Boston makes a big deal of the 4th July Independence Day
celebrations like few other places, with a 6 day Harborfest
celebration leading up to the big main events on the day itself,
including the now famous Boston Pope concert and of course the big
July Fourth fireworks display over the city's iconic skyline and Charles
In the days leading up to the 4th of July it is worth heading to Boston early as events to look out for include guided tours celebrating historical landmarks (expect to hear plenty talk about a certain tea party in particular!), a wide selection of free, family friendly events, special river tours and on the big day itself the festivities commence with a flag raising ceremony and parade.
The highlight of the Independence Day celebrations is Boston is the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, an outdoor concert that takes place in the Hatch Shell on the banks of the Charles River. The Oval itself opens at 9am on July 4th, and is usually full by 2pm so get there early!
The full schedule of events for the day is:
09:00: Oval opens
12:00: Recorded music begins in Boston
19:00: WBZ News Radio coverage begins
20:00: Boston Pops broadcast begins on WBZ-TV Boston
20:20: Boston Pops concert begins
22:00: CBS Network national broadcast begins
22:35: Fireworks begin
23:00: Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ends
If you don't make it into the Oval then the best viewing spots for the fireworks will be along the Charles River and on the Mass Avenue and Longfellow Bridges.
Many people choose to take in the fireworks from the best viewing position of all, that is, a boat on the Charles River, and harbour cruises are very popular, although you will of course need to book your spot well in advance. There are many boats offering 4th July cruises, and I especially like the look of this one:
If you're looking for a lively onboard party then The 3rd Annual IndepenDANCE Party Cruise on The Provincetown II could well be the way forward, offering live music at an exclusive party.
The Boston Pops concert is broadcast live on Boston local CBS, so if you can get to a TV then that is the channel to look for.
There is also coverage of the event on the local Boston TV station WBZ TV:
The live coverage of the event on the radio is a little easier to find though - the WBZ Newsradio 1030 coverage will be streaming live here:
You can also listen on WGBH Boston Public radio:
As an alternative for watching the fireworks online in particular not many people consider the option of checking out some of the local webcam views there are a number of live streams scattered in key locations around Boston, including some excellent city skyline views:
If you're in the Boston area on the 4th July then it is very much advisable to book your accommodation asap, an expect to pay a holiday premium rate; there's no real way around this unfortunately.
There are some hotels in Boston that offer excellent skyline views, a definite advantage if you would like to watch the July 4th fireworks in more comfort and with a little privacy. Hotels with views worth checking out include the XV Beacon Hotel, which has an excellent panoramic rooftop garden, The Rotal Sonesta Cambridge overlooking the Charles River and the Liberty Hotel Boston.
You can search for hotels, check availability at the above any many other venues, and make reservations for local hotels here.
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