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Force of July

This Independence Day, expect bright lights in the big city-and a whole lot more.

By Dan Avery
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Fraunces Tavern Museum Centennial Celebration

City Hall Park, Broadway at Park Pl (212-425-1778). Subway: A, C to Chambers St; E to World Trade Center; 2, 3 to Park Pl. Tour 2–6am, $25.

A former hangout for the Sons of Liberty and the site of General Washington’s farewell address to his troops, Fraunces Tavern celebrates its 100th anniversary as a museum with a graveyard-shift tour of Revolutionary War–era Manhattan. Stops include the Nathan Hale memorial, Thomas Paine’s house and the grave of General Richard Montgomery, who led America’s ill-advised invasion of Canada in 1775. Not a night owl? Stop by the tavern (54 Pearl St) between noon and 5pm and enjoy free admission to the historic galleries and exhibits.

RECOMMENDED: All 4th of July events

July 4th at Solar One

Solar One, Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd St at the East River (rooftopfilms.com). Subway: 6 to 23rd St. 5–11pm (audience members must arrive by 6pm), $30.

Sun-powered arts center Solar One teams with Rooftop Films to produce this evening of fireworks-viewing, raucous music from Vic Thrill and the Saturn Missile, and quirky short films with an antiestablishment bent. After all, what’s more American than sticking it to the Man on July 4th?

Nathan’s Famous International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest

FREE Nathan’s Famous, corner of Stillwell and Surf Aves, Coney Island, Brooklyn (nathansfamous.com). Subway: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island–Stillwell Ave. Noon.

For the first time in years, Coney Island’s celebrated weinerfest is not a shoo-in: At a qualifying event earlier this month, upstart eater Joey Chestnut toppled six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi’s 53 ¾-frank record by scarfing down 59 ½ hot dogs. We don’t really have the stomach for this competition, which has been going strong since 1916, but people seem to eat it up.

New York Waterways Fireworks Cruise

Departing from various locations in Manhattan and New Jersey (nywaterway.com). 7pm; $69, seniors $64, children $59.

Bypass all those pesky landlubbers by watching the fireworks from aboard one of NY Waterways’ fleet of tour boats. All vessels broadcast the accompanying score, and several sport a full bar. Try to get on one of those—trust us, they’re a lot more fun.

31st Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

FREE Various locations (212-494-4495). 9pm.

It’s pretty hard not to spot this massive pyrotechnic panoply, especially when it’s going off simultaneously in three separate locations—midtown along the East River, down by South Street Seaport and above Lady Liberty in the New York Harbor. For a good view, get thee to a rooftop or head to FDR Drive between 14th and 42nd Sts (it’ll be closed to traffic 7–10pm). You can see the seaport display from almost any unobstructed viewpoint south
of the Brooklyn Bridge, save for Battery Park.

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