Nation's largest 4th of July fireworks light up sky over East River

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Lucy Yang has a view of the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks from Long Island City. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Thousands upon thousands of fireworks turned the night sky over New York City into a festival of color during the annual Macy's fireworks show. Crowds lined up along the East River to watch.

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The 60,000 shells launched from five barges went off at an average of 2,400 shells per minute and exploded into happy faces and flowers in colors including purple, orange and yellow. The crowd cheered and applauded wildly, with lots of oohs and cries of "Look at that!"

Security to get into the area was tight. Police set up checkpoints to examine bags, and onlookers had to leave chairs and blankets behind in favor of standing. Some officers were heavily armed, with bulletproof vests and helmets.

Josh Einiger has more about security from along the East River:
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Josh Einiger has more on how the NYPD kept NYC safe during the fireworks on the East River.

Before the fireworks went off, artists including Jennifer Lopez, Sheryl Crow, and Brad Paisley performed.

Meanwhile, in Jersey City, the show must go on - and it did. The city fought to keep its Fourth of July traditions alive, despite the state's budget shutdown. The impasse forced the city to move its celebrations away from Liberty State Park.

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Jim Dolan has more from Jersey City, where the fireworks went on.

Related: How to keep your pets happy and safe this 4th of July
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