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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

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

No DVDs Available
(That We Know Of)
Legal Full Episodes
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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. Past featured performers have included: 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, Carol Massar and Matt Miller, Bloomberg TV broadcast the 2018 live on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 from 8-11pm ET (live). The event featured the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of Keith Lockhart and performances by Rachel Platten; Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops; Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls; EGOT legend Rita Moreno; and Broadway actress Natalie Cortez. In addition, the entire concert and fireworks display is also be available to live stream at,,, and (also reachable through the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular app) and carried on Bloomberg Radio. TicToc by Bloomberg (@TicToc), the first and only global news network built for Twitter, also livestreams the event.


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!