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Thousands Brave Rain To Watch Annual Boston Pops Concert, Fireworks On Esplanade

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The Boston Pops held their annual concert for the 4th of July celebration a day early due to impending poor weather conditions from Hurricane Arthur. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

The Boston Pops held their annual concert for the 4th of July celebration a day early due to impending poor weather conditions from Hurricane Arthur. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

BOSTON — It’s July 4th, but thousands of people braved concerns about rain and gusty winds to celebrate Independence Day on the 3rd. The Boston Pops performed with guest musicians including the Beach Boys on the Esplanade in a rescheduled concert. And they wrapped up the show just in time.

Before Boston’s annual bash of patriotic music and fireworks began, the crowd got a special tease.

Fireworks explode over the Charles River in Boston, Thursday, July 3, 2014. The annual Boston Pops Fourth of July concert and fireworks show was moved up a day because of potential heavy rain ahead of Hurricane Arthur. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Fireworks explode over the Charles River in Boston, Thursday, July 3, 2014. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

As it turns out this was the only time the audience would hear those guns. The Esplanade was packed as it is every July 4th, even though the concert was a day early. Susan Marotta from Worcester said celebrating the 4th on the 3rd isn’t disruptive for her, her mother and her daughter.

“This isn’t a reschedule for us, we always come on July 3rd,” she said. “We’ve been doing it for several years now so this is our tradition. We’re three generations, and we come together and it’s fun.”

Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart said in his business everyone has to roll with the punches.

“It has been a scrambly last 36 hours for us, it’s really hard to take a production of this size and move it around the way we had to. We don’t have a dress rehearsal, so we need to get it right the first time,” Lockhart said. “But I feel excited, I think we’re ready to go and somehow I think its kind of added to the magic of the moment.”

Many spectators said they understood the decision to move the celebration up a day.

“It’s a big decision by the powers that be, but I’m sure they made the right decision in moving it,” Bill Campion of Marshall County, Ill., said. He and his wife Terry traveled here a day earlier than planned to visit their daughter.

“We farm so we’re very used to dealing with weather events, and this is not unusual for us to make adjustments,” Terry Campion said with a laugh.

Keith Lockhart and others have joked, calling the brewing storm Hurricane Arthur Fiedler, after the Pops conductor who founded the Esplanade concerts in 1929.

As the sky started to darken, Governor Deval Patrick took the stage with the Pops to mark the Star Spangled Banner’s 200th birthday.

The crowd watches the Boston Pops Orchestra perform at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade in Boston, Thursday, July 3, 2014. The annual Boston Pops Fourth of July concert and fireworks show was moved up a day because of potential heavy rain ahead of Hurricane Arthur. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

The crowd watches the Boston Pops Orchestra perform at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. The annual Boston Pops Fourth of July concert and fireworks show was moved up a day because of potential heavy rain ahead of Hurricane Arthur. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Then it was on to a fast moving line-up of performers, including Megan Hilty from the Broadway hit, “Wicked.” And The Boston Children’s Chorus sang, “Let It Go,” from the movie, “Frozen.”

A lot of people, like 13 year-old Larry Pelligrini of Watertown, came specifically to see this year’s headliner, the Beach Boys.

Keith Lockhart changed into a flowery, print shirt for the Beach Boys’ performance with the Pops. But after the usual patriotic sing-along, the show was cut short as more clouds moved in ominously.

Although the popular 1812 Overture with cannons never happened, the show was able to just fit in the fireworks.

The sky opened up right after the fireworks ended.

The first-ever webcast of the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is available for viewing for the next 24 days on the event’s website.

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