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What To Expect For Boston's July Fourth Esplanade Celebrations

Fireworks shoot from the top of the Hatch Shell during rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops orchestra Fourth of July concert in Boston, Friday, July 3, 2015. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
Fireworks shoot from the top of the Hatch Shell during rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops orchestra Fourth of July concert in Boston, Friday, July 3, 2015. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

The 43rd annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade kicks off on Sunday, July 3. This year's festivities include performances by Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Little Big Town and the Boston Pops led by conductor Keith Lockhart.

As the city prepares for crowds celebrating the long July Fourth holiday weekend, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner Bill Evans are urging safety and diligence.

"Hundreds of thousands of people are going to come, actually maybe over a million, we're hearing, are going to come to the Esplanade for the Pops and fireworks on Monday," said Walsh.


There will also be more officers on duty in the neighborhoods, with police urging extra caution with fireworks.

What's the event schedule?

The Boston Pops concerts on both July 3 and July 4 are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

The July 3 concert is from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m. There will be no fireworks during this concert.

Gates open at 9 a.m. for the July 4 show. The concert begins at 8:30 p.m. — the Boston Pops will play, along with performers Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and country group Little Big Town.

A patriotic fireworks display begins at 10:30 p.m. before the concert concludes at 11 p.m.

Both shows take place at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, located at 47 David G. Mugar Way in Boston, nearby Mass General Hospital.

As noted on the event's website, all dates and times are subject to change. Check the event schedule for any updates throughout the weekend.

Spectators, from left, Mary Ann Rollings, Gloria Kelley and Linda Stacey applaud during rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops orchestra Fourth of July concert at the Hatch Shell in Boston, Friday, July 3, 2015. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
Spectators, from left, Mary Ann Rollings, Gloria Kelley and Linda Stacey applaud during rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops orchestra Fourth of July concert at the Hatch Shell in Boston, Friday, July 3, 2015. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Transportation on the Fourth of July

City officials recommend using public transportation instead of driving to Fourth of July events throughout Boston this weekend. Starting at 2 p.m. on July 4, the subway service will run at rush-hour levels to accommodate an influx in riders.

On the Fourth, bicycles are not allowed on the subway or on inbound Commuter Rail trains from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m or outbound trains after 4 p.m.

On the plus side, subway fares will not be collected after 9:30 p.m.

View schedule changes for the subway and commuter rail on the MBTA website.

What You Can Or Can't Bring In

Prohibited items include coolers on wheels, backpacks, firearms, weapons, glass containers and pre-mixed beverages.

For the second year in a row, drones are also prohibited for the July 3 and 4 celebrations on the Esplanade.

Small tents, blankets, and beach chairs are allowed. Find a full list of what you can and can't bring here.

Watching From Home?

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will be broadcast on WBZ-TV starting on 8:00 p.m. on July 4. CBS will also broadcast the event starting at 9:00 p.m.

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