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Mayor de Blasio: East River to Regain Custody of July 4th Fireworks Show This Year

Since 2009, when the annual Fourth of July fireworks show was moved to the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey, residents of Queens and Brooklyn have been out of luck (and sight lines) when it comes to viewing the official patriotic pyrotechnics show. But that’s about to change. In a press conference today on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Mayor de Blasio announced that the show will be in the East River this year. The location of subsequent fireworks will be up to Macy’s, but the current plan is to alternate between the Hudson and East Rivers.


East River fireworks

Fireworks explode along the East River on July 4, 2005 (Photo: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

The location of the fireworks has been a point of contention for the past five years, with many people in Brooklyn and Queens upset that New Jersey residents were given prime views of the show while the outer boroughs had to trek to Manhattan (or befriend a Manhattanite with a rooftop) to see the display. While serving as public advocate (and living in Brooklyn), de Blasio not only protested the move but also launched an online petition to get the fireworks back to the East River.

Now, as mayor, he’s managed to convince Macy’s — the sponsor of the annual show — to make the alternate-year shift (which will please outer borough folks but likely disappoint Jerseyites). In 2014, more than 40,000 pyrotechnics will be set of from barges in the river and from atop the Brooklyn Bridge, making the newly designed Brooklyn Bridge Park a prime viewing spot (along with DUMBO and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade).

During his statement today, de Blasio emphasized the importance of the show’s return to the East River. “We’re grateful to Macy’s for lighting our skyline every 4th of July –and I’m thrilled that, after years of working with Macy’s and my colleagues to make this a reality, the fireworks will return to the East River this year!” he said. “Now even more New Yorkers will get to take part in this extraordinary celebration, against the backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge, the harbor, and our skyline.”

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