Get excited: The Fourth of July fireworks return to the East River

Thank Mayor DeBlasio for bringing back the fireworks to the boroughs (or mutter under your breath if you live in Jerz)

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Macy's 4th of July Fireworks 2011

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks 2011 Photograph: Jena Cumbo


After suffering five years of fireworkular deprivation (yes, that’s a scientific term), residents of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan’s east side will be able to enjoy their July 4th in show-stopping style once more, when Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks return to the East River.

Since 2009, when the annual display moved to the Hudson, there has been public outcry amongst New Yorkers for their return to the East River. Mayor DeBlasio stepped up and created up an online petition to advocate for the fireworks’ relocation.

“The outer-boroughs aren’t an afterthought,” said Blasio in a statement urging the move, “They should be the main event. We’re grateful to Macy’s for bringing the show to New York City every Fourth, but it’s time the City put the fireworks where the most New Yorkers can actually enjoy them. Let’s alternate between the Hudson and East Rivers, beginning with a return to the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront next year. As a Brooklynite, this is a tradition we want back on our doorstep!”

This year, fireworks barges will be set up south of the Manhattan Bridge. Show up early along the waterfront for prime viewing, as it’s been reported that fireworks will be set off from the top of Brooklyn Bridge—excitement!

Three million people are expected to turn out along the waterfront for this year’s display, which will feature over 40,000 pyrotechnics.

Where to watch the fireworks

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park Photograph: Julienne Schaer

Brooklyn Bridge Park

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  • Free

Dumbo's gorgeous 85-acre urban playground features such unique attractions as Jane’s Carousel and riverside esplanades with gorgeous Manhattan views. In a nutshell: This is basically your golden spot for the fireworks.

  1. Main St, (at Fulton Ferry Landing), 11201
More info
Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Brooklyn Heights Promenade Photograph: Michael Kirby

Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Promenade

  • Free

New Yorkers love to stroll, run or make out along this esplanade's ⅓-mile length, and its postcard-ready views of lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty make it a perfect spot for your July 4th firework viewing.

  1. Columbia Heights, (between Middagh and Montague Sts)
More info
South Street Seaport Museum

South Street Seaport Museum Photograph: Andrew Hinderaker

South Street Seaport

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

We love historic harbor South Street Seaport the most for its excellent outdoor concerts series in the summer, and it's also home to the Seaport Museum, the country's largest privately owned fleet of historic ships and a shopping mall. Oh, and did we mention the view of the fireworks?

  1. 19 Fulton St, (at Front St)
More info
Berry Park

Berry Park Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

Berry Park

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This bi-level behemoth beer hall has a 3,500-square-foot ground floor and a roof deck almost as large. You may have to crane your neck a tad to see the fireworks, but other amenities that might make up for it: a 13-foot-wide screen dedicated to soccer and a beer-friendly food menu.

  1. 4 Berry St, (at North 14th St)
More info
Wythe Hotel

Wythe Hotel Photograph: Matthew Williams

Wythe Hotel

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

One for true Brooklyn ballers: Book a room at Williamsburg boutique hotel the Wythe where many rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering a panorama of the Manhattan skyline. We suspect you'll also enjoy the reclaimed-timber beds and plugged-in technology (a cable by the bed turns your iPhone into a surround-sound music system). Alternatively, head up to the sixth-floor bar and drink in the view from there.

  1. 80 Wythe Ave, (at North 11th St), 11249
Book online


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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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