Organizers put end to superimposed scenes for Boston’s fireworks broadcast

The fauxworks over a superimposed Fenway Park during last year's national broadcast.

If you end up watching the national broadcast of the Boston fireworks this Fourth of July, you’ll notice something different from last year.

It’s going to be more real.

A rebellion started after last year’s fireworks display, which included the sparkling colors exploding behind prerecorded and superimposed images of the State House and Fenway Park. The images were lacking in accuracy as the direction of the fireworks was incorrect and in some cases impossible.

After some outcries, organizers decided to ditch the fauxworks display for Wednesday night’s show.

“The public spoke … people didn’t care for it,” said Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for Boston 4 Productions. “We always try new and different things. We always look at the event and what would enhance the broadcast.”

In an interview shortly after last year’s enhanced display, the executive producer of the show said the superimposed images were meant to be entertainment, not news, and it was no different than Boston-set television drama’s being filmed in Hollywood studios.

“We’re proud to show scenes from our city,” David Mugar told the Boston Globe last year. “We were able to highlight great places in Boston, historical places with direct ties to the Fourth. So we think it was a good thing.”

However, some of those viewers who watched the broadcast don’t agree.

“I was like ‘What’s going on? What are they doing,’” said Nicole Alessio of South Boston who said she watched last year’s display on television and immediately notice the superimposed scenes. “It didn’t feel real or natural. It didn’t feel like the spirit of it. I think it looks so lovely on the Charles.”

But for others, the entertainment value was most important.

“I don’t see a big difference as long as it looks good,” said Siondueh Burnette.

MacDonald said that this year some minor changes will be implemented that may or may not be noticeable to the viewing public.

“The core of it is still the same. It’s the Boston Pops, the 1812 Overture and the fireworks on the Charles River,” he said.


Some of the different things you’ll see, and some you will not, during the Boston Fourth of July celebration.

*The concert is starting at 8:20 p.m. this year, 10 minutes earlier than last year, so that there is more daylight for spectators and viewers to see the military flyover.

*Organizers are using microwave technology in their production this year.

*The position of the sound towers has been “tweaked” for better listening along the Esplanade.


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