Boston Pops

Citing Coronavirus, Boston Pops Cancels Annual July 4 Fireworks Concert

Instead, the orchestra will hold a broadcast event to honor the front-line workers; Boston Mayor Marty Walsh isn't sure if fireworks will be launched at all

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The Boston Pops Orchestra will not hold their annual Fourth of July live performance on the Charles River Esplanade or fireworks show this year, due to the risks of spreading the deadly new coronavirus.

Instead, on July 4 the orchestra will broadcast “A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes” to pay tribute to the COVID-19 front-line workers and honor those who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic, the orchestra announced Friday.

"We hope 'A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes' will bring viewers and listeners the consolation, comfort and inspiration we all seek during these challenging times," Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart wrote in a statement.

The announcement came shortly before Mayor Marty Walsh announced that large-events like parades and festivals won't be held in Boston this summer. Touching on the Boston Pops news, he said he wasn't sure if fireworks would be held at all this July 4th, over concerns that they would draw crowds that could spread the virus.

In a COVID-19 update, Mayor Marty Walsh announces that Boston will not allow parades, festivals or other large scale events this summer.

The "Salute to Our Heroes" broadcast will include new content from the Boston Pops and guest artists, as well as traditional Fourth of July favorites and other highlights from recent broadcasts of "The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular," according to the orchestra.

"Please join us as we show our appreciation for the heroes of this epic crisis and celebrate the meaningful messages of Independence Day that unite us as citizens of this great and beautifully diverse country," Lockhart wrote.

The event will not include any live performances but will be available digitally and on TV and radio.

Composer John Williams joined the Boston Pops for an uplifting digital performance called "Summon the Heroes."

The Boston Pops' Fourth of July concert on the Charles River has been a tradition since 1929.

"The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is one of the City's most beloved traditions and anticipated annual events. While a live concert and fireworks display are not possible this year due to the ongoing public health crisis, I am so glad that thanks to a host of partners who were determined to carry on this tradition, the show will go on in a new way," Walsh wrote in a statement.

Asher Klein contributed to this report.

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