Boston celebrates 4th of July amid heightened security

BOSTON (WHDH) - Security was beefed up along the Esplanade as hundreds of thousands of people watched the Boston Pops Fourth of July performance and fireworks.

As investigators deal with increased threats worldwide leading up to the festivities, local officials are taking no chances. There are divers in the Charles River, along with troopers in boats and helicopters. Foot patrols with police dogs are also patrolling the Esplanade.

“We’re certainly on a heightened sense of vigilance out here,” Mass. State Police Sgt. Tom Ryan said.

Security is a real concern, though State Police said they know of no specific threats targeting the July 4th celebration.

Anyone coming in went through long, sometimes tedious security lines. Despite the long lines and security checkpoints, fans said the show is worth it.

In addition to the Boston Pops, Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato and Little Big Town performed for the crowds along the Esplanade before the fireworks show. Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, who has been doing the July 4 show for 22 years, called it a thrill to be a part of something so important to Massachusetts.