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It doesn’t get any more patriotic in New York than the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. Of course, this patriotic New York attraction is about more than the pyrotechnics themselves. We don’t recommend driving in New York on the best of days, and the 4th of July fireworks make driving practically impossible.
Above all, enjoy your time in the Big Apple and celebrate Independence Day the New York way!
If for any reason you don't activate your pass within a year of purchase, we'll give you a full refund. If you missed it, here are some photos to help you whetyour appetite for the next Sundae Sunday in August!
Shooting off the Hudson River every year since 1976, these fireworks have become an important way for Americans in New York and across the country celebrate Independence Day. With more than 40,000 firework shells shot off during a 26-minute synchronized musical performance, it’s one of the most impressive pyrotechnical displays around. Of course, there will be huge crowds along the New York side of the River, so arrive early if you want to get a spot closer to the water.

There will be over two hours of music played through dozens of loudspeakers, scattered along the Manhattan waterfront. Fortunately, the NYC Subway and bus system will run an extended schedule to accommodate spectators. The 37th annual Macy’s Fireworks show is entitled “It Begins with a Spark.” The fireworks also have a special guest coordinator this year– pop superstar Usher, who lent his Grammy-winning musical talents to the design of this year’s show. The fireworks are shot from six separate barges spaced along the Hudson River, so there’s a great range of visibility.
People often bring blankets, chairs, and other accessories to camp out in a great spot, so be aware that your viewing options will be limited the closer to 9 pm you show up.
Usher will perform live, along with several other superstar guests like Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, and Mariah Carey. If you’re travelling from out of town, it’s a good idea to give yourself more time to find a viewing space, get some snacks, and figure out your route home. Tip: you’ll get just as good of a view and find more space on the New Jersey side, in and around Hoboken, Weehawken, and Union City.
You’ll also get a chance to listen to Usher’s expertly curated playlist, spanning the gambit from current pop favorites like Rihanna, Avicii, and Kelly Clarkson to classic artists like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra.

Be careful in the crowds with small children, and avoid bringing a stroller if at all possible – you’ll find it incredibly difficult to maneuver every step of the way. The timing is a little vague because the organizers need to wait until the sky is dark enough to maximize the “wow” factor of the fireworks, sometimes they’ll wait a bit for the sun to set all the way.
Macy’s has provided specific details on how to access the firework viewing spaces, in addition to transit info. It wouldn’t be a 4th of July celebration without some patriotic tunes like “America the Beautiful,” so be prepared to sing along with those if you watch the fireworks in person – the crowd gets very into the 4th of July spirit.
The Empire State Building also has a role to play – during the last five minutes of the fireworks show, the colored lights atop this New York attraction will put on their own patriotic show. You can hear the soundtrack on the radio as you watch from afar, or tune your TV to NBC at 8 pm for the two-hour live broadcast of the whole event.

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