Thursday, July 02, 2009

FRI 7/3 & SAT 7/4: Music and Fireworks

Boston fireworks
FRI 7/3

8:30pm to 10pm
Boston Pops Pre-Concert
at Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, Storrow Dr, Boston

SAT 7/4

8:30pm to 11pm
Boston Pops Independence Day Concert & Fireworks
at Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, Storrow Dr, Boston

Our national holiday should be celebrated with food and drink, but a fireworks display separates it from your average cookout. There are some other cheap options for Independence Day weekend, but I wanted to start with the "Big Kahuna".

If you've never stood by the Charles to see the fireworks, you really should do it at least once in your life. I'm thinking of going again. I haven't been to Washington DC for Independence Day, but our show was the best I've ever seen in person.

People freak out about getting a spot in the "Oval" in front of the Hatch Shell, but are it really worth it to fight people for a 14-hour squat on a 5' x 7' spot? (As I realized last year, a cell at Guantanamo Bay is 6' x 10'...)

A roof deck party with a good view should suffice, but it wouldn't kill you to stand/sit with the masses. The Longfellow Bridge is open to spectators again, so alternate spots like the other bridges or the Memorial Drive shore shouldn't be as bad. I stood on the Longfellow years ago, and you could hear the music, if not see the big screen.

The concert starts at 8:30pm, and the 21 minutes of fireworks goes off at 10:30pm. Craig Ferguson is back as host, and you know Neil Diamond is going to sing "America" and "Sweet Caroline".

You can always try hitting the Boston Pops concert-only show on Friday from 8:30pm to 10pm for a little picnic music (maybe they'll even shoot the cannons for the 1812 Overture).

You won't see fireworks -- unless you imbibe something on your own -- or hear Neil Diamond, but there won't be million other people there.

It might still be crowded, but nothing like the 4th of July. (The Oval opens at 4pm; there be a better chance, but I can't say for sure.)

* "The Oval is the restricted lawn area located directly in front of the Hatch Shell."


Boston isn't the only celebration in the area. (One year, I stood on the Beverly Bridge and watched the fireworks for their display as well as three other nearby towns...)

The Commonwealth has a fireworks/concert/parade/other quick reference chart; click on a town to go to the detailed list.

I noticed "Friday night lights" in Needham, Lexington, and Lowell.

Relatively near towns like Newton, Waltham, Lincoln, Salem, Wilmington, and Braintree are having fireworks on Saturday 7/4.

Somerville was going to light it up tonight, but it's been postponed until next Thursday 7/9.

The Globe also has a bunch of July 4 info and links.

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