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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.
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.
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.
For the first time in the show's history, fireworks were also fired off the Massachusetts Avenue bridge.
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.
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.
Scott Webb celebrated during the concert's finale.
Blue and white fire works exploded over the river.
People watched the fireworks from the Esplanade.
Fireworks exploded over the Hatch Shell.
Conductor Keith Lockhart returned to the stage.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A man was carried off as a result of the heat.
Governor Patrick spoke to the media before the concert.
Gianna Messina, 2, grabbed onto an umbrella to take cover from the heat.
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.
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.
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.
Military personnel walked across the grounds 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.
Police patrolled the area on bikes.
Crowds formed along the Esplanade this morning.
David Donnaruma of Orlando went through an Esplanade checkpoint.
Law enforcement officials were a visible presence near the Hatch Shell.
Volunteers placed wristbands on people who went through security.
A visitor carrying a see-through bag went through security.
Divers inspected the canal along the Esplanade this morning.
A man was frisked at security.
Forecasters warned temperatures could feel like 100 degrees.
A man passed the security checkpoint at the Esplanade.
Liz Ramirez and Adie Ramirez, 11, of Pennsylvania, visited the Esplanade.
Crowds formed early at the Esplanade.
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