Macy’s Sparks Resentment in Brooklyn with Fireworks Snub

April 3, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Macy’s announced Monday that its Fourth of July fireworks will ignite over the Hudson for a fourth year running and Brooklyn’s jilted pols were left fuming.

Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights) rallied with local leaders and politicians at Brooklyn Bridge Park Monday to call for the return of the fireworks display to its traditional home above the East River, but the borough’s pleas were extinguished by an official confirmation from Macy’s that it had once again chosen to illumine Manhattan’s West Side and New Jersey on the Fourth.

“New York’s Fourth of July fireworks should be a citywide celebration,” said Squadron, as quoted by the Daily News. “Instead, the millions of New Yorkers who live in Brooklyn, Queens, and the East Side of Manhattan are kept out of the party, while we send visitors and business to New Jersey.”

The East River served as the launching strip for the Macy’s fireworks for 15 years before a 2009 switch to the Hudson to honor the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the river, according to The New York Times. But a Macy’s spokesperson told the News that in spite of the department store’s history with the East River, it isn’t married to any body of water.

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“While the show will be on the Hudson River this year, Macy’s Fireworks will continue to take place in and around all of New York City’s waterways, and will not be a permanent fixture in any one location,” said spokesman Orlando Veras. “Exclusively limiting the show to any particular area would greatly hinder the creative freedom that has made it the nation’s best and largest Independence Day display.”

Even so, when the fireworks blaze over the two-mile stretch of the Hudson between 18th and 48th streets this Fourth of July, some Brooklyn pols will be left wondering whether Macy’s could have figured out a way to keep its creative freedom without seemingly turning its back on four boroughs.

“They’re stringing us along year after year,” City Councilman Steve Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights) told the News. “I got nothing against New Jersey. I’m from New Jersey. I love Bruce Springsteen, I love Bon Jovi…but the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks is really a New York event.”

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