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Macy's 4th of July Fireworks: Start time, official viewing spots

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Everything you need to know about Macy's amazing light show.


By Lenyon Whitaker, Metro

The Fourth of July — also known as Independence Day — is quickly approaching and that means New Yorkers are getting ready to be amazed by the wonderful display of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks extravaganza. In fact, New York City has been ranked the best place to celebrate 4th of July according to a WalletHub study and the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show makes it that much better.

According to Macy’s the first Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display took place in 1958, making this year the show’s 42nd anniversary.

To make sure you’re prepared, we’ve provided you with helpful information to make sure you don’t miss the show.

What time does the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show?

The two-hour program begins at 8 p.m. and will start with performances leading up to the main event, the fireworks display.

Expect to see the light show begin around 9:25 p.m. EST. The show lasts 25 minutes and will end around 10 p.m. EST.

The show will take place along the East River between East 23rd and East 40th Street. The fireworks are launched from seven barges in the river.

MAP: Where to watch the show

The barges will be set in the east river from East 23rd to East 40th streets According to Macy’s the official viewing points are:
34th Street & FDR Drive
23rd Street & FDR Drive
18th Street & Avenue C
Houston Street & FDR Drive



An interactive map showing the viewing points including neighborhood guides can be found on the official website. 

In addition to the official viewing locations, the best place to see the fireworks are along elevated sections of the FDR Drive. You can also see the fireworks in Brooklyn near the East River. If you live in Greenpoint, Williamsburg or Long Island City, you’ll be able to get a great view of the show.

Check with Metro for a list of rooftop bars and other locations to enjoy the light show and celebrate the Fourth of July.

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, TV time, live stream

If you’re not going to be at the show to see it live, the show will broadcast live on NBC beginning at 8 p.m. A live stream of the program will be on the NBC 4 website.

Who’s performing this year?

Akbar Gbajabiamila and Matt Iseman will host the show this year. Musical guests will include Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and more. Check back on the Macy’s website for updates.


Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks by the numbers

In case you’re wondering how many fireworks are used during the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show and other cool details, we’re here to help.

There are 3,000 shells and effects used during the 25-minute Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display.


According to Macy’s, there will be 20 new shells and special effects this year including a neon-colored pinwheel and pulsing hearts, swirling water fountains and others that will dazzle viewers.

It takes more than 8,000 hours to plan, load and execute the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show, according to the retailer. That’s almost a year’s worth of time dedicated to making sure the show goes as planned. During the show,  Macy’s says there are 50 pyrotechnicians on hand to make sure everything runs smooth.

How high do Macy's fireworks go?

According to the company, the light from the fireworks show at the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show can reach a peak height of about 1,000 feet in the sky, which is approximately three times higher than The Statue of Liberty.

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