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July 4th Event Regulations

Seating

  • Allow extra time for entry onto the lawn. Seating is available on a first come first serve basis. Wristbands will be distributed for entry and re-entry.
  • Please respect the elderly and disabled as well as other event goers.

Security Measures

  • Bags and coolers will be searched at designated security checkpoints for public safety.
  • See Let's Go!: Checkpoints for specific MA State Police instructions.

What to Bring

  • A blanket or tarp (no larger than 10 x 10 ft.) for sitting on the lawn.
  • Pop up Tents/Canopies with no sides (maximum size 10 x 10 ft.) (No Tents/Canopies allowed on July 3).
  • Folding beach chairs.
  • Shoulder-strap or single-handled coolers (nothing with wheels), snacks, and refreshments. Food and refreshments will also be available at the concession stands.
  • All personal items must be carried in clear bags only.
  • On July 3rd and 4th all allowable items must be checked and carried through security checkpoints for the Oval and the Island. Seating capacity is limited.
  • An umbrella or parasol for shade or in case of rain.
  • Binoculars to make event viewing easier.
  • Sunscreen.
  • If you are travelling by public transportation, it saves time to purchase passes in advance.

What NOT to Bring

  • No glass containers.
  • No cans
  • No pre-mixed beverages.
  • All liquids must be in sealed clear plastic containers not to exceed 2 liters.
  • No coolers on wheels.
  • No backpacks, shopping bags, oversized handbags/purses. Small purses permitted and must be placed in clear bag after inspection.
  • Alcoholic beverages are restricted.
  • No grills, hibachis or fires are allowed.
  • No sharp objects, weapons, firearms.
  • No pets (unless service animal for the disabled).
  • No bicycles allowed in the Oval or the Island. Bicycles outside of the Oval and Island may not be secured to objects and must not be left unattended or else they may be subject to removal.
  • No drones.

Boating Guidelines

  • Marked Safety Zone: Vessels must anchor and remain 100 feet from shore and 1000 feet from fireworks barges See maps.
  • Red Zone: East of fireworks barges. Vessels 13ft. and greater
  • Blue Zone: West of Massachusetts Ave. bridge
  • Vessels with height of over 12ft. will not clear drawbridge and must remain upriver of Longfellow Bridge after fireworks
  • Discharge of boat sewage is prohibited. Designated pump-out facilities are located at the Charles River Yacht Club and Watertown Yacht Club
  • The lagoons on the Boston side of the river are closed to ALL boat traffic from June 28 to July 5.
  • All docks, including Union Boat House Dock, Hatch Shell Dock, and the Fiedler Statue Dock, will be closed to the public from June 28 to July 5.
  • The Gloucester Street Dock and temporary docks (along Boston side of the river) near Dartmouth Street, are for dingies only from June 28 to July 5.
  • Boats are not allowed to dock between the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge and Longfellow Bridge from June 28 to July 5.

Handicapped Access:

  • Disabled persons may enter the designated area accompanied by guest with folding chair. Space is available on a first come first serve basis until 6pm. See maps.
  • Disabled parking available at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary on July 4th. Lot can be accessed by entering Storrow Drive outbound from Leverett Circle and exiting at the Charles Circle off-ramp. Entrance at far left of the ramp. Handicapped plate/placard required. Shuttle runs from 3-6pm on July 4th until lot is full and will return event-goers to lot at the end of the show. MBTA The Ride customers will have priority on the Shuttles; seating is limited.

Restrooms

  • Restrooms, portable restrooms, and handicapped restrooms are available. See maps.

July 4th: Parking Restrictions and Road Closures

  • Starting July 1
    No parking on Mugar Way from Arlington Street to Charles Street until 6am on July 5.
  • Starting July 2
    6:00pm:
    Right-hand travel lane on Storrow Drive westbound will be closed.
  • Starting July 3
    Esplanade walkway adjacent to the Charles River closed to pedestrians and bicyclists from the area of Community Boat Club to the front of the Concession Stand.
    Pedestrians and bicyclists use sidewalk adjacent to Storrow Drive.
    Storrow Drive on/off ramps closed:
    Berkeley Street, Eastbound Charlesgate, Bowker Overpass from Park Drive and the Fenway, Westbound Charles Street Circle.
    12:00pm:
    Right-hand travel lane on Storrow Drive westbound will be closed.
    Esplanade curbside reserved for permitted bus parking, from the Longfellow Bridge westbound to the Fielder Footbridge.
    Traffic will continue westbound on Storrow Drive.
    There will be no public parking along Storrow Drive for either the rehearsals or the concert.
    3:00pm:
    Storrow Drive will be closed to westbound traffic from the Charles Circle to the Bowker Overpass. All westbound traffic will be diverted to Charles Circle. Westbound traffic may re-enter Storrow Drive westbound by heading down Charles Street, to Beacon Street, to the westbound entrance at the Bowker Overpass.
    Mugar Way at Beacon Street closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This will remain closed until the early morning hours of July 5. Pedestrians will be directed to Berkeley Street for entrance to the Esplanade.
    Berkeley Street at Beacon Street closed to vehicular traffic.
    Storrow Drive eastbound will be closed and detoured at the Bowker Overpass until July 5.
    Arlington Street exit from the Storrow Tunnel (eastbound) will be closed until 6am July 5.
  • Starting July 4
    9:00am:
    No parking on Memorial Drive (either side) from #450 Massachusetts Avenue to the Longfellow Bridge. All vehicles remaining after this time will be removed.
    No parking on Cambridge Parkway.
    No access to Storrow Drive westbound from Leverett Circle to Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass).
    Inbound bus lane on Charles River Dam Road closed from Museum Way to Leverett Circle.
    Storrow Drive exit ramp in the Tip O’Neil Tunnel will be closed.
    Leverett Circle entrance to Storrow Drive westbound will be closed. Traffic will be allowed to travel on Msgr. O’Brien Highway to Cambridge and Martha Road to Boston.
    No parking at Magazine Beach and Magazine Pool, Riverside Boat Club, and the MWRA pumping station (Cottage Farm). No boat launching in this area.
    Fanny Appleton pedestrian footbridge at Charles Circle going to the Esplanade closed.
    Fiedler Footbridge from Beacon Street going to the Esplanade closed.
    3:00pm:
    No access to Storrow Drive westbound from the Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass).
    No access to Storrow Drive westbound from the Beacon Street on-ramp under the Bowker Overpass.
    Storrow Drive eastbound will be detoured at University Avenue.
    4:00pm:
    Memorial Drive in both directions from Massachusetts Avenue to the Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic.
    Main Street, Cambridge from Third Street to the Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic.
    Ames Street from Main Street to Memorial Drive, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic.
    Wadsworth and Amherst Streets, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic.
    Land Boulevard from Binney Street to Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic.
    Hayward, Carlton, Charlotte’s Way, and Dock Streets in Cambridge closed to vehicular traffic.
    Access allowed to 1 Memorial Drive only with issued permit.
    Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic. Bikes and pedestrians will be allowed to cross the bridge.
    The Longfellow Bridge will be closed to bikes and pedestrian traffic from approximately 9pm until the end of the fireworks. No fireworks viewing from the Longfellow Bridge will be allowed.
    Massachusetts Avenue (Harvard) Bridge closed in both directions to vehicular traffic from Beacon Street in Boston to Vassar Street in Cambridge. Bikes and pedestrians will be allowed to cross the bridge.
    The Massachusetts Ave (Harvard) Bridge will be closed to bikes and pedestrian traffic from approximately 9pm until the end of the fireworks. No fireworks viewing from the Massachusetts Ave (Harvard) Bridge will be allowed.
    Memorial Drive from Massachusetts Avenue to the BU Bridge closed to vehicular traffic. Vehicular access will be allowed for patrons going to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hyatt patrons will be directed to the Vassar Street road closure.
    Vassar Street in Cambridge from Massachusetts Avenue to Memorial Drive closed to vehicular traffic. Access will be allowed for residents and Hyatt patrons.
    Cambridge Parkway closed to vehicular traffic (except: it will remain open to vehicles with handicapped placards/plates only). All vehicles must be removed from Cambridge Parkway by 1am on July 5.
    10:30pm: Craigie Bridge by the Museum of Science will be down from approximately 10:30pm on July 4 until 1am on July 5 to allow uninterrupted motor vehicle traffic. Smaller boats that can pass under the bridge while in the down position will be allowed to pass.

    Closures are subject to change at the discretion of the Incident Commander.

Checkpoints

July 3rd/4th

  • Checkpoints open at 12:00pm on July 4 and for concerts on July 3 at 5:00 p.m.

Oval Access

  • On July 4, the Esplanade can be accessed from Beacon Street via Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, and Fairfield Streets and Massachusetts Avenue. Access closed to Arthur Fiedler footbridge from Beacon Street and access closed to the Fanny Appleton footbridge at Charles Circle.

Island/Lagoon

  • There will also be an Island/Lagoon area checkpoint. This checkpoint will be located on the Island/Lagoon by the Clarendon bridge. This checkpoint will also open at 9:00am on July 4th and at 5:00 p.m. on July 3rd (if concert given), and this checkpoint can be accessed from the Lagoon's Clarendon, Exeter and Fairfield footbridges. Access to the checkpoint can best be accomplished by accessing the Esplanade from Berkeley St. Dartmouth and Fairfield Street footbridges cross Storrow Drive.