The annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular—one of the largest and oldest Fourth of July events in the country— will take place at the DCR Hatch Shell on July 3 with a rehearsal concert, and July 4 with the main concert and fireworks. On July 3, gates will open around 5pm, with the concert beginning at 8:30 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m. On July 4, the concert will begin at 8 p.m., with 10:30pm fireworks. According to the event website, Queen Latifah is this year’s headliner, and she’ll be performing “a selection of hits from her diverse catalog, which touches on genres including jazz, rap, R&B, Broadway, and more,” the website states. Other performers include Arlo Guthrie, America’s Got Talent semi-finalist Amanda Mena, and the Texas Tenors.
For fans viewing from the Cambridge side, a large screen and sound towers were installed on Memorial Drive, and for the second year, another screen will be installed on the Rose Kennedy Greenway for more outdoor viewing, according to the website. The event will also be broadcast on television and radio.
Dave Procopio, a spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police, told the Sun about the security plan that’s in place for this year’s show to keep the event safe and enjoyable for all.
“As in past years, the goal of the security plan is to enhance safety for visitors and participants as much as possible while still preserving a fun and inviting atmosphere,” Procopio said. “Toward that end, multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will execute a multi-layered plan that includes officers and assets that the public will recognize (such as numerous uniformed Massachusetts State Troopers, local police officers, and National Guardsmen), as well as other assets that will not be seen or recognized (such as undercover officers and intelligence capabilities). The security operation covers both sides of the River, Boston and Cambridge.”
Procopio said that there are many security cameras on the Esplanade which will feed images to the police. In addition, there will be bomb squads, K9 units, the State Police Marine Unit, and the State Police Air Wing on deck. “As always, anyone who sees anything or anyone suspicious should immediately call 911 or tell a trooper or officer in person. The motto, as always, is “See Something, Say Something,” he said.
Changes are made to the security plan each year based on different factors, including tactics used in terrorist acts across the world. “At this time, we can report there are no credible or specific terrorist threats to the venue,” Procopio said.
Privately operated drones are prohibited from flying over the Esplanade, and visitors will be screened for prohibited items at venue checkpoints off of Storrow Drive on the Boston side and off Memorial Drive on the Cambridge side. Prohibited items include: coolers on wheels, backpacks, weapons, drones, glass containers, pre-mixed beverages, liquids not in sealed containers and exceeding two liters, grills, alcohol, and bicycles. Procopio said people should be prepared to leave prohibited items behind at the security checkpoints.
Procopio urged people to be aware of possible sun and heat exposure, and stay hydrated. “During the 3rd and 4th, members of the public can follow the State Police Twitter page for updates on event information, logistics, weather, etc.,” he added.