For Fireworks Fanatics, A Weekend Of Festivity

By Luke Boelitz   |   Thursday, June 30, 2011
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June 30, 2011

Boston Pops Fireworks, 2007

The famous Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, 2007 (Flickr/Justin Bagsy Sailor)

BOSTON — Some people just can’t get enough fireworks. If you're such a person, this has to be the best week of the year: you can find fireworks displays all over Greater Boston, seemingly non-stop, from now through July Fourth. Here's a rundown of many of the big events this weekend around the state.

Thursday, July 30

Boston Harbor: Fan Pier, 9:50 P.M.

Sponsored by the Fallon Corporation for the kick-off of the Extreme Sailing Series, with all kinds of boat racing from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. in the inner harbor every day up to the Fourth.

Somerville: Trum Field, 9:15 P.M.

Friday, July 1

Brockton, MA: Brockton Fairgrounds, 10:30 P.M.

Considering the long drives to other fireworks displays around the state, this is the night to get you fix at the Brockton Fair. It’s only about 30 minutes south of Boston, and there promises to be plenty of spectacle beside the fireworks: check out the bear show, 'A Grizzly Experience,' at 5:30 P.M.; Motocross at 7:00; and the Walker Brothers’ Circus at 8:00. There will also be fireworks every night through Monday, and the fair continues through July 10.

Orleans, MA: Rock Harbor Beach, 8:45 P.M.

Mashpee, MA: Mashpee High School, 9:30 P.M.

Marion, MA: Silvershell Beach, 9:15 P.M.

Saturday, July 2

Chesterfield, NH: Spofford Lake, 9:15 P.M.

It's the 250th anniversary of the town of Chesterfield! Activities are planned for the whole day, beginning with a parade at 10:00am. The fire department will be having a steak and lobster cookout from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. Activities continue through Sunday.

Hingham, MA: Over the harbor, 9:00 P.M.

The travel guide Lonely Planet calls this one of the best unknown Fourth of July celebrations: the 376-year-old town features a "red-white-and-blue concert at the waterfront" and a "vintage baseball game."

Sunday, July 3

Gloucester, MA: Over the harbor, 9:30 P.M.

The annual Fishtown Horribles Parade will leave at 6:00 from Gloucester High School and go through the town center. Here's a video of locals discussing this year's parade. And check the above link for more information about Independence Day celebrations in Gloucester and around Cape Ann. 

Manchester-by-the-sea, MA: Singing Beach, at dusk

Parking at Singing Beach is almost non-existent if you don’t have a town beach sticker. Allow plenty of time to park your car in town and walk out to the beach.

Weymouth, MA: Wessagusset Beach, 9:30 P.M.

Arrive at 5:00 for family entertainment and live music.

Monday, July 4

Springfield, MA: Riverfront Park, 9:30 P.M.

It has been a rough month for Springfield and neighboring communities, but the recent tornadoes made it all the more important to hold the usual moral-boosting, pyrotechnic extravaganza. Festivities and music start at 7:30. And check out this listing for celebrations in other Western Massachusetts towns.

Boston: Charles River Esplanade, 10:30 P.M.

This is the grand finale: the 38th annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular features a concert from the famed orchestra at the Hatch Memorial Shell at 8:30. Sunday will feature a first performance, as well, but the fireworks — which draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city and millions of viewers on national television — are saved for Monday, as the climactic main attraction.

Where We Live: April 2011 Coverage

By WGBH News   |   Tuesday, June 7, 2011
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These are the stories WGBH covered for the first installment of the "Where We Live" series in April 2011.

Devens Sees Far Beyond Evergreen Solar

The former army base Devens has been thrust into the spotlight as the place where alternative energy company Evergreen Solar built a manufacturing plant, then abruptly closed it, moving its operations to China. But Evergreen is only part of a larger story of rapid economic change in Devens.

Growing Immigrant Community Strengthens Ashland's Economy

An influx of Indian immigrants has helped bring economic growth to Ashland — and led to an expansion of the town's Sri Lakshmi Temple.

>> The Emily Rooney Show: Ashland

For Saugus, Looking Beyond Route 1

Saugus's Route 1 location is considered a gold mine for retailers and restaurants, but some residents think its time to build a vision for the other parts of town.

New Bedford Tourism Grows, But Schools Still Struggle

Despite thriving museums and a newly-vibrant downtown, it's clear the former whaling capital’s problems with jobs and education still run deep.

Private Developer Wants To Remake Downtown Quincy

The city is looking to a $1.3 billion deal with a private developer to revitalize its downtrodden downtown, which was once Shoppers Town USA.

>> The Emily Rooney Show: Quincy

After 300 Years, Fishing Still Sustains Chatham Economy

The sea has helped keep Chatham fiscally strong, including during the recent period of economic trouble.

On The Heels Of The Patriots

Foxboro, the home of Gillette Stadium and Patriot place, has more than a few reasons to cheer for the Patriots.

Toward Blue-Collar Cosmopolitanism

A restaurant in Lynn has become a fulcrum for the city's attempt to remake its image, as it tries to overcome its historically seedy reputation.

>> The Emily Rooney Show: Revitalizing Lynn

Small Business Prevails In 'City Of Champions'

In Brockton, small business is the only business in town. But that doesn't mean they all fare equally well.  

Tornado Recovery: How You Can Help

By WGBH News   |   Friday, June 3, 2011
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June 3, 2011

The recovery effort in the Western Massachusetts communities affected by this week's tornadoes is underway and expanding. Organizations taking volunteers and donations are listed below, as well as some other ways you can help.

Parts of the South End Community Center in Springfield had collapsed after Wednesday's storms. (Jess Bidgood/WGBH)

Red Cross - Pioneer Valley Chapter: The Red Cross is already at full volunteer capacity but still needs monetary help. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter at 506 Cottage St., Springfield, MA 01104 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37242, Washington, D.C. 20013.

The Red Cross is also using a website to track residents that have been forced from their homes as a result of the tornadoes. People who have been displaced can post messages to confirm they are safe.

Salvation Army: Donations to aid victims and first-response crews can be made online, or a $10 minimum donation can be made by texting the word TSMA10 to 85944. To volunteer or to make a donation by phone, call 339-502-5900. In the coming days, there will be a request for non-perishable food and water donations. The Salvation Army will announce details for a drop-off location.

United Way of Pioneer Valley: The United Way has established a disaster relief fund with an initial grant of $25,000. To make donations to the Tornado Relief Fund, go to and click on the donate button, or mail a check, made payable to United Way of Pioneer Valley, to 184 Mill Street, Springfield, MA 01108. For more information, call the United Way at 413-693-0227.

Food Bank of Western Massachusetts: This food bank in Hatfield coordinated an immediate response to get food and water to people at shelters and those seeking help. For information on how to organize a food drive, visit this site, or follow this link to make a donation online. You can also contact the Food Bank at 413-247-9738 or 800-247-9632.

Easthampton Outdoor Market: This flea market in Easthampton is looking to organize a benefit concert and donation drive for Hampden County. The market will be open this weekend to provide information for interested volunteers. As of this writing, the benefit is scheduled for Saturday, June 25th, and you can follow updates and details on the market's Facebook page.

Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society: The Leverett branch of the shelter is having a sale on cats and kittens from the Springfield area that were abandoned in the storm and are up for adoption. The main shelter in Springfield may also be sending some adoptable animals to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which will announce more details in the coming days.

Pushing the Elephant

Thursday, March 31, 2011
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What matters to... Kevin O’Connor

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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    What matters to...


Kevin has been nominated for an Emmy and has renovated his own Victorian house, but his greatest challenge and accomplishment is being a father. In the new Kids Media Matters feature, Kevin talks about raising young children in a crowded media world.

What inspired your career choice to get into public television?
For me, it was just good luck. I was working in finance at a bank when PBS came calling. As an avid fan of This Old House it was the first place my wife and I turned to when we started working on our own house. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was on two PBS television shows. You never know where life will take you.

How have you had the opportunity to get involved in kids media/projects in your current role?
We try to make at least one show a season dedicated to projects kids can build with their parents. As a father of three, I know very well how much kids love building and how much they love working with their parents, so the kids episode of Ask This Old House is always fun. I especially like when the kids get to come to our workshop and see that amazing space.

As a father, what do you look out for in entertainment for your child?
I look for something that is entertaining and educational. It has to be entertaining or the kids won’t watch it. It has to be educational or I won’t allow it. PBS is full of great shows, like Curious George, that I know my son loves and are safe for him to watch.

What was your favorite show as a kid?
There was a show called the Big Blue Marble, and it had stories from all over the world. I can remember watching it on Saturday mornings with my brothers and sister and being enthralled by all the stories from far-away, exotic places. It seems like the world is smaller these days, but when I was a kid it seemed so huge.

Any advice to today’s parents of young kids?
Get involved. TV can be educational but it can’t replace a parent’s involvement. Even great TV tends to be passive, and kids were meant to be active, physically and mentally.  Get down on the floor and play with them, challenge them, love them unequivocally.

Music, dancing, and loukaniko: Greek Independence Day in Boston Common

By Cathy Huyghe   |   Thursday, August 12, 2010
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In honor of the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire (and Greek pride in general), the Greek Independence Day festival took over Boston Common on Sunday. The festival gave a hint of the wonderful culture — and food — one might experience on a visit, as with WGBH’s upcoming LearningTour.

About the Authors
The WGBH News team comprises the WGBH radio newsroom, The Callie Crossley Show, The Emily Rooney Show and WGBH Channel 2 reporters and producers from Greater Boston and Basic Black. 


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