Macy’s tells Moneyish how it pulls off the multimillion-dollar fireworks extravaganza
The nation’s biggest Independence Day party is gonna be a blast.
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show boasts more than 60,000 explosive effects lighting the sky for more than a mile along the East River on Tuesday night, including new pulsing smiley faces, orange bees and crackling ghost peonies in 23 colors. While Macy’s is mum about what they’re spending, industry insiders say they’re probably shelling out a lot of buck for the bang. “This is a multi-million dollar event,” Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, told Moneyish. “The fireworks and those barges are gonna be in the six figures, but then you’ve got the live entertainment, staging, traffic management and security costs.”
Susan Tercero, group vice president of Macy’s Branded Entertainment, told Moneyish that it’s just Macy’s birthday gift to America, which it’s done for 41 years now. “It’s our gift to not only New York City, but it’s our gift to the country,” Tercero added, noting the grand finale during “God Bless America” is one of her favorite parts. “You can’t even see the buildings – it’s nothing but fireworks in the sky,” she said.
Here’s the country’s most expensive firework display by the numbers.
- More than 60,000 hand-wired shells will launch from five barges.
- The fireworks blast off at approximately 2,400 shells per minute for 25 minutes.
- 50 crew members spend 10 days loading the 50 tons of equipment, and rigging 15 miles of cabling.
- It takes 2,200 lines of computer-programmed cues and 13 synchronized computer systems to coordinate the blasts.
- 23 explosive colors, including fuchsia, lemon and aqua for the first time
- A few thousand people work on the show, including full-time Macy’s employees, the Pyro Spectaculars by Souza fireworks suppliers, the floating barges’ crews, the NBC producers and hosts televising the event, as well as the FDNY, the NYPD, the Coast Guard and city agencies.
- More than 3 million spectators are expected to to watch from NYC, and millions more will tune in on television coast-to-coast.
See macys.com/fireworks or call (212) 494-4495 for in-person viewing information on viewing. NBC’s two-hour live national broadcast begins 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. CT. (check local listings).
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved