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A view of the New York skyline from Hunter’s Point South in Long Island City, New York



Hunter’s Point South to host Macy’s July 4th Fireworks

Posted on 7/4/2015 by Big Apple Writer  

This 4th of July, all eyes are going to be on Hunter’s Point South as the neighborhood’s newly built and priced city park will be the official staging area of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. After years of negotiations to get the festive display back to the East River and losing the prime viewing spot to more southerly borrows last year, Long Island City today will take the lead in the showcasing of the annual fireworks extravaganza, both in offering unobstructed views of the show as well as being the staging area and “command center” for the official Macy’s event and its national broadcast.

The park and its surrounding areas have been buzzing with activity in preparation of the big showcase and there is a palpable sense in the neighborhood that this national display of its pristine beauty will be Hunter’s Point South Park’s coming out party.

The 39th annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks will take place on Saturday, July 4, at roughly 9:20 PM. According to a press release, they will be set off from barges at 5 spots along the East River: one south of the Brooklyn Bridge and then four between 23rd and 37th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, directly in front of Hunter’s Point South Park and will light up the skies of this part of Long Island City. This year’s big display will have 50,000 pyrotechnic shells in 22 colors (including new ones like “neon highlighter yellow, green and pink”). The 5-acre park will be closed to visitors all day on July 4 as the Macy’s team oversees the execution of the Independence Day display, but adjacent Gantry Plaza State Park and areas east and north of Hunters point will be open for viewing. Despite discontent of many in the neighborhood about the closure of HPS, there is great excitement among the community about its taking the lead in hosting the fireworks. Steady rain is said to diminish in time for the fireworks and between 80,000 to 100,000 people are expected to flood the area to catch the display.


Map and Macy’s flyer with barge locations



For those living in LIC or visiting the area and unsure of what to do on the big day, our colleagues at DNAInfo have gathered some useful tips and event information to guide you:


► Take Public Transit

Huge crowds are expected to descend on Hunters Point for the fireworks, and for safety reasons the NYPD will be closing off streets to parking from Vernon Boulevard to the East River between 44th Drive and 54th Avenue for 24 hours on July 4th. The same streets will be closed to car traffic starting at 1 p.m., so your best bet will be to take the 7 train or another public transit option. Check the MTA website for service updates.

Meanwhile, Hunters Point South Park will also be closed to the public for the day as Macy’s is using the space as its headquarters for the event.

► Paddle Your Way Around The East River

The Long Island City Community Boathouse will be offering free kayaking at Anable Basin, at 5th Street and North Basin Road, from 12 to 7 p.m. Sign a waiver and head onto the water for up to 20 minutes — even dogs are welcomed in the boats. Participants must be able to swim and kids under 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

► Shop LIC Flea’s ‘Night Market’ And Drink a Queens-Brewed Beer

LIC Flea and Food will be staying open late for the holiday, with its vendors selling food and goods until 10:30 p.m. Grab a beer in the market’s Queens-only beer garden, featuring brews from local beermakers like SingleCut Beersmiths and Big Alice Brewing — all while taking in the fireworks show.

► Eat and Drink the Night Away

Several local eateries will be running specials for the holiday. BLVD Wine Bar, at 4720 Center Blvd., is offering an open bar deal for its house wines on tap, paired with unlimited cheese and flatbreads from 3 to 11 p.m. for $75 in advance or $100 at the door. You can make reservations by calling the restaurant at (718) 440-8520. Meanwhile, waterfront bar and grill Anable Basin Sailing Bar will be hosting DJs and live music for July 4th. Tickets are $40 and are limited, and must be purchased in advance. Call the bar at (646) 207-1333 for more information.

► Take in the View From Above

Catch a view of the fireworks show from on-high by heading to the The Z Hotel, which is running a Fourth of July special at its 5,000-square-foot rooftop lounge. For $175 a person you can indulge in a picnic-themed menu of hot dogs, burgers, chicken and sides like potato salad, baked beans, grilled corn and ice cream. Price includes two free drinks for those 21 and up. Email events@zhotelny.com for reservations.

► Get Your Groove On

Want to avoid the fireworks crowds on the waterfront? Catch a different crowd at MoMA PS1, which will be hosting its weekly concert in its outdoor courtyard as part of its “Warm Up” summer performances. This Saturday’s line-up includes DJs Nicky Siano and Bobbito Garcia, house music from Virgo Four and more. Tickets are $18 in advance or $20 the same day, and Long Island City residents get in for free with proof of residency.

 Bear in mind that all access blocks surrounding Hunter’s Point South Park and the area will close as viewing areas fill up and spectators will be re-directed to open access blocks as appropriate. All access points are subject to change up until the day of the event by NYPD.

According to Macy’s official press release, this years display will be particularly breathtaking and these are some of the spectacular fireworks designs that spectators can look forward to seeing in the show: 

Blue Burst Fanfare / Original

The opening celebrations feature barrages of silver peonies, complete with a silver tail, bursting to fill the sky with platinum vibrancy. The bright silver sky will next be filled with strobing golden cascades enhanced with crackling palm trees in gold and silver.As the fanfare ends, Japanese-style silver diadem chrysanthemums with red and blue small bouquets will scatter in the sky a bright and sparkling introduction to the show.

National Anthem

As the national anthem begins, glittering amber and gold spindles with tips of red and blue slowly spread across the sky while red-tipped gold glitter comets emerge from below. Barrages of red thundering reports meet at the anthem’s climax with red peonies and blue and red titanium report flowers. As the music builds, golden waves of red and blue chrysanthemums fill the sky from a thousand feet high down to the water’s edge. To conclude the number, columns of red pearls climb to the mid-sky level, while gold strobing diadems with red strobing pistils and red strobing nishiki kamuro’s slowly and majestically cascade from above.

Liberty Bell March / John Phillip Sousa

Silver fishes and white fireflies dance to the peppy, patriotic beat of the music, filling the lower sky. Followed by silver strobe willows with red sparkling centers. Up next are rumbling report shells crackling popcorn bursting high above. Silver, red and blue peonies with red and blue hearts create an exciting end to the song.

My Country ‘tis of Thee / Cece Winans

Opening the number, clusters of purple, green, yellow and red falling leaves drop from high above the New York City skyline, while mixed-color falling leaves spring from lower levels. The soul-stirring rendition continues with strobing mines and multi-colored pastel dahlias, while multi-color strobe shells burst and sparkle delicately across the sky.

George M. Cohan Medley

“Yankee-Doodle” is a peppy patriotic number enhanced with patriotic-colored fireworks with added whistles, screeching cicadas, jetting bees, silver tourbillions and reports, turbulence reports and whistles, revolving whistle dragons and flying dragons. In part two of the medley, “Grand Old Flag,” fireworks become more structured with white spangled spider shaped shells with red tips. A fireworks-inspired flag is created using red and white rising tail comets to red and white strobing palm tree bursts, completed by red, white and blue stars bursting above. To end the medley, white dahlias cap over red and blue stained glass in a kaleidoscope pattern and a white and blue layered finale fills the sky from every barge.

Armed Forces Medley 

In honor of the brave men and women who proudly serve in the United States Armed Forces, a patriotic military salute is presented during this segment of the show. All five branches of the United States military are highlighted with their own fireworks scene.

Army:  Orange and green shells create a fast paced X-shaped bombette barrage to excite the audience at the song’s introduction. Rings of reports in orange and green with serpents slither below as splitting crossette comets burst above.

Marines: Red and green crossettes scatter across the lower sky, dynamically filling the sky from side-to-side in a barrage of bursts. Rolling circles with reports and sparkling centers join red peonies with green hearts and rosy grass colored bouquets.

Navy: Gold and blue hues are presented with crackling golden willow shells, crackling tail palm trees and blue peony bursts with palm tree strobing centers.

Coast Guard: Red and blue crackling ghost shells will transform from one color to the other then return with crackling popcorn bursts. Intermittently, red octopus with a rising tail and red and blue sparkling crossettes dance across the sky.

Air Force: Blue flying stars scatter in the lower sky, while blue rings with twinkling pistils and blue jellyfish with crackling tentacles burst above. At the song’s conclusion, a vast barrage of glittering silver and blue chrysanthemums fill the sky while blue-tipped silver palms leap from the river.

America the Beautiful / Rodney Atkins

Tri-flares of glittering silver Spanish candles book-end the barges while layers of red and blue falling leaves fill in the scene. High above, red falling leaves joined with silver waterfalls cascade slowly towards the water. As the song builds, the fireworks become bolder, yet remain gentle with nishiki-style kamuros in silver and gold enhanced with light blue flower bursts. The conclusion will be a silver mile, with silver kamuro shells shimmering slowly from the sky to the water’s edge.

In the Mood / Glenn Miller

This song is filled with action, includes swirling butterflies, bees, tourbillions and revolving dragons in a multi-colored and energetic display. Crescent-shaped moon bursts with beating heart shaped pattern shells are used here, followed by the ever-popular happy faces smiling with blinking eyes.

America / Gloria Estefan with The United States Air Force Band and VH1 Save The Music’s Park Place Community Middle School

As the original piece begins, pink pixie dust-laced gold comets rise from the river while kamuro rays of gold with pink, fuchsia and chartreuse sparkles burst in the sky. Gold with fuchsia and green columns are created in a lattice pattern, while margarita shells burst above in a brilliant lime green with magenta and gold glittering centers. This song concludes with Macy’s famed Golden Mile, cascading golden embers with tips of titanium Niagara Falls shells sparkling to the water’s edge and covering a mile across the river.

God Bless America

The finale of the show features Macy’s classic rumble to remember as thousands of shells cover the sky. The patriotic classic features a white spangled arrangement of bursts, followed by thousands of bursts of color, thundering noise, strobing stars, all covered with layers of golden cascades from above.

Whether you will be joining us here in LIC to witness the July 4th fireworks or viewing the display live from your TV stations at home nationwide, you can look forward to experiencing the magnificent beauty of Hunter’s Point South as it elevates itself into one of the most widely known crown jewels of NYC’s parks and open green spaces.



HuntersPointSouth.com is a free resource designed to provide visitors with information about the new and exciting Hunter’s Point neighborhood in Long Island City New York, including the Hunter’s Point South Development, Hunter’s Point Parks, including both Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Waterfront Park, the surrounding areas, events, and the incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. The website serves as a complete guide to the Hunter’s Point community for New Yorkers and tourists alike.

Please note that HuntersPointSouth.com is not officially linked to the City of New York Parks and Recreation.