After most Fourth of July festivities were canceled or scaled-down in 2020 because of the pandemic, New Yorkers are more than ready to celebrate this year. With Macy’s annual 4th of July Fireworks show taking over the East River and Jersey City’s massive display sparkling over the Hudson River, there are plenty of places to take in the magic of pyrotechnics across New York City and the Jersey waterfront. To ring in Independence Day, we’ve rounded up the best places hosting firework viewing parties, from the highest observation deck in the Western Hemisphere to a cruise ship sailing around the Hudson River. In addition to these ticketed events, there are also several free public viewing locations, including elevated portions of FDR Drive in Manhattan.
4th of July
Photo courtesy of CMA CGM Group
France is sending a mini version of the Statue of Liberty to the United States this month, 136 years after the iconic sculpture was unveiled on Liberty Island. The Embassy of France in the U.S., the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, and shipping company CMA CGM Group announced last week that a replica of Lady Liberty will set sail from Paris on a nine-day journey across the Atlantic, arriving in New York City in time for the Fourth of July.
After a downsized celebration last year because of the pandemic, the Macy’s annual 4th of July Fireworks show is “back and literally better than ever,” Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. As part of the biggest Independence Day celebration in the country, Macy’s will launch more than 65,000 shells and effects from five barges positioned on the East River in Midtown.
Photo from the 2019 fireworks display by Jennifer Brown/City of Jersey City
Viewable from the New York and New Jersey waterfronts, a July 4th fireworks display will return to the Hudson River this year. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop made the announcement that the Freedom and Fireworks event will take place after being canceled in 2020 due to Covid. “Since we revived Jersey City’s Fourth of July event in 2013, we’ve become a destination for the annual celebration, and I think it’s important to restore those traditions for residents and visitors to have something to look forward to,” said Mayor Fulop.
Image via Wiki Commons
For the first time in five years, Macy’s has moved its July 4th fireworks display to the Brooklyn Bridge, along with four barges that will launch pyrotechnics off the shore of the South Street Seaport’s Pier 17. The Pier, recently redeveloped by the Howard Hughes Corporation and designed by SHoP Architects, consists of food and drink options, retail, and a rooftop entertainment complex, all of which is supposed to be publicly accessible during operating hours according to a deal with the city. However, as Gothamist first reported, the only ways to check out the fireworks from Piers 16 and 17 are to drop $500 on a ticket to a party at Jean Georges’ restaurant The Fulton, be cool enough to land on the VIP list for a party atop Pier 17, or have scored one of just 300 community spots on the Seaport’s Wavertree ship (registration closed today at noon).
Image via Flickr
If you’re one of the estimated three million people who will be watching the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks spectacular, you’ll need to factor in how MTA’s service changes and planned traffic interruptions might affect your plans. Once you’ve picked a viewing spot, check out our comprehensive guide to getting around town (or out of town, if you prefer) below.
Jersey City will celebrate July 4th with NJ’s largest fireworks display and a concert headlined by Pitbull, Mon, July 1, 2019
Photo via Flickr cc
Jersey City is getting ready to celebrate its sixth annual Fourth of July Festival, an epic full day celebration from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Exchange Place Plaza. The free event, called 50STAR FIRESHOW, will feature a carnival, beer festival, and a concert headlined by Jersey City’s own Akon and rapper Pitbull, before culminating with the largest fireworks display in the state.
Photo by Jennifer Brown for Jersey City
A bigger, louder and longer Fourth of July celebration is coming to Jersey City this year. Beginning at noon on Wednesday, a 10-hour free festival will hit the Hudson River waterfront, featuring several beer gardens, food trucks, a concert headlined by Snoop Dogg and the state’s largest fireworks display. The all-day event, called 50STAR FIRESHOW, is estimated to welcome more than 200,000 people to Exchange Place.
Jersey City brought back its own fireworks event in 2014 after NYC moved its display to the East River, and the size of celebration has grown each year. “I think the Jersey City side of Hudson River is going to be the place that people want to be for the 4th of July this year. Period. Between Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Grucci, and Snoop, we are raising the bar,” Mayor Steven Fulop said.
Photo via Anthony Quintano/Flickr
It happens on every holiday, but a midweek July 4th promises to add an extra layer of confusion to the tourists, crowds and screwy schedules that will inevitably hit the city’s public transit system. We hope we can help you get your itinerary dialed in by giving you the low-down on changes to NYC subway, bus and ferry service on the 4th, so you can get to and from that optimal spot to watch the fireworks. The good news: The MTA will be offering extra rail service on Tuesday, July 3 and Wednesday, July 4. The possibly good/bad/mixed news: The MTA’s railroads, subways and buses will operate on weekend schedules…and then some.
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!
The Fourth of July is typically for house parties and rooftop barbecues, but if you’re too lazy to organize your own party, there are a few choice ways to celebrate in style, whilst also catching the area fireworks. Channel your inner pin-up girl at the DL or sit poolside at the luxe McCarren Hotel. Head down to the revamped South Street Seaport, which has become a cultural center for arts, music and food. Splurge and set sail around Manhattan, and dance dance dance at a secret location- or at the beautiful House of Yes in Bushwick. Independence Day is all about friends and family, so have fun no matter what you do, and be safe!