Mayor de Blasio announced Monday that the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks display will return to the East River this year, a change he pushed for as public advocate, after several years in the Hudson.
The pyrotechnics will not be fired off near the Queens shore, however. The show will instead be centered in the lower part of the river around the Brooklyn Bridge, but will be viewable from much of the borough. Macy’s said the fireworks will be launched directly from the 131-year-old Brooklyn Bridge.
“Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are a one-of-a-kind spectacle that will once again inspire audiences nationwide as we illuminate the shores of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn with stunning effects, color and sound,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of the show. “We are thrilled to be working with our partners in the City of New York to have the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge as our canvas and stunning backdrop for this year’s bigger-than-life display.”
In a statement, de Blasio thanked Macy’s for their decision to relocate the show, which has been conducted in the Hudson River since 2009.
“We’re grateful to Macy’s for lighting our skyline every 4th of July and I’m thrilled that, after years of working with Macy’s and my colleagues to make this a reality, the fireworks will return to the East River this year,” the mayor said. “Now even more New Yorkers will get to take part in this extraordinary celebration, against the backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge, the harbor, and our skyline.”
As public advocate, de Blasio asked Macy’s to bring the fireworks display back to the East River so it would be more centrally located and viewable from all five boroughs. Manhattan’s skyline blocked the view of the show from parts of Queens when it was in the Hudson River. More than 1,000 petitioners signed a petition he sponsored in July 2012 calling for the fireworks to move back to the East River.
When the fireworks were held on the East River, Queens residents would gather at locations with a good view of the shoreline, such as Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Maspeth’s Memorial Plaza, MacNeil Park in College Point and the Joseph Addabbo Bridge in Howard Beach.
Macy’s moved the show in part because the Hudson River is wider than the East River and clear of any bridges south of the George Washington.
Using the Brooklyn Bridge as a launching location for the fireworks helps solve the problem of obstructions that made Macy’s leery of moving the show back east.
The decision was met with praise from Queens officials.
“After years of advocating to bring the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks back to the East River, I am delighted to hear they will make their return this summer,” City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said in a statement.
Van Bramer, who represents much of Queens’ East River shorefront, joined de Blasio in calling for the fireworks to be moved back in 2012.
Borough President Melinda Katz called the show “an integral part of the New York City fabric” and welcomed them back to their former location.
“On behalf of the 2.3 million people who reside in Queens we welcome this announcement by our mayor and look forward to the return of this great event to the East River,” she said.