Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks returns to the Hudson River for the first time since 2000 to celebrate America’s birthday with the nation’s largest 4th of July fireworks display. On Saturday, July 4, at 9:00 PM, Macy’s will create a showstopper like no other to honor the country’s independence and to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the exploration of the Hudson River by Henry Hudson. ‘American River’, the theme of the 33rd annual Macy’s Fireworks will give more than two million spectators and millions of viewers nationwide America’s most spectacular showcase of brilliant colors, jaw dropping effects and thunderous sound.
This year’s patriotic revelry will feature approximately 40,000 shells exploding in a kaleidoscope of color at a rate of more than 1,500 per minute and will feature eight times more high-level fireworks than last year’s show. The 26-minute display, designed in collaboration with SOUSA Fireworks, will be set off from six barges positioned between 24th and 50th Streets on the Hudson River giving New York City residents a stunning front row seat to America’s biggest Independence Day party. With six barges lined-up end-to-end on the river, this year’s show will mark Macy’s longest continuous show ever. From the West Side Highway to any point in New York City with a view of the sky over the Hudson River, Macy’s Fireworks are sure to thrill and amaze.
“The Hudson River is where Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks was born,” says Robin Hall, executive producer, Macy’s Fireworks, “and we’re excited to return this year to be part of New York City’s larger celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage of discovery aboard the Dutch vessel, The Half Moon.”
Before becoming an annual tradition beginning in 1976, Macy’s Fireworks made their debut in 1958 on the Hudson River and previously held a special event marking the 350th Anniversary of the voyage of Henry Hudson with a spectacular show in 1959. A half-century later, Macy’s Fireworks are returning to the Hudson to continue to celebrate the fascinating story that culminates with the founding of New Amsterdam by Dutch settlers and to kick-off the City’s NYC400 summer celebrations, which culminate on September 13th with Harbor Day.
“The people of the Netherlands are extremely pleased to see the commemorative return of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks to the Hudson River in honor of Henry Hudson’s discovery and New York City’s 400th birthday,” said Renée Jones-Bos, the Dutch Ambassador in the USA. “It is a symbol of a long-standing friendship between two strongly tied nations, which share the open-mindedness of those Dutch-American pioneers. We are two countries, but one spirit, united by values, history and a vision of the future.”
This year’s big bang on the West Side will be expertly synchronized to a rousing score featuring patriotic standards, classic river-themed works and original music. The legendary New York Pops, under the direction of Steve Reineke, will perform the musical score that features classics from Proud Mary to God Bless America, as well as the original composition American River Suite written by Broadway composer Stephen Flaherty and Macy’s creative director Bill Schermerhorn. Lending their vocal talents to the score will be Broadway superstars Audra McDonald and Idina Menzel with appearances by the Choir Academy of Harlem. Macy’s Fireworks are precisely timed to the musical score which spectators can hear live by tuning in to radio station 1010 WINS.
The showstopper begins as the first shells hit their mark in the night sky. Macy’s Fireworks feature shells from all over the world that create dazzling effects and sounds. New this year will be a few shells that have mysterious qualities. From the “Ghost” shells that appear, disappear and reappear in plain sight to the shape-shifting Saturn shells with their interlocking loops and rings that create shapes then transform to “space dust” and finally to Patriotic Tulips in honor of New York’s Dutch heritage, the newest shells in the Macy’s Fireworks promise to surprise and entertain.
With the new surprises come a few Macy’s Fireworks favorites – with a twist. The famed “Macy’s Golden Mile” is back and ready to cover more than one mile of the river from its horizontal to its vertical planes with a massive shower of golden sparks. To give that fanfavorite more time to be enjoyed, this year the Golden Mile will last longer than ever before as the shells shine for more time while cascading to the water’s edge. Since the Golden Mile is universally beloved by spectators, Macy’s will give them an extra special
treat with the addition of the first-ever “Macy’s Silver Mile.” The newest mile of sparkle is made possible by using Japanese Nishiki-style White Strobbing Kamuro shells that will cover the sky over the Hudson and be featured during the song, Half Moon.
From city streets, rooftops, balconies, parks, and highways, spectators along the West Side will not only have a front row view of the show, but also get a second performance. At 7:30 PM an FDNY Fireboat Water Show will begin with New York’s Bravest sailing two Marine Division fireboats spraying red, clear and blue water arcs up 300 feet in the air in a patriotic salute to America’s independence. Following that tribute at 8:00 PM spectators will enjoy a special flyover by jets from the Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing in the last prelude to the commencement of the fireworks bonanza.
Spectators can catch the action coast-to-coast from the comforts of home by tuning in to Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular broadcast nationally on NBC-TV. The telecast hosted by Natalie Morales and Tiki Barber from the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum begins at 9:00 PM (check local listings). The one-hour star-studded special features a line-up of performances from Rob Thomas, Jewel, and the cast of Broadway’s West Side Story.
Read an article over Macy’s Creative Director Bill Schermerhorn who was born on the 4th of July.