It’s a summertime tradition dating back four decades, but this year’s Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will feel different. It will be the first time since the Boston Marathon bombings that hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Boston, and they will be subject to new, strict security measures.
"We’ve worked with State Police and other agencies to make sure that public safety is at the front of this event, and this year, we just ramped that up," S.J. Port, a spokeswoman for the Department of Conservation and Recreation told WGBH's Greater Boston.
Backpacks and coolers on wheels are no longer allowed, and everything you do bring must be in clear, plastic bags. Everyone watching from the Hatch Shell to the playground near Clarendon Street will have to pass through one of two metal detectors. And, the security checks don’t end there.
"You should be willing to have your bag searched whether you are on this side or on the Cambridge side," Port said.
There are more surveillance cameras this year, and hundreds of officers will patrol on foot and by boat to enforce the new regulations on those watching from the river.
"Nobody is allowed to go to either shore, the Boston side or the Cambridge side," Port said. "You need to stay 100 feet from shore at all times and 1,000 feet from the barge."
Even if don’t attend the fireworks, the security changes could impact you. The Longfellow Bridge will be closed inbound from Cambridge to Boston, and the Massachusetts Avenue bridge will be completely closed.
It’s too early to say whether these security changes will be the new standard on the Fourth of July. But the planning for the next fireworks spectacular will begin almost immediately after this one ends.