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Happy 4th of July!

Posted: July 3, 2015

Fireworks captured in the sky after the Boston Pops July Fourth performance in 2011. (Courtesy Lei Han/Flickr)

Fireworks captured in the sky after the Boston Pops July Fourth performance in 2011. (Courtesy Lei Han/Flickr)

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks? Because John Adams said so!

Not exactly, however the tradition of lavish parties, countless bottles of champagne and fireworks arose from a letter to Abigail Adams by John Adams on July 3, 1776. John stated, “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” Just as John Adams had envisioned, Philadelphia put on a celebration to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Their fireworks display began and ended with 13 cannons representing the 13 colonies. Given Boston’s strong connection with our independence, it was only right that we joined in on the festivities. Noted in the Boston Gazette on July 7, 1777, Colonel Thomas Crafts, did just that. He illuminated the park on the commons, threw several shells, and exhibited a number of fireworks on that same day.

So…where does one go to watch the Boston fireworks today??

The answer to that question is, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. This free two day event is hosted on the banks of Charles River at the Esplande Hatch Shell. Starting on the 3rd with an evening concert, the party is open to the general public and will feature upwards of 10,000 fireworks, 500,000+ visitors and a tradition concert by the Boston Pops Band. If you plan on heading to the banks of the Charles, you better leave early. Guest will start arriving to mark a spot as early as 11-12pm the day of the event. If you aren’t fortunate enough to make it to the banks, head over the the Prudential Tower Skywalk for a viewing from one of the tallest buildings in Boston. Or make your way to Monument Square for a over head view on one of Boston’s most historic locations. Best of all, find a friend, relative or Realtor (I can help) to get you onto a roof deck for the spectacular views of the celebration.

When Does The Music Start?

The Boston Pops Orchestra will perform at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade both Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4. Both days’ concerts begin at 8:30 p.m. Friday’s show is scheduled to end at 10 p.m., and Saturday’s at 11 p.m.

When Do The Fireworks Start?

I hope you all have a happy and safe 4th!


Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776, "Had a Declaration..." [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society.
The First Fireworks on the Fourth of July, Boston Gazette, 7 July 1777.

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