Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Wiki
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Wiki

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 2021, it is the nation's largest Independence Day pyrotechnics presentation.


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.

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.

The pyrotechnic spectacular was not a televised event until 1991, when WPIX aired the 30-minute Independence Day celebration. Broadcasting of the event was later handed over to NBC in the year 2000, the same network responsible for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade telecast.

Beginning in the 1990's, several Parade elements made an appearance at the Independence Day celebration, including the Jolly Polly Pirate Ship float, the Statue of Liberty float and several smaller novelty balloons, such as the White Macy's Stars and the American Star Ornaments.

Shortly after the broadcast rights were handed over to NBC, celebrity appearances and live performances preceded the fireworks and featured some of the biggest names in music. Notable celebrities that have performed over the years include Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and Ariana Grande.

Several smaller Parade elements continued to be used throughout the 2010s, serving as photo-ops for spectators of the fireworks. Elements that have made an appearance in recent years include The Founding Fathers Balloonheads, the Gift of Freedom float and the Patriotic Top Hat float.

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 other secretive locations.

Bill de Blasio made an announcement on June 1st, 2021 that the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks would be "close to normal", adding "Obviously, things are moving in the right direction to be able to have something much more like we’ve had historically, but we still have to be smart about it, and we have to structure it for this kind of transitional moment we’re in". [2]

The Firework's official website was later updated, revealing the theme as "United We Celebrate", which "honors America's everyday heroes from communities across the country and the resilient spirit within all of us".

To honor Team USA as they prepare to depart for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, a spectacular drone light show was featured before the 2021 Fireworks. Over 350 drones were included to collectively symbolize the unity and strength of Team USA - meeting together for the first time in the sky before Team USA gathers on the ground in Tokyo.

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
2010 Justin Bieber, Enrique Iglesias and LeAnn Rimes
2011 Beyoncé, Taio Cruz, Jennifer Hudson and Karen Olivo
2012 Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney
2013 Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw, Cher, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Pitbull
2014 Ariana Grande, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert and Lionel Richie
2015 Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, Meghan Trainor, Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley
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
2021 Black Pumas, Coldplay, OneRepublic, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and The Jonas Brothers with Marshmello