4th of July Organizers Keeping Eye on Tropical Storm Arthur

Organizers are still setting up the Pops and fireworks celebration on the Esplanade

It’s a majestic display carefully choreographed to the sweet sounds of the Boston Pops, and it all starts now.

Thousands of shells are being carefully loaded into tubes on a barge in the Charles River to create more than 10,000 effects in the nearly half hour-long Fourth of July show.

"So this’ll be a multi-color break of a chrysanthemum," said lead technician Shawn Allison while giving NECN a tour of the barge.

Allison says even though bad weather is looming, the fireworks barge will be able to weather the storm. In preparation for the show everything is double-sealed in plastic; it’s a technique that has survived typhoons.

A tropical storm is approaching from the south up the Atlantic seaboard while a frontal boundary pressure from the west could bring downpours Thursday into Friday; while meteorologists say the exact track is still uncertain, Tropical Storm Arthur is strengthening.

"We’ve got this weather-tight stuff, we’re just hoping the weather agrees with us and we don’t have to deal with it, but if we do it’s not going to change anything other than we always run the risk of having to delay because nobody’s going to come out in the middle of a hurricane to watch a show," Allison said.

The Boston Pops have performed with extreme heat and frigid cold, but even Boston Mayor Marty Walsh admits driving rain and wind from a potential hurricane could be problematic.

"It’s difficult because all of the artists and musicians when they turn the page the pages go flying, I have no idea what to expect for Friday," Mayor Walsh said.

The Pops had to pause the show two years ago because of dangerous downpours and lightning, sending spectators into the shelter areas in the tunnels of Storrow Drive.

"I would like to do it today if we could assemble a crowd fast enough, mostly because I know we can predict the weather for at least the next 12 hours or so," Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart said.

Since we can’t move up Independence Day, if you’re planning to come to the Esplanade, pack your rain gear and be patient in those beefed up security lines if you’re going to try to catch the show inside the oval.

"Similar to last year, you’re going to see corrals where people have bags searched and so forth and it limited what you can bring," Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben said.

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