The promotional poster used for the yearly Macy's 4th of July Fireworks.

The Macy's 4th of July Fireworks is an annual fireworks spectacular that is presented by the American department store chain, Macy's. Held on Independence Day on the Hudson River's Brooklyn Bridge, the show features an array of pyrotechnics choreographed to a musical soundtrack. In recent years, the fireworks were preceded by live entertainment. As of 2020, it is the nation's largest pyrotechnics presentation.

History

The first-ever Macy’s fireworks show lit up New York skies in 1958, but not on July Fourth. The “pyrotechnic extravaganza” took place over the Hudson River on July 1 as a celebration of the department store’s 100th anniversary. Approximately a million people showed up to watch.

The aforementioned antecedent was replaced by the show we know today in 1976. Macy’s partnered with the Walt Disney Company to celebrate the nation’s Bicentennial with a fireworks display that became an annual tradition. 

Since 1977, the Macy’s Department Store, whose home base and main store are based in Manhattan has independently hosted the annual pyrotechnic celebration of America’s birthday with a half-hour show from barges on either the East River or the Hudson River. The event is broadcast annually on NBC, where the presentation is featured alongside celebrity performances.

In 1986, the pyrotechnics were held as part of a weekend-long re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty. That same year, the fireworks were aired on ABC as part of the event's coverage.

In response to the ongoing 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press conference on April 22nd that the annual fireworks spectacular would go on "one way or the other"[1]. It was later announced that the fireworks would be held over six nights, starting on June 29th, throughout many boroughs in New York City, with each show lasting approximately five minutes each. The locations where the fireworks were displayed included Cooney Island, the Hudson River, One Times Square and the Empire State Building among others.

Performers and acts

In addition to the display of fireworks, the NBC coverage of the event also features live music and other performances. The television broadcasts feature performances by established and up-and-coming singers and bands.

Year Performers
2016 5 Seconds of Summer, Sara Bareilles, Kenny Chesney, DNCE, Pitbull and Meghan Trainor
2017 Jennifer Lopez, Lady A, Brad Paisley, Hailee Steinfeld, Sheryl Crow and Charlie Puth
2018 Kelly Clarkson, American Authors, Ricky Martin, Brandon Victor Dixon, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban
2019 Maren Morris, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Khalid, Ciara and Derek Hough
2020 Brad Paisley, John Legend, Lady A, The Black Eyed Peas, The Killers, Maluma and Tim McGraw

References

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