The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular draws nearly a half-million people to the banks of the Charles River. An additional seven million tune into the broadcast.
The experience can either be memorable or miserable, depending on how you prepare.
Here’s the Boston Fourth of July Survival Guide at the Esplanade.
As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared”
Look at the Forecast
Beware of the possibility of pop-up thunderstorms. Be prepared, also, for temperatures anywhere from the 60s to the 90s.
The WBZ Accuweather always keeps you updated with Weather on the 3s on WBZ NewsRadio 1030, forecasts on WBZ-TV and CBSBoston.com.
Dress for the Weather
Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are necessities. Don’t forget the umbrella, if there’s a chance of rain.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
This likely means sneakers or sandals. Our preference is for the former. And if you wear anything else and end up with blisters galore, don’t blame Colonial!
The two nearest T-stations on the Boston side of the river are Charles-MGH on the Red Line, and Arlington Street on the Green Line.
Don’t do it! If you drive, be prepared for gridlock and street closures.
Other Items to Bring
Food – Cash-only food stands are available. However, Bring a picnic – a cooler with sandwiches, chips, fruit, pretzels, cookies, juice, and lots of water. If it’s hot, bring extra water. Paper plates, plastic ware (silverware is not permitted), and napkins are all optional as well.
Fun – The action isn’t nonstop, so bring cards, a frisbee, etc.
Comfort – Blankets, chairs, sunscreen (foldable or beach-style only).
The Entertainment – Don’t forget your camera, and binoculars if you want them.
What Not to Bring — Leave the grills and the booze at home, as neither are permitted.
Where to Watch From, When to Get to Your Spot
Your arrival time depends on where you want to sit and what you want to see.
The Oval – The Oval is the place to be, if you can get a spot. Gates open at 9 am, the Oval is usually full by 2 pm.
Outside the Oval/ Charles River – Speakers are set up by the Charles (Boston and Cambridge-side) so you’ll be able to hear the concert even if you can’t see it. Crowds close to the Oval typically boom by 4:30 pm and can’t be passed by 6:30 pm.
Memorial Drive/Cambridge – The Cambridge-side has speaker towers, food concessions and restrooms, too.
The Bridges - (Mass Ave., Longfellow, and BU) – The Mass Ave. and Longfellow Bridges offer the most scenic view, which is why they’re jammed by 9 pm.
The concert starts at 8:30 pm. The fireworks go from 10:30 pm to 11 pm.