbridges over Storrow Drive. Checkpoints will be located at the Clarendon and Exeter Footbridges. The Fairfield Footbridge over the Lagoon will be designated as EXIT Only from the Island over the Lagoon.

Food

There are food vendors located in Boston and Cambridge. All vendors are permitted by, and come under the supervision of, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). In addition, Boston Water & Sewer Commission will be providing 800 gallons of free water in their special truck located by the Fiedler Footbridge.

Recycling

 We encourage spectators to recycle. Recycling bins will be located next to trash receptacles scattered throughout the Esplanade on July 3rd and 4th.

Restrooms

There are over 350 portable restrooms located in Boston and Cambridge. Accessible restrooms are at all restroom locations.

Merchandise

Official Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular T-shirts are for sale at the B4 merchandise tent located in the main concession area.

Sound System & Video Screens

There are 18 sound towers in Boston and Cambridge. On the Boston side, there are two large video screens on each side of the DCR Hatch Shell stage.


What You Can Bring, and What You Can Not 
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Download What You can Bring, and What You can Not (PDF)

To ensure the safety of all visitors to the Esplanade, the following rules will be strictly enforced for the rehearsal concert on July 3 and the concert and fireworks show on July 4. Unless noted below, no backpacks, shopping bags or similar type containers may be carried onto the Esplanade, and all carried items are subject to inspection. Please note the new regulation on bicycles.

Prohibited Items

  1. No coolers on wheels.
  2. No backpacks.
  3. No firearms, weapons, sharp objects or fireworks.
  4. No glass containers.
  5. No cans.
  6. No pre-mixed beverages.
  7. All liquids will be carried in sealed clear plastic containers not to exceed 2 liters in size.
  8. No grilling, propane tanks or open flames.
  9. No Alcoholic beverages.
  10. No bicycles will be allowed through the checkpoints into the Oval or Island/Lagoon areas. Bicycles are allowed throughout the rest of the venue but must not be left unattended. Bicycles attached or locked to security fences, poles, or other structures may be subject to removal. No bicycles will be allowed through the checkpoints into the Oval or Island/Lagoon areas. Bicycles are allowed throughout the rest of the venue but must not be left unattended. (This measure is being enacted for public safety and crowd management in the event a speedy evacuation becomes necessary at the Esplanade.)

Allowed Items

  1. Pop up tents/canopies with no sides – maximum size 10’ x10’.

(Above for July 4th only; No tents/canopies allowed on July 3rd).

  1. Blankets or tarps no bigger than 10’ x 10’.
  2. Folding/Beach Chairs only.
  3. Coolers, which must be carried in by shoulder strap or single handle (no wheeled coolers).
  4. All personal items must be carried in clear bags only.
  5. After inspection, small clutch bags/purses may be taken into the venue with the clear bag.

Boston is a city with so much to do and see! The links below will help you to plan your visit and provide valuable information on public transportation, hotels and special attractions in the city!

Department of Conservation and Recreation

The DCR, a Division of State Parks and Recreation, maintains the Esplanade and Hatch Shell. For more information visit: www.mass.gov/dcr.

Greater Boston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

The GBCVB is a visitor’s guide to Boston that includes information about area hotels and attractions. For more information visit: www.bostonusa.com.

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Your official guide to tourism in Massachusetts. For more information visit: www.massvacation.com

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

A complete guide to Boston’s public transportation system. For more information visit: www.mbta.com.

Community Boating

Enjoy the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular from the docks or sailboats at Community Boating, the nation’s oldest public sailing program, located just steps from the Hatch Shell. Each year, their annual Fourth of July fundraiser welcomes families to a summer cookout, DJ broadcast of the Pops concert and an unobstructed waterfront view of the fireworks. For tickets and more information please visit www.sailabration.org.

The following vehicular and pedestrian traffic restrictions that will be in place for Boston’s July 4th celebration. All roadways will remain closed (unless noted otherwise) until the Department of Conservation and Recreation has an opportunity to clean the roadways. As was the case last year, will be no fireworks viewing allowed from the Longfellow and Mass. Ave Bridge due to ongoing construction on the bridge.