2018 Road Closure (PDF)
July 2nd, 3rd and 4th: Road Closures and Other Traffic Information

2018 Boating Guidelines (PDF)
Please note the closure time for the New Charles River Dam for July 4th, is 7:45 PM.

2018 Access Points (PDF)
Where to Enter the Venue

2018 UAV Prohibition (PDF)
It will be illegal to operate any unmanned aircraft (drones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Unmanned Aircraft Systems) in and around the Boston Esplanade during July 3 and 4. Anyone operating one would be doing so illegally and could face Federal or State charges. 

2018 Prohibited Items (PDF)

2018 Text-A-Tip (PDF)
The Massachusetts State Police again have established a dedicated Text-A-Tip line for this year’s July 3rd and 4th celebration on the Esplanade in Boston.


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.

The Oval and Island entrances to the Esplanade are best accessed from Storrow Drive at Berkeley, Clarendon and Dartmouth Streets.

The area behind the Hatch Shell is used for the production of the event and not open to the public.
Community Boating is outside of the production area and always accessible to the public.
On July 3rd and 4th, Community Boating is closed for a fundraising event.
Please visit www.community-boating.org for more information on their event on July 4th.

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)

Prohibited Items (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.

What is happening on the Greenway?

The Greenway Conservancy to offer a Live Screening of the Boston Pops Spectacular event on The Rose Kennedy Greenway! If you can’t make it to the Esplanade, head to Greenway at Atlantic Avenue and High Street where a massive HD screen will be streaming all the action and entertainment, complete with Bloomberg’s Janet Wu reporting live!

How long is the concert and fireworks?

On July 3rd, the concert begins at 8:00 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 8:00 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)

What is the music that will play with the Fireworks?

Liberty Fanfare, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops
4th of July, AMY MACDONALD
ROCK in the USA, JOHN MELLENCAMP
Back in the USA, CHUCK BERRY
Men of Yorktown, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops
Don’t Let Me Down, CHAINSMOKERS ft. DAYA
Roots, ZAC BROWN BAND
Color Me America, DOLLY PARTON
Kiss the Sky, JASON DERULO
America, SIMON & GARFUNKEL
Rock in America, NIGHT RANGER
America the Beautiful, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, Yolanda Adams, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus

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.

 

 

Download 2018 Road Closure (PDF)

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

For persons with disabilities accessible shuttles will be available starting at 3pm from the Mass Eye and Ear parking lot (Storrow Drive accessible via Charles Street Circle) to the Accessibility gate at the Esplanade. The shuttle will then stop operating at 6pm and resume only after the end of the fire works display from the Accessibility Gate at the Esplanade back to the Mass Eye and Ear parking lot.

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is held at the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. Please visit them at www.mass.gov/dcr or on twitter @MassDCR.

 

Download the 2018 Boating Guidelines (PDF)

Secured Areas

The Oval and Island entrances to the Esplanade are best accessed from Storrow Drive at Berkeley, Clarendon and Dartmouth Streets.

The area behind the Hatch Shell is used for the production of the event and not open to the public.
Community Boating is outside of the production area and always accessible to the public.
On July 3rd and 4th, Community Boating is closed for a fundraising event.
Please visit www.community-boating.org for more information on their event on July 4th.

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. There is also a screen at The Greenway which will be live-streaming the broadcast in a location separate from the fireworks.


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

DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR’s amazing forests, parks, greenways, historic sites and landscapes, seashores, lakes, ponds, reservoirs and watersheds, visit www.mass.gov/dcr or on twitter @MassDCR.

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.

Download the 2018 Road Closure (PDF)

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, there will be no fireworks viewing allowed from the Longfellow Bridge.

These closures will be updated as needed.


 

Monday, July 2

7 a.m.

1.  No parking on Mugar Way from Arlington Street to Charles Street until 6 a.m. on July 5. All vehicles remaining will be removed.


 

Tuesday, July 3

6 a.m.

1.  Right hand travel lane on Storrow Drive westbound will be closed.

7 a.m.

  • Esplanade walkway adjacent to the Charles River closed to pedestrians and bicyclists from the area of the Community Boat Club to the front of the concession stand.  All pedestrians and bicyclists will be directed to the sidewalk adjacent to Storrow Drive until approximately 3 p.m.
  • Oval area closed to public for Pops rehearsal (Will re-open at approximately 5 p.m., or as determined by Boston 4 Productions and the Incident Commander.)
  • The exit to Arlington Street from the Storrow Tunnel (eastbound) shall be closed until 6 a.m. July 5.

9 a.m.

  • Esplanade curbside reserved for permitted bus parking from the Longfellow Bridge westbound to the Fielder Footbridge.
  • Traffic will continue west bound on Storrow Drive
  • There will be no public parking along Storrow Drive for either the rehearsals or the concert.

3 p.m. (Or a time to be determined by the Incident Commander):

  • Storrow Drive will be closed to westbound traffic from the Lee Pool to the Bowker Overpass. All westbound traffic will be diverted to Charles Street Circle. Westbound traffic may re-enter Storrow Drive westbound by heading down Charles Street, to Beacon Street, to the westbound entrance at the Bowker Overpass.
  • Mugar Way at Beacon Street will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This will remain closed until the early morning hours of July 5. Pedestrians will be directed to Berkeley Street for entrance to the Esplanade.
  • Berkeley Street at Beacon Street will be closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Storrow Drive Eastbound will be closed and detoured at the Bowker Overpass. It will remain closed until July 5, at a time to be determined by the Incident Commander.

 


 

Wednesday, July 4

12 a.m.

  • No parking on Memorial Drive (either side) from 450 Memorial Drive to the Longfellow Bridge. All vehicles remaining after this time will be removed.
  • No parking on Cambridge Parkway.

7 a.m.

  • Access to Storrow Drive westbound from Leverett Circle to Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass) will be closed to traffic.
  • The righthand travel lane on Charles River Dam Road will be closed from Museum Way to Leverett Circle.
  • The Storrow Drive Exit Ramp in the Tip O’Neill Tunnel will be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles.
  • The Leverett Circle entrance to Storrow Drive West will also be closed. Traffic will be allowed to travel on Msgr. O’Brien Highway to Cambridge and Martha Way to Boston.
  • The following Storrow Drive on and off ramp closures will remain in effect from July 3:
    • Berkeley Street;
    • Charlesgate Area (heading eastbound);
    • Bowker Overpass from Park Drive and the Fenway;
    • Charles Street Circle.(heading westbound).
  • No Parking at Magazine Beach and Pool, Riverside Boat Club and the MWRA pump station (Cottage Farm). No boat launching in this area.
  • Pedestrian Footbridge at Charles Street Circle going to the Esplanade closed.
  • Fiedler Footbridge from Beacon Street going to the Esplanade closed.

12 p.m.

1. A lane on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge going from Boston to Cambridge will be closed. This lane will remain closed for the remainder of time the bridge remains open (entire bridge closes to vehicles and pedestrians at 4 p.m.)

3 p.m.

  • No access to Storrow Dr. westbound from the Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass).
  • No access to Storrow Dr. westbound from the Beacon St. on-ramp under the Bowker Overpass.
  • Storrow Drive eastbound will be detoured at University Avenue.

4 p.m.

  • Memorial Drive in both directions from Massachusetts Avenue to the Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Main Street, Cambridge, from Third Street to the Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Ames Street from Main Street to Memorial Drive, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Wadsworth and Amherst Streets, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Land Boulevard (Cambridge) from Binney Street to Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Hayward, Carlton, Charlotte’s Way and Dock Streets in Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Access allowed to One Memorial Drive only with issued permit.
  • Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic
  • The Longfellow Bridge will be closed to pedestrian traffic from approximately 9 p.m. until the end of the fireworks. No fireworks viewing from the Longfellow Bridge will be allowed.
  • Mass. Ave. Bridge closed in both directions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from Beacon Street in Boston to Vassar Street in Cambridge. As in previous years, no fireworks viewing from the Mass. Ave. Bridge will be allowed.
  • Memorial Drive from Mass Ave to the BU Bridge closed to vehicular traffic. Vehicular access will be allowed for patrons going to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hyatt patrons will be directed to the Vassar Street road closure.
  • Vassar Street in Cambridge from Mass Ave to Memorial Drive closed to vehicular traffic. Access will be allowed for residents and Hyatt patrons.
  • Cambridge Parkway closed to vehicular traffic except, it will remain open to vehicles with Handicap Placards/plates only. All vehicles must be removed from Cambridge Parkway by 1 a.m. on July 5.

10:30 p.m.

  • Third Street in Cambridge becomes one way from Main Street to Msgr. O’Brien Highway.
  • Craigie Drawbridge (at Leverett Circle) to remain closed for approximately 2 hours to allow traffic to subside.
  • Smaller boats that can pass under bridge while in the down position will be allowed to pass.

All closures are subject to change at the discretion of the Incident Commander.

 


 

Miscellaneous

Handicapped Parking- July 4

    • 12 p.m.: Mass. Eye & Ear Storrow parking lot opens for vehicles displaying handicap placards/plates. HP placards/plates are needed for entry to the lot. (Entrance for the parking lot is through Charles Circle).
    • The Mass Eye & Ear lot will close when the designated disabilities- parking area at the Esplanade is filled, the allotted parking area at the specified Mass. Eye & Ear lot is filled or at 6 p.m., whichever occurs first.
    • Parking for people with disabilities will also be allowed on Cambridge Parkway.

Clean-Up

  • Clean-up begins 30 minutes after the fireworks display has concluded.
  • All roadways will remain closed until clean and labor crews are safely removed.
  • If practicable, there will be an attempt to open the roadways in the following order:
    • Mass Ave Bridge;
    • Longfellow Bridge;
    • Memorial Drive;
    • Storrow Drive, Bowker Overpass, Charlesgate Area, Charles Circle.

Interstate 93

Viewing of fireworks display from I-93 is dangerous and prohibited. State troopers assigned to this area will strictly ensure that there is no st