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‘Very peaceful, friendly’ Boston spectacular Fourth celebration is back

After two years of canceled or subdued Fourth celebrations, people from all over the country raced Monday to join in on the return of the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

“We watched it every year on TV, and I always thought I’d like to go sometimes,” said Susan Clark from Oklahoma City. “And I’d missed it the last couple years, and I’m glad to get to be here to see it back.”

Clark and her fellow Oklahoman, Adele Jack, staked their spot by the stage early, eager to check off a “bucket list item.”

They weren’t the only ones to mention a bucket list Monday.

The duo picked a good Fourth to spend the day outside along the Charles River, where the famed celebration takes place. Windy and warm, the riverside was lively by mid-afternoon, but not packed.

Altogether, Jack said, it’d been “very, very peaceful and friendly”, and they were looking forward to the rest.

“The Pops, their music, they do such a beautiful job,” Jack said. “I’ve always thought Boston had the best Fourth of July program.”

The concert program Monday featured headliner Chaka Khan, along with Javier Colon and Heather Headley. And of course, the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.

“My son plays trumpet,” said Ed White, who traveled from Detroit. “He’s in high school. And he’s pretty good. He’s been inspired to come and listen to Boston Pops. I just hope it rubs off.”

The time around the Fourth, he said, is the one week of the summer where he and his wife and most of his kids get together. The Boston Pops, White added, is a “great event” to plan it around.

Many families have similar stories, coming together around the event. Many groups of all ages milled around through the many food stands ahead of the concert and light show.

“My brother and I come here because my parents used to bring us here when we were younger – I’m one of four – and we would sit really right in front of the stage, said Marie Delrossi, a resident of Melrose, Massachusetts, who first attended at 7 years old. “And it was just really fun. We have lot of good memories here.”

Valeria Gutierrez has lived in Worcester, Massachusetts for four years, she said, and only got to go to the Boston fireworks show once before the pandemic.

“It was an amazing experience. My sister is new here. So I told her, she has to experience this,” said Gutierrez, red and blue glitter stars sparkling across her cheeks as she spoke.

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