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ABC40 Road Trip: Boston


(WGGB) — It’s a city steeped in American history and it’s the week in which we’ll celebrate the birth of our nation.

In this week’s ABC40 Road Trip, we head to Boston to preview a star spangled celebration that will bring joy to your eyes and ears.

We also take a trip to the New England Aquarium, where a multi-million dollar renovation has given many finned friends a brand new home.


It all started in July 1973, when Boston businessman and philanthropist David Mugar suggested that the Boston Pops perform on the Esplanade to help revive its struggling concert series.

Mugar suggested to Arthur Fiedler, the Pops conductors at the time, that it would a good idea to perform the “1812 Overture” and a few other songs.

One year later, cannons, church bells, and fireworks were added to the performance in 1974. Event organizers say that Fiedler made the additions so that, in his words, “All Hell could break loose.”

Now in its 40th year, the Boston Pops performance at the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade has become synonymous with the Fourth of July.

Over 500,000 people come from all over to the banks of the Charles to hear the performance, as well take in the magnificent fireworks display that illuminates the sky over Boston and Cambridge.

This year’s event will include performances from Ayla Brown, Howie Day, Ellis Hall, and Susan Tedeschi.

Security at the event is always tight, but this year, in light of Boston Marathon bombings, State Police, MBTA Transit Police, and Boston Police have stepped up measures, in an effort to have a safe and successful Fourth of July celebration.

​Those looking to attend this year’s festivities should be aware that several streets in and around the Esplanade and Hatch Shell will be closed to vehicular traffic and parking. Use of public transportation is encouraged.

The MBTA will be increasing service after 2:00 p.m. Thursday to accommodate the increase in riders.

Security checkpoints are set to open at approximately 10:00 a.m. The checkpoint to access the oval (in front of the Hatch Shell) will be located between the Clarendon footbridge and the Berkley footbridge.

State Police have also created a special ‘Text-A-Tip’ number for those on the Esplanade that may see suspicious activity. People can text “Boston4” and their tip to 67283.

Tips can also be made by dialing 911 on their cell phones.

There are also certain items that are not permitted at this year’s event, including no coolers with wheels, no backpacks or shopping bags, no cans, no glass containers, no pre-mixed beverages, and no weapons.

All liquids carried in must be in a sealed clear plastic containers no larger than two liters.

All permitted items below, with the exception of chairs, tarps, and blankets, MUST be checked and carried through security checkpoints no later than 4:00 p.m. Chairs, tarps, and blankets will be the ONLY items allowed after 4:00 p.m.

Permitted items:

  • Pop up Tents/Canopies with no sides – maximum size 10’ x 10’
  • Blankets or tarps no bigger than 10’ x 12’.
  • Folding/Beach Chairs only.
  • Coolers, must be carried in by shoulder strap or single handle (no wheels).
  • All personal items must be carried in clear bags only.
  • After inspection, small clutch bags/purses may be taken into the venue with the clear bag.

The Pops takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m.

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
DCR / State Police Guide to the Celebration on the Esplanade
Checkpoint and Access Locations
Pedestrian Map for the area around the Esplanade and Hatch Shell
Complete List of Permitted and Prohibited Items
Complete List of Road and Parking Restrictions


Since 1969, the New England Aquarium has brought the wide world of aquatic life to people from all over the state and world, from their facility along Boston’s waterfront

Over 1 million people visit the aquarium every year.

Over the last ten months, the facility had undergone a $17 million renovation project, which updated and transformed an iconic fixture of the aquarium, as well some new exhibits.

The centerpiece of the project was a complete renovation of their four story Giant Ocean Tank, located in the center of the aquarium.

The fish, sharks, and other residents of the tank were moved out of the tank to temporary quarters, and the water drained.

Then, over the next several months, the tank was redone from top to bottom, including Caribbean coral reef.

The tank and reef, which officially reopened this past Monday, is now home to more than 2,000 animals, more than double the number of animals exhibit has ever held.

Also part of the renovation project were the addition of the Blue Planet Action Center, which highlights three of the aquarium’s key areas of expertise: the impact of climate change on coral, threats facing the North Atlantic right whale, and protecting seafood resources through sustainable fishing practices.

New England Aquarium

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