4th Of July Fireworks Return To East River

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

One of the summer’s highlights is returning to its usual location this year.

The 38th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display is coming back to the East River, after spending the last five years over the Hudson River. Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement about the switch on April 14, stating that the show will once again find its home over the Brooklyn Bridge and the surrounding areas along the river.

Spectators watch the Fourth of July fireworks over the East River in 2006. After spending five years over the Hudson, the display returns to the East River this year.

Spectators watch the Fourth of July fireworks over the East River in 2006. After spending five years over the Hudson, the display returns to the East River this year.

While the fireworks used to be a near-permanent feature between Manhattan and the Queens/Brooklyn landmass, it moved westward in 2009 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of that river.

This year, the fireworks will be launched from the Brooklyn Bridge itself, as well as from barges positioned on the lower East River.

“We are very excited in the Borough of Queens,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “We are excited that we have access to this great day of fireworks that the City provides, that Macy’s provides. We do need free family fun.”

The deal to move the fireworks to the East River only covers this year, with plans for the show to continuously move around between rivers for future celebrations.

“The fact that fireworks come back to the East River means that countless more New Yorkers will now be able to enjoy what is really the greatest annual fireworks show in the country,” de Blasio said.

Macy’s has been the sponsor of the City’s fireworks show since 1976. The 4th of July pyrotechnic display is the largest in the nation, with 40,000 pyrotechnics being set off in honor of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. More than three million people watch the display live, with many more viewing it on TV.

“It’s going to be a beautiful show, all brand new and very worthy of this important move back to the East Side,” Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Fireworks show, said.

Kule added that besides being notable for moving to the East River, this year’s show is going to be a celebration of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which was written as a poem by Francis Scott Key in 1814.

Many residents of Long Island City, Astoria and other western Queens neighborhoods will be able to see the show from their rooftops or along the river when it kicks off the night of July 4.

“After years of advocating to bring the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks back to the East River, I am delighted to hear they will make their return this summer,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said. “I congratulate the Mayor for giving this effort the last push it needed and giving thousands of more New Yorkers the opportunity to see the show.”

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.