Spectacular fireworks at Boston's Fourth of July celebration.
Boston's Fourth of July Celebration
The Boston Pops Orchestra, fireworks, cannons, and
church bells all come together on the Esplanade every Fourth of
July in Boston. Boston's Fourth of July has become the pre-eminent
Independence Day celebration in the county. The event as we know it
began in 1974, but concerts on Boston's Esplanade, along the
Charles River, date back to 1929 when legendary Boston Pops
conductor Arthur Fiedler conducted his first Fourth of July
concert. David Mugar, now executive producer and founder of
Boston's Fourth of July, had become saddened and disappointed with
the state of decline of the Esplanade, the Charles River, and the
Fourth celebration in the early 70s. He made a deal with Arthur
Fiedler: if Fielder would conduct the
1812 Overture, Mugar
would round up not only fireworks, but also cannons and bells to
rouse the moribund annual concert on the Esplanade. Despite minor
glitches, the renewed Fourth of July was a rousing success!
Two years later, in 1976, Boston's Fourth of July
helped the nation celebrate its Bicentennial with a concert that
drew 400,000 people, marked by the
Guinness Book of World
Records as the largest crowd ever assembled for a classical
music concert. Now the event regularly draws between a quarter and
a half million people who marvel at the "pyromusical" fireworks
display after the concert. Guest performers now share the stage
with the Boston Pops; since 1987 they have included Johnny Cash,
Mel Torme, Roberta Flack, and Sandy Duncan. A fly-over by military
jets marks the beginning of the two-hour concert. Following the
concert with its signature
1812 Overture, there is a
spectacular 30-minute fireworks display.
The event is documented in five pages of narrative
text, photographs of the event, several commemorative programs, a
promotional brochure and site map, CDs containing the 1999 Boston
's Fourth of July Internet site, press clippings, copies of
significant papers, a video of the 1999 event, and a tee-shirt.
Originally submitted by: Edward M. Kennedy, Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.