Macy's 4th of July fireworks spectacular unfolds on the evening of Monday, July 4, 2016, and you can be sure the crowds will be thick for the long weekend festivities this year, as folks far and wide gather to soak up the largest fireworks display in the nation! Read up on everything you need to know about the fireworks display itself here, then head out to see for yourself. Do yourself a favor and stick to the trains and subway to get there, or risk craning your neck out of your car window to sneak a peek of the show when you're stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Here are some tips on public transit for July 4th, as well as the deal on driving and parking (if you insist):
Where will the Macy's fireworks show be held?
The display extends to two locations this year along the East River, and will be visible from a swath of East River shoreline fronting Manhattan (especially along the Midtown-fronted sections of the FDR Drive and in the South Street Seaport district), Queens (Long Island City ranks tops), and Brooklyn (try Brooklyn Bridge Park).
The fireworks will be fired from four barges positioned on the river roughly between 16th and 37th streets in Midtown, and there will also be a double-barge parked just below the Brooklyn Bridge.
For the best viewing of the Midtown barges (between E. 16th St. and E. 37th St.) from within Manhattan, head to the elevated sections of the F.D.R. Drive. Pedestrian access will be set up via Houston, 16th, 23rd, 34th, and 42nd Streets.
In Queens and Brooklyn, make way for any part of the riverfront with unobstructed views of the sky, with particularly good viewing in Long Island City and Greenpoint.
To catch the displays from the double-barge positioned just below the Brooklyn Bridge, head to the shores of the East River in lower Manhattan, including the South Street Seaport district, with access via Broad Street (at ground level), Old Slip (upper level), Vietnam Memorial Park, and Pearl and Frankfort streets.
The Brooklyn waterfront along the lower East River, especially in Brooklyn Bridge Park, also offers prime viewing.
The event organizers advise to skip the following areas, where viewing won't be optimized: Battery Park and Battery Park City; Roosevelt Island; and, in Queens, Hunter’s Point South Park.
What about driving in to the Macy's fireworks show?
Save yourself the headache, and leave the car behind. If you're intent on driving in, expect street closures in the areas surrounding the fireworks viewing, and severe congestion in the vicinity. Event organizers have advised that street parking will not be available near the immediate public viewing areas, so be prepared for a walk; also note that garages and private lots will likely fill up early on, so come out early to secure a spot.