Brooklyn Boro

July 4th Fireworks are coming back to the Brooklyn Bridge

May 8, 2019 Raanan Geberer
The 43rd Annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks will be returning to the East River this year. AP Photo by Mark Lennihan
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Macy’s 43rd annual Fourth of July fireworks show will be set off from the Brooklyn Bridge this year for the first time since 2014, according to the retail chain.

Since the fireworks display returned to the East River from the Hudson in 2014, its location has shifted — and for the past couple of years, the only viewing locations have been up near northern Brooklyn.

This year, in addition to beneath the bridge itself, Macy’s will set off fireworks from four barges along the shores of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport, south of the bridge.

Most of those viewing the display live this year are expected to congregate at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park and, across the river, at Pier 17. Some onlookers may also be watching from Domino Park and Grand Ferry Park in Williamsburg, according to Time Out New York, although views there may be partially obstructed.

“We are excited to once again work with our partners in the City of New York to make the iconic Brooklyn Bridge the star of our show. With a barrage of stunning shells and effects launching from its grand span and towers, along with tens of thousands more effects coloring the night from barges on the lower East River, this year’s display promises to be a spectacle to remember,” said Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks.

If the turnout is anything like that of the 2016 July Fourth show, when fireworks were set off from barges near the bridge, onlookers can expect packed crowds and tight security. That year, the waiting line to enter Brooklyn Bridge Park on Old Fulton Street stretched from Grimaldi’s to Cadman Plaza West.

While the Promenade, one of the premier fireworks-watching sites on the East River in years past, is expected to attract large numbers of people coming from all over the city, police have usually been able to keep order both there and in nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park.

In 2016, the NYPD dispatched 5,000 officers citywide to maintain tight security.

“The 84th Precinct has been responsive to our concerns in the past, and we anticipate having productive meetings with them this year,” said Peter Bray, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association. Measures that have been successfully implemented in the past include street closures, blockades at some streets and police cars stationed on Columbia Heights and Montague Street.

Another prime fireworks-viewing spot south of the bridge is the Red Hook waterfront, especially Valentino Park and Pier. While some of the Brooklyn Bridge and Pier 17 fireworks will be viewable from there, “the big draw from there is expected to be the views of the fireworks display at Liberty State Park in New Jersey,” said John McGettrick, co-chair of the Red Hook Civics Association. Crowds are predicted here, too, but McGettrick expects them to be manageable.

The Brooklyn Bridge display will begin at approximately 9:20 p.m., according to Macy’s. In addition to the pyrotechnics, the night is scheduled to feature performances from well-known musical acts that have yet to be announced. The bridge will be closed that night to facilitate the fireworks.


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