2018 Fourth of July Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular!!

What you need to know?

Boston is where the fight for American liberty began, and I can't think of anyplace I would rather celebrate our independence than right here in Boston. 

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, America's best Independence Day celebration, takes place on July 3rd and 4th on the Esplanade next to the Charles River. Conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra along with special guests deliver an evening of entertainment, with the skies over Boston lighting up from a dazzling firework display with hundreds of thousands of people along the banks of the Charles River.  After experiencing this you can see why so many families and friends come back every year making Boston thier July 4th tradition.

Here's a little guide to help you with what you need to know about this two day event. Have a wonderful and and Happy 4th of July!! 

Who are the Headliners 2018 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular?

The headliner for the 2018 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, under the direction of Keith Lockhart, is Rachel Platten, the popular American singer/songwriter who grew up in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. Also performing is  Grammy Award-winning artists Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls as will Broadway star Rita Moreno. 

Where, When and Cost?

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacularis free and open to the public and is held at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade located at 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02108. The concert starts at 8 p.m., and the fireworks show begins at 10:30 p.m.

Whats the full schedule for the 3rd and 4th? 

Includes all guest artists. No fireworks.

8:00PM: Concert begins

10:00PM: Concert ends

Concert & Fireworks

 8:00PM: Concert begin

10:30PM: Fireworks begin

11:00PM: Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ends

*All dates/times/information subject to change

What you can and cannot bring?

On July 4, the checkpoints open at 9 a.m. All personal items must be carried in a clear bag. Here's a list of what you can and can't bring with you to this event. 

Not allowed:

  • Backpacks

  • Glass containers

  • Backpacks

  • Firearms, weapons, sharp objects, or fireworks

  • Glass containers

  • Cans

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Coolers on wheels

  • Marijuana

  • Pre-mixed beverages

  • Liquids in sealed plastic containers over 2 liters

  • Propane tanks or open flames

  • Drones

  • Bicycles aren’t allowed through the checkpoints. 


  • Pop-up tents and canopies, up to 10-by-10 feet, without sides (allowed only on July 4 only)

  • Folding or beach chairs

  • Small clutches or purses can be taken in following inspection with your clear bag

  • Coolers carried by shoulder strap or a single handle 

  • Blankets or tarps no bigger than 10-by-10 feet

Here’s the list of streets affected by the fireworks.

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.


You can report any suspicious activity using the Massachusetts State Police Text-A-Tip line. Just type B4 directly before their tip and send to 67283.

Closures are subject to change at the discretion of the Incident Commander.

Can't make it? Here's how to watch from work or home?

The show will be broadcast on Bloomberg TV and Boston’s WHDH-TV starting at 8 p.m The event will also be streamed on Bloomberg.com and the Bloomberg mobile app along with Boston.com, BostonGlobe.com, and BostonPopsJuly4th.org at 8 p.m. 

For more information and up to the minute updates please visit http://bostonpopsjuly4th.org/

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