If you think of Independence Day you’re likely to think of Boston, Massachusetts, where it all began. Every year a huge celebration is thrown to celebrate America’s freedom, and what better place to celebrate than Boston?
The party begins on July 3rd with the Boston Pops Orchestra starting their concert at 8:30 pm, but the Oval will be open to the public at 4:00 pm. Wristbands are required to enter and reenter from 4pm until the concert has finished. The wristbands you receive on the 4th are different than the ones on the 3rd, so you’ll have to get a new one on the big day.
The Boston celebration is free and open to the entire public. Each year between 400,000 to 700,000 people attend the festivities. Since there are no seats it’s a wise idea to bring lawn chairs or blankets for the family. Do not bring the family pet since the crowd is huge and you might be asked to leave with your dog.
The Esplanade area is alcohol-free and neither can you build a fire or have a barbecue in the area. Although coolers are permitted it’s not unusual for you to be asked to show what’s inside. There is no overnight camping on the night of the 2nd or 3rd. Expect to see hundreds of State Troopers patrolling the area on foot, horseback, motorcycles and boats. To enter the Oval you must go through a security check that includes your person, coolers, purses, and totes.
The Oval area fills up about mid-morning, so arrive early. You can bring a blanket or tarp but it must be no larger than 5’x7′. Chairs are okay but must be collapsible. If you need water refills you must leave the Oval and purchase them. Each time you reenter the Oval you will be checked by security again.
There are special sections for the handicapped, within the Oval area, but the space only allows for the one handicapped person and one accompanying person. There are restrooms in the Oval area but they are limited. You’ll find food vendors in the area as well.
Fireworks are displayed on the 4th, after the Boston Pops Concert, around 10:30pm. Although the Oval holds a great view of the Pops concert, it has a limited view of the fireworks. On the Cambridge side of the river is a much better location to view the fireworks, but anywhere on Memorial Drive between the Mass Ave bridge and the Longfellow is a good location.
From the docks at Community Boating, you can get a great view of the fireworks, but there’s a small fee. The location is great and you can bring the grill and cook, so it might be worth the fee to some.
The last trains on each line (Blue, Red, Orange and Green) are set so that the final train, the Orange, will leave Downtown Crossing, both ways, at 1 in the morning. The event ends at 11:30 and Green lines are accessible at Arlington, Red Line at Charles MGH.