Founding sponsor of Boston Pops’ July 4 celebration to retire after four decades

Posted on: June 29, 2016

“With his 43rd and final Fourth of July celebration on the Esplanade approaching, David Mugar was looking for help, someone to take over sponsorship of the festivities this summer and sustain it after his retirement,” writes Eric Moskowitz in Monday’s (6/27) Boston Globe. “The 77-year-old Mugar has quietly contributed 40,000 hours and roughly $20 million to the venture since 1974…. After the annual cost topped $1 million, Mugar began lining up corporate sponsors to cover the bill … first with Fidelity and then Liberty Mutual, whose 11-year run ended after last summer’s show.… CBS announced it would again carry the show this summer after a three-year hiatus…. [Mugar] signed a one-show deal and promised to write checks for everything besides the CBS-funded musical acts and TV production, a $2 million tab…. Mugar, a Star Market heir who expanded his fortune through an array of real estate and business ventures, never set out to create a lasting event…. One night, he pitched [Boston Pops maestro Arthur] Fiedler on a one-off plan to boost Esplanade attendance with a souped-up Tchaikovsky finale and fireworks for July 4, 1974.… They hoped for 15,000 attendees but drew 75,000.”

Posted June 29, 2016