Fireworks over the Charles River could be seen from the roof of a Boston University dormitory on Harry Agannis Way.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Fireworks over the Charles River could be seen from the roof of a Boston University dormitory on Harry Agannis Way.

The fireworks mark the end of the 40th July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The fireworks mark the end of the 40th July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

This year's show included tributes to the armed forces as well as first responders from the Marathon attacks.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

This year's show included tributes to the armed forces as well as first responders from the Marathon attacks.

The Boston skyline was lit by fireworks.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The Boston skyline was lit by fireworks.

A purple hue was cast over spectators as these fireworks exploded.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

A purple hue was cast over spectators as these fireworks exploded.

Red and green fireworks exploded as people watched from the Esplanade.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Red and green fireworks exploded as people watched from the Esplanade.

For the first time in the show's history, fireworks were also fired off the Massachusetts Avenue bridge.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

For the first time in the show's history, fireworks were also fired off the Massachusetts Avenue bridge.

Confetti rained down on concertgoers.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Confetti rained down on concertgoers.

Fireworks over the Charles River could be seen from the roof of a building on Harry Agannis Way.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Fireworks over the Charles River could be seen from the roof of a building on Harry Agannis Way.

The show is an annual rite that draws half a million or more to the banks of the Charles River Basin each Independence Day.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The show is an annual rite that draws half a million or more to the banks of the Charles River Basin each Independence Day.

Fireworks exploded after the end of the Boston Pops concert.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Fireworks exploded after the end of the Boston Pops concert.

Scott Webb celebrated during the concert's finale.

Michael Dwyer/AP

Scott Webb celebrated during the concert's finale.

Blue and white fire works exploded over the river.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Blue and white fire works exploded over the river.

People watched the fireworks from the Esplanade.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

People watched the fireworks from the Esplanade.

Fireworks exploded over the Hatch Shell.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Fireworks exploded over the Hatch Shell.

Conductor Keith Lockhart returned to the stage.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Conductor Keith Lockhart returned to the stage.

Ayla Brown performed again later in the evening after her first set.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Ayla Brown performed again later in the evening after her first set.

Scott Webb of Lynn (left) hugged MIT Police Sergeant Cheryl Vossmer as MBTA Officer Richard Donohue Jr. made a special appearance.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Scott Webb of Lynn (left) hugged MIT Police Sergeant Cheryl Vossmer as MBTA Officer Richard Donohue Jr. made a special appearance.

Marine Sergeant Michael Cotter waved a flag as the concert paid tribute to the armed forces.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Marine Sergeant Michael Cotter waved a flag as the concert paid tribute to the armed forces.

Lisa Rueckerl of Germany held up an American flag.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Lisa Rueckerl of Germany held up an American flag.

Singer Ayla Brown (second from right) stood with soldiers from the 101st Field Artillery Regiment after her performance.

Michael Dwyer/AP

Singer Ayla Brown (second from right) stood with soldiers from the 101st Field Artillery Regiment after her performance.

Scott Brown (right) and his wife cheered for their daughter, Ayla, as she performed.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Scott Brown (right) and his wife cheered for their daughter, Ayla, as she performed.

Ellen Finch (from left), Mohan Mandali, and Robert Cummings waved flags during the concert.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston G

Ellen Finch (from left), Mohan Mandali, and Robert Cummings waved flags during the concert.

Conductor Keith Lockhart took the stage during the July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Conductor Keith Lockhart took the stage during the July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

Soheir Eilithi of Virginia had the American flag painted on her face in celebration of the Fourth of July.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Soheir Eilithi of Virginia had the American flag painted on her face in celebration of the Fourth of July.

People gathered for the start of the Boston Pops concert.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

People gathered for the start of the Boston Pops concert.

Richelle Mazzone of Salem sang along with the national anthem at the beginning of the concert.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Richelle Mazzone of Salem sang along with the national anthem at the beginning of the concert.

Governor Deval Patrick posed with 10-year-old Taylor Whelan during the concert.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Governor Deval Patrick posed with 10-year-old Taylor Whelan during the concert.

Fewer people than usual appear to be heading to the Esplanade in anticipation of the Fourth of July festivities.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Fewer people than usual appear to be heading to the Esplanade in anticipation of the Fourth of July festivities.

Melida Arredondo, who was at the Marathon bombings with her husband, Carlos, jumped at the sound of the cannons firing.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Melida Arredondo, who was at the Marathon bombings with her husband, Carlos, jumped at the sound of the cannons firing.

Governor Deval Patrick (left) spoke with the Bruins' Andrew Ference and Ference's 8-year-old daughter, Ava, before the concert.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Governor Patrick (left) spoke with the Bruins' Andrew Ference and Ference's 8-year-old daughter, Ava, before the concert.

Tim Walker of Louisiana (left) sat on a blanket with his wife and two children.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Tim Walker of Louisiana (left) sat on a blanket with his wife and two children.

A man was carried off as a result of the heat.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

A man was carried off as a result of the heat.

Governor Patrick spoke to the media before the concert.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Governor Patrick spoke to the media before the concert.

Gianna Messina, 2, grabbed onto an umbrella to take cover from the heat.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Gianna Messina, 2, grabbed onto an umbrella to take cover from the heat.

Kerri White of Somerville wore American flags in her hair.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Kerri White of Somerville wore American flags in her hair.

Katherine Lacey of Houston, Texas, talked on her cellphone as she waited for the celebrations to begin.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Katherine Lacey of Houston, Texas, talked on her cellphone as she waited for the celebrations to begin.

Tim Peterson (from left), Teddy Barnes, Talia Landry, Mark Phillips, and Sam Shapiro waded into the Charles River to cool off from the heat.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Tim Peterson (from left), Teddy Barnes, Talia Landry, Mark Phillips, and Sam Shapiro waded into the Charles River to cool off from the heat.

Matt Kimm read a book along the Esplanade as he waited for the fireworks.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Matt Kimm read a book along the Esplanade as he waited for the fireworks.

Whitney Thomas and Garrett Snyder waited near the Hatch Shell for the concert to begin.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Whitney Thomas and Garrett Snyder waited near the Hatch Shell for the concert to begin.

Edward Shaddock of Dorcheser used a fan to cool himself.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Edward Shaddock of Dorcheser used a fan to cool himself.

Military personnel walked across the grounds in front of the Hatch Shell.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Military personnel walked across the grounds in front of the Hatch Shell.

Patrick Duggan of Wareham tried to stay cool under a tent in front of the Hatch Shell.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Patrick Duggan of Wareham tried to stay cool in front of the Hatch Shell.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Police patrolled the area on bikes.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Crowds formed along the Esplanade this morning.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

David Donnaruma of Orlando went through an Esplanade checkpoint.

Law enforcement officials were a visible presence near the Hatch Shell today as the city took extra precautions for the Fourth of July celebration.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Law enforcement officials were a visible presence near the Hatch Shell.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Volunteers placed wristbands on people who went through security.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

A visitor carrying a see-through bag went through security.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Divers inspected the canal along the Esplanade this morning.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

A man was frisked at security.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Forecasters warned temperatures could feel like 100 degrees.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

A man passed the security checkpoint at the Esplanade.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Liz Ramirez and Adie Ramirez, 11, of Pennsylvania, visited the Esplanade.

Essdras M Suarez / Globe Staff

Crowds formed early at the Esplanade.

Secure, scorching, and festive Fourth

Security measures were intense, and memories of the Marathon bombings lingered, but devoted revelers still crowded along the Charles River. By Maria Cramer and Jeremy C. Fox

Graphic

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/07/03/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/fire90.jpg Boston’s Fourth of July plan

View the traffic and parking plan for visitors, and see what you can and can’t bring to the celebration.

HISTORY REPEATING

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/06/24/BostonGlobe.com/Enterprise/Images/charlesriver008.jpg July Fourth like nobody else does it

In 1945, a dignified assemblage of concertgoers commemorated the Fourth of July on the Esplanade, gazing at the five-year-old Hatch Shell. Today, the Fourth is a feat of pyrotechnics.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/07/03/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/suarez_04logisticphoto_MET_001.jpg Security increased for Fourth of July

Police urged the public to come to the Esplanade, even amid stepped up security measures that make it harder to go to and from the Hatch Shell.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/06/07/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/wiggs_leigh_113603.jpg Holiday brings echoes of Marathon terror

Nearly three months after the Marathon bombings, some are struggling with the sound from fireworks.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/07/02/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/fourth90.jpg Security measures dampen mood for July Fourth party

This year’s celebration on the Esplanade, which is Boston’s largest event since the Marathon, is fraught with concerns.

A sound technician on Sunday helped prepare for the Fourth of July celebration to be held along the Esplanade.

A first for Fourth: fireworks from Mass. Ave. bridge

For the first time in 40-year history, the display on the Charles River will include fireworks fired off the Massachusetts Avenue bridge.

editorial

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/07/01/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/kreiter_fireworks_security1_met.jpg A more intimate and secure July 4 celebration

Boston’s legendary Fourth of July celebration won’t be broadcast nationally, but that might be appropriate for a city that’s healing.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/07/04/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/Esplanade%20Concert%20%208.jpg July 4 fireworks gala loses its national pop

For the first time in more than 20 years, the July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will not be televised nationally.

“In the best possible way, I think of David as a big kid whose absolute favorite holiday in the entire world is the Fourth of July,” Pops conductor Keith Lockhart says of David Mugar, shown in Cambridge overlooking the skyline of the city he loves.

Matt Kalinowski

David Mugar’s magnificent obsession

How a love of firefighting and, yes, logistics led one man to launch the city’s beloved Fourth of July tradition, now turning 40.

Susan Tedeschi.

Tedeschi to light up 4th and Pavilion

Susan Tedeschi, who grew up watching the Boston Pops 4th of July concert on TV, hits the stage at the DCR Hatch Shell to celebrate Independence Day Thursday.

Fourth of July fun, with the family

In and around Boston, you’ll find kid-friendly events throughout the holiday weekend, from scavenger hunts to vintage baseball games.

Fireworks  over the Charles River, as photo-graphed by the writer from Memorial Drive in Cambridge on July 4,  2011, with a 20-second exposure.

How to shoot great photos of fireworks

Globe staff photographer Yoon Byun shares his experiences and tips when taking fireworks photos this Fourth of July.

Fourth of July Events south of Boston

A sampling of Independence Day events south of Boston. All events are scheduled for July 4 unless otherwise specified.

fourth of july

Four steps to cancer-free barbecue

Grilling puts you near cancer-causing chemicals, warn Dana-Farber Cancer Institute doctors, but a few precautions can decrease the risk.

More Fourth of July info

On Boston.com

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/07/02/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/dearing_070411_05fourth_metro-1867--90x90.jpg Search events

Find local events and fireworks on the Fourth of July.