Cambridge’s Fourth of July goes beyond fireworks, and even beyond the Fourth (update)

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070214i-fireworks

070214i Memorial Drive Fourth rulesThe traditional area Fourth of July Boston Pops concert starts at 8:30 p.m. Thursday – moved from Friday because of weather concerns –  with fireworks starting at 10:30 and everything ending at 11. Joining the Pops this year in Boston are the Beach Boys; singer-actress Megan Hilty; lead performers from the “Phantom of the Opera” playing at the Boston Opera House; and the Boston Children’s Chorus. (People gathering on Cambridge’s Memorial Drive, which is equipped with speaker towers, food vendors and restrooms, can also enjoy recorded music starting at 4:30 p.m.)

The city has gathered information about its festivities here.

Historically, the gatherings average around 200,000 attendees on the Cambridge side between River Street and the Longfellow Bridge, depending on weather and the significance of that year’s festivities in terms of anniversaries or other milestones, said Jeremy Warnick, director of communications for the Cambridge Police Department. This year’s celebrations were made tricky by the weather forecast, as thunderstorms are expected Friday and the chances of precipitation are in the high 60s to 70s.

What else is going on in town?

Hear ‘The Boston Song,’ Thursday, July 3

070214i-Clef-NiteClef Nite, a young Berklee College of Music student from Nigeria, brings his “Boston Song” to The Middle East Downstairs on Thursday as part of “The American Symphony of Soul” with Sam Cantor.

“I composed ‘The Boston Song’ in tribute to the city of Boston. In the wake of last year’s Marathon bombings, I felt compelled to write a piece as a contribution and show of support,” Nite said. He hoped the song would be part of the recent pre-Marathon entertainment, but submitted it late and it failed to make the cut.

Nite, a guitarist and vocalist enrolled as a sophomore at Berklee as Victor Chukwunonso Nite, has a résumé citing performances on “MTV Unplugged” and BET’s “106 & Park” and tours through the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa with the Nigerian R&B singer P Square. His own first full-length release, “Love Song,” is due soon, but in the meantime he wanted to bring “the steady beat, easy guitar strumming and catchy lyrics” of his “Boston Song” to the city.

The 18-plus show is from 8 p.m. to midnight Thursday at The Middle East Downstairs, 480 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Tickets are $10, and information is here.

Entertain the kids

070214i-city-parksThere are free activities for Cambridge kids from ages 4 to 12 on the morning of the Fourth, thanks to the Department of Human Service Program’s Recreation Division. The 9:30 a.m. events take place at in East Cambridge at Donnelly Field (Berkshire and York streets), in West Cambridge at Glacken Field (600 Huron Ave.) and in Riverside at Hoyt Field (Gilmore and Montague streets off Western Avenue).

Activities include races and doll carriage and bike parades. All kids participating in the races will get a prize, and all those participating in the doll and bike parades will get a Cambridge Recreation T-shirt.

For information, call the Recreation Department at (617) 349-6228 or look here.

Catch some comedy

070214i-ImprovBostonCambridge’s comedy clubs have gone in different directions for the Fourth: The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square is closed, while ImprovBoston in Central Square is offering its entire roster of Friday shows free to the public, including the completely improvised “Mainstage,” the satirical sketch revue “Comedy, America!” and the experimental shows in ImprovBoston’s Studio Theater: “Studio 40” at 7 p.m., “Cagematch” at 9 p.m., “Road Trip” at 11 p.m. and “Nightcap” at 11:30 p.m.

“Boston is now recognized as one of the top comedy cities in the country. What better way to celebrate our new national status than with free tickets for all of America?” artistic director Mike Descoteaux said. “Or as many Americans as can safely fit into our two theaters.”

The free shows are at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Central Square.

Eat your independence

070214i-Shake-ShackAmong eateries with special offerings for the Fourth is Shake Shack in Harvard Square – from Thursday through Sunday it offers a Shack Corn Dog (an all-beef hot dog in corn batter, cooked and served with sweet corn relish for $4.50) and Blueberry Pie Oh My Concrete (vanilla frozen custard blended with blueberry pie for $4.25 or $6.50).

Update: This post was updated July 2, 2014, to move official festivities to Thursday from Friday because of weather concerns.

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