Boston pops 4th of july fireworks spectacular
The Boston Pops 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is expected to draw a large crowd, so officials are amping up security efforts. Photo: Getty Images

The Boston Pops 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular show draws hundreds and thousands of spectators to the Esplanade each year, and local and state officials are ramping up security ahead of the popular holiday event.

 

The security plan for the Boston Pops show includes participation from Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, Boston EMS, Transit Police, Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge Fire Department, FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the state Fire Marshal's office and the National Guard, said Daniel Bennett, state secretary of Public Safety and Security.

 

“This is an incredible team effort from public safety, and it starts with the governor and [Boston] mayor working together to make sure everyone has the resources to make sure this is a safe event,” Bennett said at a Monday news conference on the Esplanade. “The planning has gone into this for months. It’s the same type of plan, but not the same plan, we’ve had for years — it improves every year as we learn from past experiences.”

 

Bennett asked that the thousands of people attending the event to alert an officer or find an official if they see anything suspicious on the 4th of July. There is currently no credible threat to the Boston area, he said, but he added that the public is the “most important intelligence tool.”

 

About 400,000 people attend the Boston Pops fireworks show each year. Officials are reminding those planning on heading down to the Hatch Shell on the 4th of July not to bring certain items, as there will be security checkpoints.

 

Prohibited items include coolers on wheels, backpacks, weapons, drones, glass containers, pre-mixed beverages, grills, alcohol, marijuana and bicycles. All liquids must be in sealed plastic containers, officials said, and cannot exceed two liters.

Mayor Marty Walsh did advise residents to bike to the event — or to walk or take public transportation, rather than drive, as some roads will be closed — but bicycles will not be allowed through security checkpoints.

“Boston is excited for the 2018 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, it’s one of best holiday traditions we have here. There’s no better place to celebrate the independence than the place where it all began,” Walsh said. “Safety is the most important thing for all of us, so whether you’re watching the fireworks on the Esplanade or attending Harbor Fest or having a cookout in your neighborhood, we’re asking you to be safe.”

With a heat wave lingering throughout Massachusetts this week, Walsh reminded residents to stay hydrated, check on elderly neighbors and call 911 concerning homeless individuals outside.

Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, Walsh also cautioned. Police will be in force throughout the Boston area on the 4th of July.

“Leave the fireworks to the professionals,” Walsh said. “The last thing we want to do is lock people up for setting fireworks off, but they are illegal.”

More details on road closures, access points, prohibited items and safety for the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular can be found at bostonpopsjuly4th.org/event-details.

Boston Pops 4th of July Road Closures 

Beginning 12 a.m.: 
- No parking on Memorial Drive (either side)from 450 Memorial Drive to the Longfellow Bridge. All vehicles remaining after this time will be removed. 
- No parking on Cambridge Parkway

Beginning 7 a.m.:
- Access to Storrow Drive westbound from Leverett Circle to Kenmore Square closed to traffic
- The right-hand travel lane on Charles River Dam Road closed from Museum Way to Leverett Circle
- The Storrow Drive Exit Ramp in the Tip O'Neill Tunnel closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles
- The Leverett Circle entrance to Storrow Drive West closed; traffic will be allowed to travel on Msgr. O'Brien Highway to Cambridge and Martha Way to Boston
- The following Storrow Drive on and off-ramp closures will be in effect:
Berkeley Street
Charlesgate Area (heading eastbound)
Bowker Overpass from Park Drive and the Fenway
Charles Street Circle (heading westbound)
- No parking at Magazine Beach and Pool, Riverside Boat Club and the MWRA pump station (Cottage Farm). No boat launching in this area
- Pedestrian Footbridge at Charles Street Circle going to the Esplanade closed
- Fiedler Footbrige from Beacon Street going to the Esplanade closed

Beginning 12 p.m.:
- A lane on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge going from Boston to Cambridge closed. This lane will remain closed for the rest of the time the bridge remains open. (The entire bridge closes to vehicles and pedestrians at 4 p.m.)

Beginning 3 p.m.:
- No access to Storrow Drive westbound from Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass)
- No access to Storrow Drive westbound from Beacon Street on-ramp under the Bowker Overpass
- Storrow Drive eastbound detoured at University Avenue

Beginning 4 p.m.:
- Memorial Drive in both directions from Massachusetts Avenue to the Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic
- Main Street, Cambridge, from Third Street to the Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic 
- Ames Street from Main Street to Memorial Drive, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic
- Wadsworth and Amherst Streets, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic
- Land Boulevard (Cambridge) from Binney Street to Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic
- Hayward, Carlton, Charlotte's Way and Dock Streets in Cambridge closed to vehicular traffic
- Access allowed to One Memorial Drive only with issued permit
- Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic
- Longfellow Bridge closed to pedestrian traffic from 9 pm. until end of the fireworks. No fireworks viewing from Longfellow Bridge allowed
- Mass. Ave Bridge closed in both directions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from Beacon Street in Boston to Vassar Street in Cambridge. No fireworks viewing from Mass. Ave Bridge allowed
- Memorial Drive from Mass Ave to the BU Bridge closed to vehicular traffic. Vehicular access allowed for patrons going to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hyatt patrons will be directed to the Vassar Street road closure.
- Vassar Street in Cambridge from Mass Ave to Memorial Drive closed to vehicular traffic. Access will be allowed for residents and Hyatt patrons
- Cambridge Parkway closed to vehicular traffic except for vehicles with Handicap Placards/plates only. All vehicles must be removed from Cambridge Parkway by 1 a.m. July 5

Beginning 10:30 p.m.
- Third Street in Cambridge becomes one-way from Main Street to Msgr. O'Brien Highway
- Craigie Drawbridge at Leverett Circle to remain closed for approximately 2 hours, to let traffic subside