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Keith Lockhart To Lead His 18th Pops Fireworks Spectacular04:44
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Keith Lockhart conducts during the Boston Pops Fourth of July concert rehearsal in 2011. (AP)
Keith Lockhart conducts during the Boston Pops Fourth of July concert rehearsal in 2011. (AP)

More than half a million people are expected to crowd along the Charles River in anticipation of the 39th annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the Hatch Shell Wednesday night.

Keith Lockhart will lead the Boston Pop's Esplanade Orchestra for the 18th time, joined by featured performer Jennifer Hudson, host Michael Chiklis, and others. But, before that, WBUR's Steve Brown went down to the Esplanade to catch up with Lockhart and talk about what this event has come to mean to him.

This program aired on July 4, 2012.

Steve Brown Twitter Senior Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's senior State House reporter.

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