Arts & Culture

Dismal First Night Spurs Plans for Return of Harbor Fireworks Next Year

Battle of the Barges Fireworks in Summer 2015 over Boston Harbor (NEWF photo)

The reviews for First Night 2017 at Copley Square were less than enthusiastic. But, there appears to be new interest in bringing back midnight harbor fireworks for next year.

Overwhelming disappointment by the waterfront community was expressed in comments on a post. Despite this response, event planner Conventures Inc. continues to advocate for a Back Bay-only plan in Wednesday’s Globe. The company’s president Dusty Rhodes said they tried to raise money for midnight harbor fireworks but then she also believes that “the key is to keep everything focused on Copley Square.”

Reader Maria V., who went to Copley said,

The lack of fireworks at the Harbor at midnight was most unfortunately, not the only major problem with this year’s Boston First Night celebration. Compared to years’ past, there was virtually nothing happening in the Copley Square area at night…(just ice sculptures and some lackluster bands). With so little to do last night, I just took photos of the ice sculptures and headed back home…It was a major disappointment.

Another 20-year First Night veteran wrote in,

It was a dismay empty affair. I have gone to First night for over 20 years, this one was pathetic.

Interest in bringing back midnight harbor fireworks for next year is gaining ground. has heard from several local groups, individuals and businesses that appear to be organizing a new effort. Some have already commented as such, while others told us they are planning to talk to City Hall first because it is difficult to work with Conventures Inc.

City Councilor Sal LaMattina said the lack of fireworks was a “disappointment” and attributes “security” as a reason for cancelling the harbor fireworks. In that case, it is unclear why planners were supposedly trying to raise money for them.

One local advocate said it’s still early stages, but they would like to do something more spectacular next year, such as a ‘battle of the barges’ that would be accessible to nearly all of Boston waterfront neighborhoods.  A basic fireworks show over the harbor can cost up to $70,000 while a dual-barge “battle” can run around $120,000. As plans develop for next year, we will pass on more details.

6 Replies to “Dismal First Night Spurs Plans for Return of Harbor Fireworks Next Year

  1. Donato
    You read my mind!
    I am talking with others in the NE and Waterfront. This not only affects us but Charlestown, East Boston, Seaport.
    I’ll be in touch. I know there will be all the support we need to pull off fireworks NYE next year.
    Friends of Christopher Columbus Park

  2. Great Idea Donato

    Call it “New Year’s Eve on the waterfront”. Offer dining and hotel packages . Just do not let Dusty Rhodes and her Conventures people get anywhere near it.

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