BOSTON (CBS) – State and local authorities are preparing for the annual Fourth of July festivities on the Esplanade in Boston with hundreds of thousands of people expected to celebrate along the Charles River.

Gov. Charlie Baker joined other public safety officials for a Tuesday press conference with the 2-day celebration set to begin on Wednesday.

With temperatures expected to reach close to 90 degrees, visitors are reminded to hydrate and avoid long periods in the sun.

Drones are banned from the Esplanade on Wednesday and Thursday. Anyone operating them could face state or federal charges.

Baker also reminded people that possession and sale of fireworks is illegal in Massachusetts.

Gov. Charlie Baker discusses Fourth of July preparations. (WBZ-TV)

There will be a host of parking and road closures surrounding the Esplanade on Wednesday and Thursday. There are also boating restrictions along the Charles River.

Boston EMS will have more than 100 EMTs assigned to the Esplanade, downtown area and other city neighborhoods, some on bicycles and ATVs.

Police said they are taking safety precautions, though there are no specific threats against the event.

“The State Police Fusion Center and the Boston Regional Intelligence Center have been for weeks collecting intelligence and analyzing potential threats,” said Jeanne Benincasa Thorpe, undersecretary of public safety and security.

Transit Police are urging visitors to use public transportation for Fourth of July festivities. Subway service will be on a regular schedule on Wednesday. It will operate on a Sunday schedule Thursday until 2 p.m. After 2 p.m., it switches to rush-hour service.

On Thursday, the commuter rail will operate on a weekend schedule until 9:30 p.m., when all fares will be waived.

Keith Lockhart will be raising his baton on the Fourth of July for a 25th year as he leads the Boston Pops’ performance at the Hatch Shell. Lockhart announced Tuesday that Amanda Gorman, a Harvard student and the first youth poet laureate of the United States, will be at the event.

Queen Latifah will headline the annual concert.

“Let’s make sure this is another wonderful, safe, celebratory moment here in the cradle of liberty,” Baker said.

New elements will be woven into the dazzling fireworks display.

“There are some rotating peonies which you will be able to see, in the sky what they do is they’ll actually be a color change and it’ll rotate,” said chief pyrotechnician Dan Havens.

Lauren Grucci added, “There’s just something special about the response after the fireworks show that’s really rewarding because from the barge we can hear everybody.”


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