We left the hotel at around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 4th, and took public transportation down to the subway station nearest to where the show takes place. Everyone is encouraged to use public transportation to and from the area. They even close some of the roads around the park and, after the event, public transportation is free. Once we left the subway station it was still about a 12-block walk to the entrance.
|Line to get a bracelet and go through security|
|Tents & umbrellas come down hour before show|
|101st Field Artillery Regiment|
I believe that part of the reason this event works so well is that they seriously restrict what is allowed on the grounds, especially alcohol. Everyone who enters the Oval must pass through a security checkpoint and every bag is searched. Things that are not allowed include alcoholic beverages, glass containers, aerosol cans, and sharp objects (including metal eating utensils). All of these items are confiscated. No pets are allowed either. (The whole idea of no alcoholic beverages would be a hard-sell in South Texas, too.)
|Everybody wore red, white, & blue|
|Diver searching under bridge|
When choosing a place to sit for the day, you have to choose between seeing the concert and seeing the fireworks. You cannot do both. You can hear the concert from anywhere in the area, but if you want to see the concert, you won't be able to see the fireworks. We chose a place on the bank of the Charles River where we could see part of the stage and most of the fireworks, yet still be in the shade most of the day. Grandad is on medications that require him to stay out of the sun, so that was the major concern for us.
|The Hatch Shell|
The fireworks, which started a few minutes after the 1812 Overture, were the most spectacular I've ever seen and they lasted a full 45 minutes. I didn't get any good pictures of the fireworks, but they were amazing. (I'm uploading one photo from the Boston Pops web site.) They were far and away the best fireworks I've ever seen. The show was over around 11:30 p.m.
|Behind the barricade, not admitted.|
By the time we got back to our hotel it was almost 2 o'clock. We had a 6:15 flight from Logan Airport, so we showered packed and rested for about two hours. We slept most of the flight to Houston, but we were still exhausted. We took turns driving from Houston to Corpus Christi.
It was a great vacation and Boston is now on my list of favorite cities, but we're happy to be home and sleeping in our own bed.