Everything You Need to Know About This Year's Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

Queen Latifah, Keith Lockhart and Arlo Guthrie are some of the performers for the free, family-friendly event on Thursday

Thousands are expected to flock to the Charles River Esplanade on Thursday for the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

The popular event boasts live music, a fireworks display and a U.S. Air Force aircraft flyover to kick off the festivities.

The lineup for this year’s concert includes Grammy-winning musician and actress Queen Latifah, songwriter Arlo Guthrie, poet and Harvard University student Amanda Gorman, the Texas Tenors and soul singer Amanda Mena.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. and fireworks are scheduled for 10:30 p.m. The event ends at 11 p.m.

Here's what you need to know before you head to the Esplanade:

Getting there

Entrances are slated to open Thursday at 9 a.m. The "Oval" access point will be located between the Berkeley Footbridge and Lagoon’s Clarendon Footbridge. The "Island" and "Lagoon" access points can be accessed by walking on Beacon Street to Clarendon Street or using the Dartmouth and Fairfield Street footbridges over Storrow Drive.

Other things to know: 

  • People are urged to take public transportation to the event.
  • Subways will run on a Sunday scheduled on Thursday until 2 p.m.
  • After 2 p.m., subways will run at rush-hour levels of service.
  • All MBTA fares will be waived after 9:30 p.m.
  • The closest MBTA stations to the Charles River Esplanade from Boston are Charles-MGH on the Red Line and Arlington Street on the Green Line.
  • From Cambridge, the closest MBTA stations to the event are Kendall and Central Square on the Red Line.

Road closures

At least two dozen road closures will be in effect Thursday, which will mainly affect Storrow Drive. For a complete list of closures, click here.


Several parking garages are available for a fee near the Esplanade. The Boston Pops lists the Motor Mart Garage as an “easy” walk to the event. It is located at 201 Stuart St.

Handicapped parking will be available to those with a valid handicap placard and/or license plates on Cambridge Parkway and at the Mass. Eye and Ear LAZ parking lot. The Mass. Eye and Ear parking lot will close once it’s full or at 6 p.m.

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There will be extra uniformed Massachusetts State Police Troopers monitoring the area. They will patrol the event on foot, horse, bicycle and motorcycle.

Authorities highly encourage attendants to follow the “See something, say something” motto.

Suspicious behavior can be reported by texting B4 and a tip to 67283.

Prohibited items

  • Weapons
  • Drones
  • Coolers on wheels
  • Backpacks
  • Alcohol
  • Cans
  • Glass containers
  • Pre-mixed beverages
  • Bicycles
  • Liquids exceeding two liters
  • Grilling

Boating guide

Boaters should stay 100 feet away from the shore and at least 1,000 feet from barges, according to state police. The New Charles River Dam will close to aquatic vessels at 7:45 p.m. Thursday and will reopen at 2 a.m. Friday. A restricted area will be in place Thursday that will bar access to boaters. For more details, click here.

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