Citing safety, Mass. State Police announce new 4th of July restrictions for Boston celebration

A view of the Boston Pops Fireworks over the Charles River. Photo: http://2.bp.blogspot.com
A view of the Boston Pops Fireworks over the Charles River. Photo: http://2.bp.blogspot.com

In an effort to protect patriotic spectators, Massachusetts State Police today issued new rules for this year’s July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the Boston Esplanade.

The extra precautions are a direct result of the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three and injured hundreds on April 15, according to police.

“Certainly this is a result of the Marathon terror attack and other global events, including attacks and activity in other parts of the world,” said State Police Spokesman David Procopio. “We always had a solid, effective operational plan for the Fourth, but we knew from the day of the Marathon attacks that we would be reviewing and refining our plan, and as I said, we studied best practices elsewhere, including NYC and London.”

This year, all guests’ bags will be checked upon entry, and officials have restricted the following items: backpacks, cans, pre-mixed beverages, liquid containers that are not clear and over two liters, and coolers with wheels – coolers without wheels are still allowed.

Also new this year is that everyone going into the Oval, Lagoon, and Island areas will be bag-searched and wanded (security officials will pass a wand over them to detect metal). In past years, they were subject to bag searches but not wanding. Also, the hard perimeter surrounding these areas has been significantly expanded.

New security measures also include the closure of the Mass. Ave. bridge at 4 p.m. to both cars and pedestrians.

As always, firearms, weapons, sharp objects, glass containers and fireworks, are not permitted and guests are also not allowed to grill, or use propane tanks or create open flames.

Following the April 15 attacks, reports surfaced suggesting that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev originally planned to attack this year’s 4th of July celebration, but spontaneously deciding to bomb the race.

But according to Procopio, guests should feel safe at this year’s event.

“We have absolutely no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to the event,” he said. “We have an intelligence section constantly monitoring threats across the state and beyond, and there is nothing to suggest any threat to or targeting of this event. Regardless, we need to, and will, remain vigilant.”

Producers of the annual celebration do not believe the additional measures will damper the fun, and contend that the public are probably prepared for the cranked up safety considering the April attack.

“People are more aware now because of what happened at the Marathon,” said Steve MacDonald, a spokesperson for Boston4 Productions. “We’re just enhancing (the security measures) that we’ve always had. There will be more check points, but I think the public understands, and it’s hopefully going to be an easy afternoon.”

MacDonald said he expects roughly the same turnout this year as in previous years – at least 500,000 – despite the potential fear brought on by the Marathon bombing.

“We’ve run into both sides of the spectrum. Some people are saying that they haven’t gone before, but they want to go to prove a point, and others that say ‘I’m going to sit this one out.’”

Guests can also expect a few extra eyes in the sky this year. Police said today that Governor Deval Patrick has approved funding for extra cameras at the park.

The new regulations are not the only changes to this year’s Independence Day celebration.

For the first time in two decades the annual Boston Pops 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular will not be aired nationally, due to low ratings.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…