Photos: The City Gathers Beneath A Spectacular Macy’s July 4th Fireworks Show

Macy’s promised New York City their biggest Fourth of July fireworks show ever and, if you were down by the water last night on either side of the East River, it sure seemed like they delivered. Some 65,000 shells and aerial effects were launched from five barges near Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City, sparking up the sky spectacularly.

The Empire State Building got into the action too, with explosives set off from three floors near the top of the iconic building. After last year’s pre-vaccine non-party, New Yorkers seemed excited to be back out, even if it meant being herded onto the FDR, one of the city’s “official” spectator sites—early on it was less mobbed than previous years, but by evening thing became more crowded:

Others found more spacious grounds—earlier in the day over in Manhattan, the Lower East Side seemed back to 2019 levels of barbecue parties at East River Park near Alphabet City.

“It’s a beautiful feeling,” said Armando Trinidad of the Lower East Side, who was grilling in East River Park. “I did this last year but it was a really small group of us. But today we’re back freely, openly, with no restrictions. It’s a good time to get together with the family, and enjoy the country that we live in.”

Scenes from before and during the 4th of July fireworks on the East River

Crowds started gathering in the mid-afternoon, some six hours before the show, in the prime viewing spots of Bushwick Inlet Park in Williamsburg, WNYC Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, and, especially, at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, which is was packed in tight with tens of thousands of revelers by the river.

“I’m so excited to be here, it feels amazing,” Kaitlin from Bushwick said. “We were missing this! It’s a good time, a fun holiday, and we love the fireworks.”

Meanwhile, viewers at home saw performances on TV, like this one from Coldplay, but they were filmed weeks ago.