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First youth poet laureate joins Boston Pops celebration

Amanda Gorman, US youth poet laureate, in 2018.
Amanda Gorman, US youth poet laureate, in 2018. Katherine Taylor for The Boston Globe/File

Amanda Gorman, the country’s first youth poet laureate, will be joining the lineup for this year’s Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, officials said.

During a press conference Tuesday morning, Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart announced that Gorman will narrate her poem “The Believer’s Hymn of the Republic.” She will be accompanied by the Boston Pops playing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Gorman, 21, who is a Harvard University senior, said she and Lockhart wanted this piece to touch on the “higher ideals of America,” such as diversity and equality.

“It’s rare that I ever get to collaborate with a lot of people in writing a poem, needless to say with people who exhibit such high standards of artistry, so it’s really been such an honor,” Gorman said during the press conference. “I’m just very excited to be able to bring that on the stage.”


The show will also include performances from Queen Latifah, Amanda Mena, The Texas Tenors, and the US Navy Band Sea Chanters Chorus.

Local and state officials also discussed logistics and security measures. They encouraged participants to be mindful of their surroundings and safety.

Jeanne Benincasa Thorpe, undersecretary for homeland security, said there will be a “large uniform presence” of State Police officers on foot, bicycles, and horses.

“Anyone who sees anyone or anything suspicious in the area or has any information about a threat [at] the event should immediately tell a uniformed officer . . . or call 911,” Thorpe said. “We will depend on you.”

Thorpe added that private drone use will not be permitted in the area surrounding the Esplanade on July 3 or 4.

Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green urged participants to use the MBTA when traveling to and from the Boston Pops show.

He noted that T service on July 3 will operate on a normal weekday schedule.


MBTA service on July Fourth will operate on a Sunday schedule until 2 p.m., when it will increase to rush hour service.

Green also said the commuter rail will operate on a Saturday schedule on July Fourth, and the last train might have a delayed departure time.

All MBTA fares will be waived after 9:30 p.m. on July Fourth as well.

Governor Charlie Baker asked participants to heed safety instructions and to enjoy the day’s festivities.

“Let’s make sure this is another wonderful, safe, celebratory moment here in the cradle of liberty on this iconic Hatch Shell to celebrate once again American independence,” he said.

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at sophia.eppolito@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.