Boston Moves July Fourth Celebration To Thursday

Keith Lockhart conducts the Boston Pops as the US Army Herald Trumpets perform on the Esplanade, in 2009. (Lisa Poole/AP)

Keith Lockhart conducts the Boston Pops as the US Army Herald Trumpets perform on the Esplanade on July 4, 2009. (Lisa Poole/AP)

BOSTON — The Boston Pops annual July 4th concert and fireworks show attended by thousands is being moved up a day because of potential heavy rains ahead of Hurricane Arthur.

Organizers and public safety officials said Wednesday afternoon the celebration is being rescheduled to what appears to be the best of two potential bad weather days. Arthur is expected to pass well east of New England over the weekend.

State Police Col. Timothy Alben said security arrangements are ready to go, since the public rehearsal would have been held Thursday night anyway. He said the performance could be also cancelled Thursday if the weather isn’t safe.

With Storrow Drive now scheduled to close at 1 p.m. on Thursday, a regular business day, traffic around the city could get rough. Memorial Drive and the Mass. Ave. and Longfellow bridges will close at 6 p.m. The public will be allowed onto the Esplanade beginning at 5 p.m. (More on street closures and security.)

Pops conductor Keith Lockhart says you have to be flexible when you’re producing a big show outside.

“I have to put the concert together no matter what, so what I try to do is make sure that there are no stones we’ve left unturned,” Lockhart said. “So that when we do get a chance to take that stage, and I’m fairly confident we will get that chance over the next few days, that we’re ready to go.”

Officials say that if weather forces them to cancel Thursday night, consideration will be given to holding the event on Saturday, July 5.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.

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  • jefe68

    Today, Thursday is a work day. This is a lousy idea and will only make the commute for those folks working today a nightmare.

    It should have been moved to Saturday the 5th and still should.
    The weather forecast for this afternoon and tonight calls for heavy thunderstorms.
    On Saturday, partly sunny and breezy.

    What is wrong with these people?

  • X-Ray

    Who made the ill-conceived decision to move the celebration activities to another weekday? Moving them to the weekend would have helped minimize the traffic and business disruptions and conflicts, and would have put the outdoor activities in a period of better forecast weather.

  • J__o__h__n

    I understand that the infrastructure was already in place to reschedule it to tonight but as the weather is still uncertain and is likely to be wonderful on Saturday this decision put expedience ahead of producing a great event. And the concert has been terrible for years. Lockhart is goofy and gimmicky. The music has played second violin to B list celebrities (Dr Phil and wife) and commercial breaks.

    Also, why is the MBTA free? On the same week fares go up, we are giving away free rides. These one time riders are a revenue bonanza. Same thing on New Years. Do other cities do this? If it is needed to promote tourism or public safety, let another agency subsidize it.

  • Tall_and_Sweet

    I agree with all the other commenters – tonight is a stupid choice for all the reasons already mentioned.

  • Beatrice Pryor

    Until recently, democratic processes yielded such slow evolutions of public opinion that 20 years would pass before new ideas were accepted.

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