Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show in NYC returns in full force with its largest event yet

Jun 11, 2021

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As vaccination rates continue to rise in the U.S., more summer events are being added to our calendars — including the largest firework show in the country. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press conference on June 10 the return of one of the city’s most popular annual events: Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks spectacular.


The 45th annual event will kick off Sunday, July 4, 2021, at approximately 9:45 p.m. with more than 65,000 shells and an array of special effects planned throughout the 25-minute showcase — the biggest show Macy’s has ever put on for the event.

In 2020, Macy’s had to adjust how the show was presented due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while COVID-19 concerns still linger, vaccination rates and updated CDC guidelines are making it possible for the show to return in its full star-spangled glory for 2021. Mayor de Blasio is calling it a “symbol of our rebirth,” a part of a full slate of events coming to the city this summer.

Related: Everything you need to know about visiting New York City this summer

New Yorkers will be able to watch the show — which has a “Salute the Hero Within” theme highlighting American bravery and optimism — along the riverfront as the display launches from five barges lining the East River.

Mayor de Blasio says there will be different sections for vaccinated and unvaccinated attendees, enforced by the NYPD. Those who are fully vaccinated will have a dedicated section, and those who are either unvaccinated or want to sit with family and friends who are unvaccinated will have a separate area to watch the fireworks.

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks display over the NYC skyline in 2020
Macy’s had to downsize the 2020 fireworks display due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the full-scale event will return this year. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)

But the festivities aren’t only available to New York residents and visitors. A two-hour special will air on NBC starting at 8 p.m. with special performances by the Black Pumas, One Republic, Coldplay, Reba McEntire and more. The live event will culminate in the fireworks spectacular,

“For more than four decades, Macy’s fireworks have brought joy and celebration to New York City,” Will Coss, executive producer of the fireworks show for Macy’s, said during the press conference. “We’re truly humbled to have the opportunity to continue this cherished tradition returning to a large-scale live audience this year helping to reinvigorate our city and our nation.”

Related: New York City will ‘fully reopen’ in July, mayor says

Once the Macy’s fireworks show ends, a second show will begin over on Coney Island (sometime between 10 and 10:15 p.m.). The Coney Island beach will be open throughout the day (until dusk), and hopeful firework viewers will be able to watch from the boardwalk.

Mayer de Blasio credited the return of both of these fireworks shows — along with the other events slated to return this summer to NYC — to people’s willingness to get vaccinated. More than 8.6 million doses had been administered at the time of the press conference.

Whether you’re a New York City resident or not, the return of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in its full glory is a promising step toward the return to normalcy in the U.S. As more people continue to get vaccinated and COVID-19 infection rates hopefully continue to fall.

Says Coss: “All of us at Macy’s are excited to get the celebration going on Independence Day with our fellow New Yorkers and the nation. It’s a privilege to give back to the city that we all call home.”

Featured image by Young Yun/Getty Images

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