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What to know about Boston's July 4th fireworks celebration, Pops concert on the Esplanade

Robot dog spotted working security with Mass. State Police on Boston Esplanade
Robot dog spotted working security with Mass. State Police on Boston Esplanade 00:57

BOSTON - Boston's Fourth of July celebration is back on the Esplanade this year for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, the Boston Pops performed from Tanglewood and fireworks were launched from the Common. The festivities were canceled altogether in 2020. But 2022 will mark a return to the Hatch Shell, with a "mega fireworks display" over the Charles River.

The show is set for Monday, July 4th from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.; the fireworks will launch at 10:30 p.m. It will be available to watch on Bloomberg's platforms. Unlike previous years, the public will not be able to watch a rehearsal on Sunday. 

The event is free and open to the public; no advance tickets are needed. "The Oval" in front of the Hatch Shell will open at noon on Monday.

Legendary singer Chaka Khan will headline the lineup of performers, which also includes "The Voice" winner Javier Colon, Grammy recipient Heather Headley, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums and the Honor Guard of the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Regiment. 

The Pops will be accompanying the artists for a patriotic sing-along and performances of their Independence Day classics.

"This year's performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture—with its universal messages of the right to freedom and self-determination that we honor as Bostonians and Americans each Independence Day—as well as the Ukrainian National Anthem, will be dedicated to the people of Ukraine and the courage and perseverance they have consistently shown in their struggle for their country's continuing independence," Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart says.

Those headed to see the celebration in person can bring folding chairs or beach chairs, and coolers that are carried by a shoulder strap or single handle (no wheels). Blankets, tarps, and tents/canopies (no sides) must be smaller than 10' x 10'. 

There's a long list of prohibited items from Massachusetts State Police, including:

  • backpacks
  • firearms/weapons/sharp objects
  • fireworks
  • glass containers
  • cans
  • pre-mixed drinks
  • non-transparent plastic containers
  • plastic containers over 2 liters
  • grills/propane tanks/open flames
  • alcohol
  • coolers on wheels
  • drones

The State Police Bomb Squad will also be using two dog-like robots made by Boston Dynamics to clear suspicious packages and take video of potentially dangerous situations, authorities said. 

The MBTA will be free after 9:30 p.m. on Monday, with Commuter Rail trains holding for 30 minutes after the fireworks.

Looking for fireworks outside of Boston? Click here to find a display near you.

Monday's weather will be critical, and there is a risk of some isolated afternoon storms. Click here to stay updated with the latest forecast. 

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