Brooklyn Boro

Fourth of July fireworks are a show of star-spangled splendor

July 5, 2016 By Mary Frost and Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Macy's fireworks light the night in this view from on high in Brooklyn Heights. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
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Three cheers for the red, white and blue.

Brooklyn Heights was prime viewing ground for the star-spangled splendor of the city’s iconic Fourth of July fireworks.

One of America’s great patriotic settings — namely 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center, built after terrorists destroyed the original Twin Towers on 9/11 — served as the backdrop for Macy’s magnificent Monday-night pyrotechnic display for spectators in Brooklyn Heights.

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Thousands gathered on the Promenade or in Brooklyn Bridge Park to witness the bombs bursting in air over the East River. In total, 1 million people turned out at viewing sites on both sides of the East River to witness the half-hour show — which included fireworks from a double barge beneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

Security was tight. The NYPD deployed about 5,000 officers — the largest detail ever for July 4, Chief of Department James O’Neill told the Daily News.

Hours before the fireworks began, a Brooklyn Eagle reporter discovered dense crowds and long lines at police checkpoints, where bags, pizza boxes and even wheelchairs were examined.

The waiting line to enter Brooklyn Bridge Park on Old Fulton Street stretched from Grimaldi’s to Cadman Plaza West, but there were few complaints. The park’s piers were closed for the evening, but spectators carrying picnic baskets and blankets filled the uplands.

On the Promenade, packages were searched and a specially trained police dog sniffed the air and wagged his tail at other dogs. NYPD and FDNY emergency units were parked along Columbia Heights, along with a few well-placed portable toilets.

The city’s efforts to keep the festivities safe paid off — no major incidents took place along the East River viewing areas.

Lucky Brooklyn Heights residents with water views stayed home to witness the rockets’ red (and 21 other colors) glare from windows, balconies and rooftops. Workers in Borough Hall Skyscraper District towers slipped into their offices for fine views of the festivities.  

America’s favorite patriotic holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.


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