Some brave the crowds at the Hatch Shell while others prefer the more laid-back atmosphere of a local parade. All will be celebrating the day the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. — Thea Breite and Lisa Tuite
Ted Dully/Globe Staff
July 4, 1975: All the early arrivals were trying to get good places to sit and stand for the concert.
Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff
July 3, 1977: The crowd at Waterfront Park waited for fireworks to start.
Sandy Steingard for The Boston Globe
July 4, 1977: Mike O'May, expresses his, er, satisfaction at winning the pie-eating contest in Stoughton during the Fourth of July celebration.
John Blanding/Globe Staff
July 4, 1980: The scene at dusk as boaters listened to the Pops concert in their boats on the Charles River. Along with the 225,000 gathered at the Edward V. Hatch Shell on the bank of the Charles River, John Williams, debuted as conductor. And he brought with him some touches of his own, including some of his compositions from the "Star Wars" sequel "The Empire Strikes Back" along with the familiar Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," replete with blasts from Howitzers and the peal of church bells
Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff
July 4, 1982: Silhouetted fans passed in front of an American flag at the Hatch Shell.
David Binder/Globe photo
July 4, 1987: The 58th annual performance of the Boston Pops Orchestra led by John Williams on the Charles River Esplanade drew huge crowds. A highlight of the evening concert was a guest appearance by country singer Johnny Cash, who joined the Boston Pops on stage for the second July Fourth in a row to sing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and recite the Gettysburg Address.
Boston Globe Archive
July 4, 1987: Fireworks over the Charles River Esplanade for the Fourth of July.
Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff
July 4, 1987: Jonathon Attias, 4, of Wellesley, waved a flag as the parade passed along Highland Street in Needham.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
July 4, 1988: Tyson Weaver, 7, of Wenham had a tough time holding his Dalmation "Fenimore" in place at the judging area for large size patriotic pets at a Fourth of July Festival at Patton Park in South Hamilton. He and his dog won first place.
John Mottern/Globe photo
July 4, 1988: A modern day patriot chatted on the phone before the USS Constitution was taken out into the harbor for its annual ceremonial turnaround cruise.
Bill Brett/Globe Staff
July 4, 1992: It rained on their parade, but the folks in Hingham still managed to pull off a festive Fourth. Several thousand soggy spectators came out to watch the high school's champion hockey team, floats, the Hingham militia, antique cars, and fire trucks. Native son Alan Steen, a former hostage held in Lebanon, served as parade grand marshal.