Boston Pops Concert July 4th - Best Time to Arrive?

by Diane

Four of us are coming up from Virginia to see the Boston Pops concert on July 4th. We need to know a few things:

1) What time would be reasonable to arrive to get a spot in the fenced in area in front of the Hatch Shell on the Boston Esplanade?

2) Can we set up chairs and do some sightseeing and come back?

3) How is re-entry handled (hand stamps)?

Susan's reply: Great questions about seating for the Pops Concert on July 4th, held right before the big Boston fireworks display! Here are the answers:

1) There's a lot of competition to get spots inside the Oval, the fenced-in area in front of the Hatch Shell on the Boston Esplanade. The gate opens at 9am on July 4th, and the area fills up shortly afterwards. To be sure of getting in and getting a good spot, people start lining up before 7am on most years. Depending on how competitive you feel about getting the "best" spot, you may want to be there earlier than 7am.

2) Yes, you can set up folding chairs. They're supposed to be the low type that you'd use at the beach. You can leave them while you go out and sightsee, but there's no guarantee that they'll be exactly where you left them when you get back. A lot of people, if they're with a group, take turns so that a couple of people stay while the others go sight-see or do other things in the city. Other people bring a picnic and spend the day on the Esplanade. I don't know of anyone who's left chairs there unattended all day, but I'm sure people do. My suggestion is to go, get your spot, and weigh the risks once you get there. If you're only in Boston for the day, it'd be a shame not to explore the city. But on the other hand, if you snag great viewing spots and feel strongly about keeping them, you might want do take the divide-and-conquer approach and take turns sight-seeing while 1 or 2 of you bask in the sun while guarding the chairs.

3) Re-entry - wristbands are given out, good for the specific day (July 3 or July 4).

Have a great time, enjoy the concert and fireworks, and best of luck in getting super spots!


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