2016 Macy’s Independence Day NBC Special: A 4th Of July NYC Tradition’s 40th Anniversary
The Macy’s Independence Day television special, concert, and fireworks display is a holiday tradition in New York City on the Fourth of July, much like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and several other spectacular holiday celebrations in the city that are hosted by Macy’s — the quintessential American department store.
This classic company has been strongly associated with American nostalgia largely due to their holiday extravaganzas in Manhattan. According to ABC News, this year will be the 40th anniversary for the Independence Day celebration and fireworks display, which Macy’s has hosted for any and all visitors to New York City to enjoy in person since 1976.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) July 2, 2016
This Fourth of July, which is this coming Monday, the famous fireworks display will be over the East River for the third year in a row. To celebrate the 40th anniversary, the fireworks that are being loaded onto several barges off a Staten Island pier throughout the weekend will comprise the largest fireworks display that Macy’s has sponsored since the year 2000, when they hosted an especially large show to commemorate the new millennium.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) June 30, 2016
The Macy’s Independence Day fireworks display is slated to begin at approximately 9:25 p.m. on the Fourth of July, and will fire more than 56,000 pyrotechnic shells into the sky for 25 minutes. Three million people are expected to gather to watch the fireworks in person. This year, ABC News reports that there is a new, color-changing type of shell debuting especially for the 40th anniversary celebration. These “multi-colored transformation ghost shells” light up in one color, then “disappear and reappear in another position in the sky having changed hues to blue jellyfish.”
“The 2016 celebration will also feature the New York debut of pyro-writing, an explosive version of skywriting created using fireworks that will spell out ‘USA’ in the night sky.”
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) July 1, 2016
The Macy’s Independence Day celebration is broadcast live as an NBC prime time television special, The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, featuring a star-studded concert in addition to the fireworks display. This year’s NBC special features an impressive roster of talent, and according to Playbill.com, it includes five-time Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles, who is enjoying quite a bit of success in New York City currently because she scored a Broadway musical called Waitress (adapted from the 2007 film of the same name) that was nominated for four 2016 Tony Awards.
— Playbill (@playbill) July 1, 2016
The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular will begin at 8 p.m. EDT on the Fourth of July, with the concert featuring Sara Bareilles first, before the fireworks. The concert will also feature performances from pop star Meghan Trainor as well as The Radio City Rockettes, Kenny Chesney, 5 Seconds of Summer, Pitbull, and the multi-platinum band DNCE. TODAY show co-hosts Willie Geist and Tamron Hall will be Masters of Ceremonies.
The Macy’s Independence Day fireworks display will be scored by Tony Award winning actress Jennifer Holliday, who will be singing patriotic tunes with accompaniment from the United States Air Force Band.
The Macy’s Independence Day fireworks display can be seen from anywhere in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens where you can clearly see the sky over the East River, particularly near the areas where the barges are located. Fireworks will be launched from four barges positioned between 23rd Street and 37th Street, and from one double barge positioned below the Brooklyn Bridge in the Seaport District.
— Brooklyn Bridge Park (@bbpnyc) July 2, 2016
At 7 p.m. on the Fourth of July, elevated portions of FDR Drive in Midtown and Lower Manhattan will open to the public. Brooklyn and Queens residents and visitors can watch the fireworks from select waterfront locations; the NYPD will direct you.
The Macy’s Independence Day fireworks display is coordinating with a free mobile app called Makelight, which can be downloaded from the iOS app store or from Google Play. Those who download the app will see the screens of their devices light up in the same colors as the fireworks above the East River in real time.
Happy Independence Day!
[Image courtesy of Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images]