All Access to the Macy's Spectacular Was Free

RI Rumor Crusher: No, RIOC Did Not Sell Any Tickets to the Fireworks

Updated 11 weeks ago David Stone

Rumors: It's next to impossible to find out where they get started, and unless they get crushed - even sometimes when they do - they have an infinite shelf life. Let's try to get rid of the one about RIOC selling tickets for entry to Southpoint Park for the annual Macy's Fireworks Spectacular before it goes any further.

Roosevelt Islanders' frustration with not getting tickets to see the show up close for everyone is understandable. It's a fantastic event, right in our backyard.

Veterans recall old days when all we had to do was walk past the Smallpox Hospital and find a chair set out by RIOC in one of the many rows filling the field where FDR Four Freedoms Park now graces the Island's tip.

And RIOC did, in the years just before construction began on the park, sell tickets to get in.

But in recent years, that has never been the case.

The big change, recently, is that, because of safety and security concerns, both RIOC and Four Freedoms are required to set limits on how many people can enter either site. Tickets are distributed for no other reason than to control crowd size. 

If you can imagine the inherent risks in evacuating thousands of people - in the dark - in the event of an emergency, you'll get the idea why limits are a must. Threats of terrorism, especially on the most American of holidays, changes everything.

It's impressive, when you think about it. RIOC and FDR Four Freedoms foot the bill for extra security, transportation and operations personnel. Both do it for the community for free.

And as for those sales... I asked RIOC President and CEO Susan Rosenthal about rumors circulating that tickets were being sold, by RIOC, at $149 a clip.

"Ridiculous!" scoffed Rosenthal, interrupting her own holiday activities to respond. "No tickets were sold. All tickets were free."

Then, we wished each other and all our fellow Americans a happy Independence Day and went back to enjoying the celebrations.

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