Macy’s tells Moneyish how it’s pulling off one if its most explosive multimillion-dollar fireworks extravaganzas yet.
The nation’s biggest Independence Day party is gonna be a blast.
This year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show will be the biggest since the Millennial Celebration, boasting more than 75,000 explosive effects lighting the sky for more than a mile along the East River on Wednesday night. The spectacle will be 25% bigger than last year’s celebration, and include new effects like neon pinwheels, swirling water fountains, brocade horse tails, ghosting fans, blooming ring chases and pulsing hearts in 25 colors.
While Macy’s wouldn’t disclose 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 42 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. For those watching at home, NBC’s live two-hour national broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. EST, and will be immediately followed by an encore presentation at 10 p.m. Stream online by logging into nbc.com/live with your cable provider account.
Here’s the country’s most expensive firework display by the numbers.
- More than 75,000 hand-wired shells will launch from five barges.
- The fireworks blast off at approximately 3,000 shells per minute for 25 minutes.
- 55 crew members spend 10 days loading the 60 tons of equipment, and rigging 25 miles of cabling.
- It takes 2,200 lines of computer-programmed cues and 14 synchronized computer systems to coordinate the blasts.
- 25 explosive colors, including fuchsia, lemon and aqua for the first time
- Hundreds of 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 watch from NYC, and more than 12 million television viewers nationwide.
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 (check local listings).
This article was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated.
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