New York City welcomes return of fireworks to the East River

new york city fireworks
Thousands of people watch the fireworks along the East River on July 4, 2005 in New York City.
Credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

New York City’s fireworks show isn’t just a West Side story this year.

For the first time since 2008, the nation’s largest Fourth of July fireworks show will return to the East River on Friday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, after urging Macy’s executives to move the annual pyrotechnic display, announced the change in April. Thousands more New Yorkers, he said, will have better access to the fireworks show on the East Side.

And despite their loss, many West Siders agreed.

“The city is being fair to both sides,” Upper West Side resident Peter Strobel, 58, said. “It doesn’t really matter though – the main thing is that it’s a great event for families.” 

The fireworks were moved to the Hudson River in 2009 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of explorer Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York. The river allowed for more barges and the display stayed there for an extra four years, to the benefit of New Jersey and Manhattan’s West Side.

Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal said her Upper West Side constituents might be bummed, though she still supports the decision to move them back to the East Side.

“It’s a loss for the Upper West Side but I think it’s a gain for more people in New York City,” she said.

Andrew Albert, executive director of the West Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, said West Side businesses did very well when the fireworks were on the Hudson. But that doesn’t mean the change is a bad thing for locals.

The return of Jersey City’s own display will partially fill the void left by the move. And if New Jersey and West Side residents want to see the Macy’s display, they can.

“It’s not like you can’t get everywhere on mass transit,” Albert said.

During the Macy’s show, more than 40,000 pyrotechnic shells and effects will fired from barges in the East River and, for the first time, the Brooklyn Bridge. The display will also sync with the “Star Spangled Banner” for the anthem’s 200th anniversary.

“It’s always something amazing to see,” said Albert, who lives on the Upper West Side, of the show. He added, with a laugh, “But it means a trip down there.”

Joseph Souza and Samar Khurshid contributed reporting. Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.