Macy's Show Is Again on the East River

SOLD OUT: Macy's Fireworks on Roosevelt Island 2017

Updated 3 years ago David Stone
Photo Courtesy of Thomas Hawk on Flickr

There's no better place to enjoy Macy's 41st year of treating New Yorkers to 4th of July Fireworks spectaculars than in scenic, historic FDR Four Freedoms Park. Attendance will be limited to 2,500 visitors. Registration (online only) begins at 1:00 p.m. on June 28th. ALREADY SOLD OUT.

We will update with the link when it becomes available.

Roosevelt Islanders must act fast, once registration opens, to claim tickets  to watch 4th of July fireworks launched from barges Macy's parks in the East River just south of Roosevelt Island.

Admission is limited to 2,500, and you can get more information about additional restrictions and guidance from FDR Four Freedoms here.

4th of July Fireworks

Now for the fun.

Beginning at approximately 9:25, from two barges in the East River, Macy's will thrill you with fireworks that "...feature more than 52,000 shells and effects during a 25-minute tightly choreographed spectacle." 

From viewpoints in FDR Four Freedoms and Southpoint, you will see displays hurled skyward from four barges parked in the river between 23rd and 37th Streets. (Another double barge will be set below the Brooklyn Bridge near the Seaport.)

If you haven't enjoyed the fireworks from Roosevelt Island before, we recommend scoring tickets for an event that will exceed your expectations. 

As a pattern of lights decorates the sky overhead, glass towers in Manhattan and in Long Island City repeat the choreography from horizon to horizon. Nowhere else in America can you find anything like it. As part of an utterly unique community in a city like no other, you will be thrilled and, then, disappointed when it ends, all too soon. 

Caution: you may be so stimulated you can't stop yourself from counting down to July 4, 2018.

Thank RIOC, FDR Four Freedoms and Bill de Blasio

"There is nothing more beautiful than 4th of July fireworks over the East River where the display can be seen by New Yorkers in three boroughs. I am delighted that the de Blasio administration is once again bringing fireworks to viewers along the East River," according to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, last year, and quoted in The Gothamist.

For this event in a challenging year for Americans, we need to pause long enough to be grateful that both RIOC and Four Freedoms are devoting resources cooperatively to bring us the most exciting patriotic celebration in the world in the closest thing most of us have to a backyard.

A great deal of planning and execution goes into making such events run smoothly. For both institutions, doing it for free seems a labor of love.

As for our Mayor, his involvement, starting in 2014, reversed a peculiar decision, made while his predecessor Michael Bloomberg occupied the office, to shift the Macy's spectacle to the Hudson River. Originally moved to celebrate an historic event for the river, the celebration stayed in a location impossible to appreciate for most New Yorkers until de Blasio rescued it.

What To Expect

Security for the event will be tight, which we all should appreciate. No smoking or alcohol consumption. Otherwise, assume that you won't be allowed to carry anything into the parks you wouldn't be allowed to haul into Yankee Stadium.

Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with a strict limit of 2,500 visitors.

Given the memorial nature of Four Freedoms, restrictions will be firm. No liquids besides water can be carried in, and none will be on sale inside. You'll be expected to respect the vulnerable landscaping and shoreline. Translation: don't climb the trees, ride a skateboard or climb over the banks for a closer look at the river.

Observing the expected rules that make it safe and enjoyable for everyone means making the Macy's Fireworks the main event and celebrating a national holiday as a community.

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