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Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

  • Premiered: 
    July 4, 1991
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: A&E
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Holiday
  • Tags: Independence Day/4th of July

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No DVDs Available
(That We Know Of)
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(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

Each year since 1974, Boston has celebrated Independence Day at the Charles River Esplanade with a concert that finishes with the "1812 Overture" accompanied by howitzer cannons, church bells and fireworks. In 1984, PBS first televised the event in its entirety nationwide, showing it as the "Live at the Esplanade" episode of EVENING AT POPS. In 1987, PBS then aired "A Boston Pops Fourth with John Williams and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra," again as part of its EVENING AT POPS series, featuring Johnny Cash performing the world premiere of "The Spirit of '76." Every year from 1991 through 2012, the event was shown live nationwide -- first as POPS GOES THE FOURTH! on A&E from 1991 through 2002 and then as BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR on CBS from 2003 through 2012. When CBS declined the national broadcast rights for 2013, the event reverted back to local television on CBS Boston's WBZ-TV, which broadcast the event live in 2014 and 2015 before BOSTON POPS returned to a national audience on CBS in 2016 and then on Bloomberg beginning in 2017. The event was not held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned in 2021 on Bloomberg. Past featured performers have included: Jon Batiste & Mavis Staples (2021); Michael Cavanaugh, Melinda Doolittle, Sons of Serendip, Boston Crusaders, and Michelle Brooks-Thompson (2015); The Beach Boys, Megan Hilty, and Julia Udine, and Ben Jacoby (2014); Susan Tedeschi, Ellis Hall, Howie Day, and Ayla Brown (2013); Jennifer Hudson (2012); Martina McBride (2011); Toby Keith (2010); Neil Diamond (2009); Rascal Flatts (2008); John Mellencamp (2007); Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (2006); Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy (2005); David Lee Roth (2004); LeAnn Rimes (2003); Barry Manilow (2002); Cyndi Lauper (2001); Don McLean (2000); Trisha Yearwood (1999); The Pointer Sisters (1995); and Johnny Cash (1987).
Hosted by Alix Steel, Romaine Bostick, Janet Wu, and Joe Shortsleeve, Bloomberg TV broadcast the 2021 BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR live on Sunday, July 4, 2021 from 8-11pm ET (live). For the 2021 event, fireworks are launched from the Southwest portion of Boston Common instead of the Charles River, and the Boston Pops Orchestra (under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart) perform at Tanglewood music venue in Lenox, MA instead of DCR Memorial Hatch Shell. The concert is headlined by Jon Batiste and Mavis Staples.


Other Titles

  • Previously known as Pops Goes the Fourth!
  • Previously known as Boston Pops Fourth
  • Also known as Boston's Fourth of July


  • Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell @ Charles River Esplanade - Boston, Massachusetts USA - Map It!