BOSTON (WHDH) - The Boston Harborfest, one of the largest July 4th celebrations in the country, is set to kick off Friday at noon in Downtown Crossing.

This comes as preparations are underway for this year’s July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, with the stage being set at the Esplanade for the first time since 2019.

Longtime conductor Keith Lockhart said the Boston Pops team is as excited as ever as they return for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that something we think of such an annual event, a tradition, an iconic moment in Boston, it’s been 3 years since we had the opportunity to greet our audience out there,” Lockhart said.

Along with the classic annual favorites of the concert, such as the 1812 Overture featuring fireworks and cannons, ten-time Grammy Award Winner Chaka Khan will also be performing at the show. Audiences will also be treated to a special rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem.

“When we’re celebrating our own independence, it’s important to remember those fighting for their independence as we speak,” Lockhart said.

“There are hundreds of thousands, indeed millions of people nationwide, and locally on WHDH, who are going to be watching along with us,” he said. “I just hope that we add to their sense of American spirit on the 4th of July.”

7NEWS will show the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on July 4 starting at 8 p.m.

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