I don’t consider myself an expert on many things, but if there’s one thing that I feel qualified to give advice on, it’s spending the 4th of July in Boston. I watched fireworks erupt over the Charles in flip flops and a glow necklace every year since I was born (except for the year after 9/11 and the year I spent the summer in France). Here’s some knowledge I have acquired over the years to help you make the most out of spending the 4th in Boston this year:
Get to the Esplanade
If you are in Boston on the 4th it is plain unpatriotic to not be on the Esplanade. A seat on a patch of the Esplanade guarantees easy listening to the Boston Pops—with this years guest performer, Jennifer Hudson—a view of the fireworks (depending on where you are sitting), and plenty of people watching. There will definitely be characters roaming around to be inspiration for a short story or film.
Make a Day of It
Even though the Pops and the fireworks don’t start until later, there’s nothing stopping you from getting there early and catching some rays. In fact, it’s probably better—especially if you want to get a seat in a certain area (SeeLocation, Location, Location). Pack some food and enjoy a day-long picnic with your friends…which just so happens to lead me to my next point…
Bring Your Own Everything. Literally. Of course, you’ll need a blanket but also consider bringing chairs and a beach umbrella depending on how long you’ll be there. I strongly suggest bringing as much of your own food as possible to avoid long lines and steep prices at vendors. Even though it’s supposed to be 85 degrees on Wednesday, so you should undoubtably bring plenty of water—a pack of cards will be your true life saver. There are endless games you can play with a pack of cards and it’s so tiny it won’t add much to your load.
Location, Location, Location
The Esplanade is huge and there will be so much going on that you can definitely have a good time no matter where you are sitting, but the experience will definitely change based on where you make camp. If you’re all about the music, get there early and set up chairs by the Hatch Shell. If you only care for the fireworks (or have an absurd love for the smell of the Charles), get there around noon or earlier to snag a seat on the water. If you can’t get there until later, there are still plenty of great spots to chill until the fireworks start. If your spot lacks a prominent view of the fireworks, no worries, just head to the highway. Storrow Drive is closed down for the day, so civilians can sit on the cement for an unobstructed view of the fireworks.