What to know about Macy's Fourth of July fireworks in New York City

The Macy's Fourth of July fireworks in NYC will feature new effects and thousands of shells

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Friday, July 7, 2023
Exclusive: Josh Einiger talks with NYPD's new interim commissioner during chopper ride
"Public safety is a shared responsibility," said interim NYPD Police Commissioner Edward Caban to Eyewitness News Reporter Josh Einiger ahead of the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks show. The two chatted one-on-one both on the ground and in the skies.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The biggest Independence Day celebration in New York City is the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks.

More than 60,000 shells will explode in a dazzling display over the East River for this year's "pyrotechnic salute to America" on Tuesday night.

RELATED: More fireworks celebrations happening in New York City and the Tri-State area

The festivities begin at 8:00 p.m. with live music followed by the 25-minute fireworks show at 9:25 p.m.

The biggest Independence Day celebration in New York City is the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks. Here's when, where to watch along the East River.

The 25-minute extravaganza is synchronized to a spectacular score.

"This year's Macy's Fireworks celebration will be nothing short of showstopping," said Will Coss, executive producer of Macy's 4th of July Fireworks. "Millions of spectators come together every year to witness the spectacular performance along the East River and we are ready to deliver a high-flying, jaw-dropping fireworks display that will fill the night sky with color, light, shapes, and thunderous sound. Paired with a score featuring American classics, this year's celebration will honor trailblazers that have forged our past, present, and future."

This year, look for a signature moment featuring "The Best" by Tina Turner as thousands of golden-hued shells will create a dramatic cascade effect stretching for more than a mile across the East River.

There are 7 official viewing locations along the East River in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. The NYPD oversees these locations and as they become full, they will be closed.


1st Avenue and East 42nd Street

1st Avenue and East 34th Street (A.D.A. accessible)

1st Avenue and East 20th Street


Gantry Plaza State Park


Newtown Barge Park

Transmitter Park

Marsha P. Johnson State Park

Not everywhere along the East River is good for viewing. Macy's recommends avoiding these areas: Bushwick Inlet Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Grand Ferry Park, Domino Park, Hunter's Point South Park, Roosevelt Island & the E 34th Street Ferry Landing.

The show will take place rain or shine.

NYPD Security

Independence Day celebrations, including the fireworks in New York City, are "attractive targets for attacks," but there is no known threat, according to an NYPD assessment obtained by ABC News.

"While the NYPD Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau is not aware of any reporting indicating a specific or credible threat to New York City or the 2023 Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks, the ICB assesses that iconic locations and high-profile, symbolic events - including Independence Day celebrations - remain attractive targets for opportunistic attacks by a variety of violent extremists and non-ideological malicious actors," the document said.

"Past attacks and plots against Fourth of July celebrations in the US by a variety of perpetrators demonstrate the ongoing, elevated threat environment for such events."

The assessment mentioned prior attacks, including the Highland Park, IL July 4 parade shooting, to show how lone actors could attack similar events, locations, and mass gatherings with easily obtainable weapons.

The document also cites the proliferation of online extremist content that could inspire such attacks, despite the absence of specific threats.

Eddie Caban invited Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger to join him for his first helicopter ride as the NYPD's new interim police commissioner to survey security ahead of the fireworks in the East River.

"It's amazing when you're up here," Caban said. "We're sitting here, get to see the greatest show on earth."

Keeping things safe Tuesday night is a massive undertaking, with everything from airborne radiation sensors to ground-based explosive detection, but Caban says the department hasn't taken it eye off the rest of the city, where gun crime is still a concern

On any given normal day, the NYPD has one helicopter in the sky circling the city ready to respond to anything that might happen. On Tuesday night, they'll have six, and they aren't just focusing on the East River. They will be fanned out over all five boroughs, ready to respond with an eye in the sky on anything that might happen.

"In my role as acting police commissioner, right now public safety is a shared responsibility," Caban said. "If you see something say something, if something doesn't look right tell a uniformed officer or call 911."

The NYPD reminds spectators that no large backpacks, large coolers, lawn chairs, lawn blankets, umbrellas or alcoholic beverages will be allowed in the viewing areas. All restricted items are subject to search and seizure.

Street Closures

Mass transit is highly recommended. Visit mta.info to plan your trip.

If driving, avoid the following locations between 2 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Manhattan Locations:

FDR Drive between Brooklyn Bridge and East 63rd Street

Avenue C between East 16th Street and East 20th Street

East 20th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C

East 23rd Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C

East 26th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 30th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

30th Street Entrance Ramps

East 33rd Street between 1st Avenue and 3rd Avenue

East 34th Street between 2nd Avenue and FDR Drive

34th Street Entrance Ramps

East 37th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 38th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 41st Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 42nd Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

42nd Street Entrance Ramps

East 48th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 49th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 53rd Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East River Bridges Advisory

Brooklyn Bridge - At approximately 7 pm., No pedestrian or bicycle traffic

Manhattan Bridge - At approximately 7 pm., No pedestrian or bicycle traffic

Williamsburg Bridge - At approximately 7 pm., No pedestrian or bicycle traffic

Edward I. Koch Bridge - At approximately 7 pm. No vehicle, pedestrian or bicycle traffic



The public viewing sections in Manhattan will be the elevated portions of the FDR drive with the following entry points:

Note: Access blocks will close as viewing areas fill up and spectators will be redirected to additional open access blocks as appropriate.


1st Ave. and 20th Street

1st Ave. and 34th Street (Designated ADA access at this location)

1st Ave. and 42nd Street


Transmitter Park - Access point on Greenpoint Avenue to Dead End

Newton Barge Playground - Access point at 3 Commercial Street

Marsha P. Johnson State Park (East River State Park) - Access point at Kent Avenue and North 11th Street

Note: This year due to barge placement Brooklyn Bridge Park is not a viewing point


Area bounded by 44th Drive on the North Borden Avenue on the South Vernon

Boulevard on the East; East River on the West (All Inclusive)

Center Boulevard between Borden Avenue and 54th Avenue

2nd Street between Borden Avenue and Newtown Creek /Dead End

Vernon Boulevard between 54th Avenue and Newtown Creek/Dead End

54th Avenue between Center Boulevard and Vernon Boulevard


In addition to the fireworks, at approximately 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday evening, NYPD Aviation Unit helicopters will fly over the East River between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Ed Koch Bridge.


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