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Boston's 4th Of July Fireworks, Summer Parades, Festivals Canceled Due To Coronavirus

BOSTON (CBS) -- The annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and live concert on July 4 has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cancelation is one of many as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Friday that all large events, such as parades and festivals, in the city will be canceled until Labor Day.

"We do not envision, at this point this summer, when it will make sense to have large scale crowds gathered in close contact for any prolonged periods of time," Walsh said. Smaller events will be looked at on a case by case basis. No events that would draw more than 10 people should be planned.

"This is a public health decision, and it's the right decision, but it also affects some of our most beloved annual events that we love having here in the city," said the mayor. "I urge everyone to who organizes annual parades and celebrations to preserve the spirit of your event."

The Fourth of July celebration has been a tradition on the Esplanade for decades. In 2019, half a million people lined the banks of the Charles River for the event.

Instead, the Boston Pops will hold a show that is available online, on the radio, and on TV this year. It will pay "tribute to the frontline workers in many fields and [honor] those who have lost their lives during the current health crisis, while celebrating our diverse nation's founding values of liberty and justice for all," according to the Pops.

Lilac Sunday at the Arboretum this Sunday is also canceled. "Lilac Sunday is a Mother's Day tradition for many families that will have to wait until next year," said Walsh.

He also said the advisory board is still working on what will happen to the Boston Red Sox and concerts at Fenway Park this summer. "There's many layers there as well because even the leagues themselves haven't committed to coming back and playing. So there's a lot of discussions left to happen with major league sports that haven't happened yet."

Gov. Charlie Baker said he understood the mayor's decision. "It would be hard for me to imagine, given how popular those parades are, how you would ever deliver on social distancing standards for one of those. I mean, those are usually shoulder to shoulder, four or five deep - sometimes more."

"That's a really good example of something that won't happen this year, but I fully expect that people will come up with other ways of celebrating our nation's birthday," Baker added.

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