The United States of America. Land of the free and home of the brave will be celebrating its independence from the Brits in just a few days, and we’ve got the 411 to help you begin planning your live viewing strategy. While our nation lights up the sky and honors the red, white and blue, it is an unmatched argument to say that any place other than NYC (really, try telling a NY-er that any city is better than theirs) is the best place to fete our country’s 241st birthday in style and grace.
On Tuesday, the 41st annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show will light up the night sky at approximately 9:25pm for about 25 to 30 minutes with over 60,000 pyrotechnics blasting off from five barges anchored on the East River spread between 24th and 41st streets. You can count on the usual soundtrack of patriotic standards featuring the West Point Band and the Glee Club vocals synchronized to the firecrackers and sparklers; and likely to complement your ‘oohs and aahs’ as well. New to the skies this year are never-before-featured shells like color-changing chrysanthemums, purple crackling ghost peonies, orange bees, and awe-inspiring happy faces in an eye-popping array of 23 colors including aqua, fuchsia, and lemon.
From Manhattan to Brooklyn, we’ve got you covered on where to catch the most spectacular views, unless, of course, you opt for the best seat in the comfort of your own home in front of the TV screen- NBC will air a live two-hour broadcast of the show.
Noting that the barges that shoot off the fireworks are along the East River, the FDR Drive’s curve will offer as an ideal view of the spectacle. Entry points are at Houston St. and (the pedestrian ramps at) 23rd, 34th, and 42nd streets; access to the highway will open at approximately 7pm.
Insider tip: If you head out early, try to secure a spot on the elevated portion of 34th and the FDR. It will be worth it, you can trust us.
South Street Seaport will be hosting its third annual Independence Day festival with bands performing on both Monday and Tuesday. Bands taking the stage include Wild Nothing, Porches, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Phony PPL, and more. The official viewing spot for the firework show is located near Peck Slip street.
Grand Ferry park, with its Williamsburg location, may be far from the action, but it offers the clearest views (however, be sure to check the forecast regarding cloudy grey skies).
For an all-American big-city-meets-country feel, check out the Brooklyn Grange rooftop located at the Brooklyn Navy yard. There, not only will you find an A1 view to watch as the fireworks take to the sky, you will also be entering a smokin’ BBQ with some ‘alternative eats’ that is, cuisines from various cultures worldwide reminding us that, what ‘Makes America Great’, and a motto that we standby here at Novo, is creating the feeling of acceptance and belonging despite wherever you may come from. The cookout is followed by a dance party allowing you to burn off the calories as you hit the floor with explosive moves to match the sounds and crackles of the rockets overhead. And if you show up solo, have no fear because, like Katy Perry once sang, “you gotta ignite the light/ and let it shine/ just own the night/ like the fourth of July”.
Another option for a view outside of Manhattan is Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Barge’s 10,000-square-foot setting. Feel like feasting on lobster boil while watching the fireworks from a waterfront? This spot will be offering a true patriotic party with a three-hour premium open bar and snack bites. If you prefer to throw back a few beers while taking in the Macy’s firework display, you have the option to pay $50 for entry into the standing room- the price comes with two free drink tickets!
No matter where you cheers to America and celebrate all that lady liberty stands for (because she can’t sit), be sure to stay safe and above all, have fun!