Out of all the extravagant pyrotechnics that take place on Independence Day, Macy's plays host to the nation's largest Fourth of July fireworks display. Every year, the department store chain illuminates the sky overhead of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and East River for an estimated 2 million spectators. The annual light show is broadcast around the country in a two-hour televised special, which has in the past featured performances by Luke Bryan, Ciara, Khalid, and Brad Paisley. Despite closures in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared that the 2020 event would go on, but mostly as a virtual celebration, and according to Macy's website, the theme honors "the strength of the American spirit and the frontline heroes in New York City and across America." Keep up to date on the retailer's Fourth of July happenings via its event page.
Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Date & Location
Macy's Fourth of July celebration is scheduled for Saturday, July 4, 2020, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., with the fireworks taking place around 9:30 p.m. The pyrotechnics are set off from the Brooklyn Bridge and barges along Manhattan, on the East River, and last about 25 minutes. Usually, spectators need to arrive early to snag a decent seat along the waterfront or in Brooklyn Bridge Park, but in 2020, to adhere to social distancing regulations, it is recommended people stay at home and enjoy the show safely on television.
How to Watch the Fireworks
Ideal viewing spots include the shore of the East River in lower Manhattan, including the South Street Seaport district, and the Brooklyn waterfront along the lower East River, especially in Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are usually designated viewing areas announced by Macy's and regulated by the New York Police Department, who can deny entry after they fill up. With most of the 2020 event taking place virtually, however, the best viewing option is on NBC from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. CT/MT.
Entertainment at the Macy's Fourth of July Event
The fireworks are, of course, the main attraction of Macy's Fourth of July spectacular, but they're always choreographed to a curated arrangement of patriotic tunes traditionally played live. In past years, the West Point Band Orchestra and Glee Club has provided the music, but in 2020, it will look a little different. According to Macy's, "this year's musical score will feature a mix of pop and patriotic anthems celebrating New York City's resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Produced in partnership with Hollywood Scoring, the musical score will include a special salute to America's frontline workers, who have served our city and country tirelessly during this time."
Participating musicians will be announced closer to the event, but in the past, Macy's Independence Day celebration has been headlined by the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, and Ricky Martin.