BOSTON (WHDH) - As eager as fans may be to watch the Boston Pops grace the Hatch Shell stage for the first time in three years this Fourth of July, it is possible the musicians are even more excited to be sharing this moment with them again.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that [for] something we think of as such an annual event, a tradition, an iconic moment in Boston; it’s been three years since we’ve had the opportunity to great our audience,” says Keith Lockhart, the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Protocol for the Fourth of July extravaganza has changed since 2019. The traditional mad scramble for front row seats once gates open will now take place at noon, instead of at 9:00 a.m. Sunday’s dress rehearsal will also not be open to the public as it had in years past.

“After being away for so long, the collective decision was to really focus on the holiday,” said Pam Picard, the event’s director. “We’re here for a one day celebration to celebrate independence and America’s birthday.”

Security has also been upped ahead of the event and weapons, glass containers, alcohol and backpacks are among the prohibited items.

Fans and musicians alike will finally be able to share the holiday together when the event begins at 8:00 p.m. on the Esplanade.

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