Residents and local elected officials from Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens held a rally on Monday, April 2, urging Macy’s to bring the fireworks display back to the East River this year.
"New York's Fourth of July fireworks should be a citywide celebration," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "Instead, the millions of New Yorkers who live in Brooklyn, Queens, and the East Side of Manhattan are kept out of the party, while we send visitors and business to New Jersey. That simply makes no sense."
Squadron and other elected officials sent a letter to Macy’s Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren, requesting that the 36th Annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks include the East River.
In 2009, Macy’s moved the fireworks to the Hudson River to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s journey up the river.
Since then, there has not been a Fourth of July fireworks display on the East River.
“Despite initial claims from Macy’s that the 2009 move to the Hudson River to celebrate Henry Hudson’s voyage was only temporary and that they were interested in moving the display around the city, I am disappointed that again this year it’s likely more New Jerseyans and residents along the west side of Manhattan will get a front row seat, excluding Brooklynites and a large part of the city that is home to Macy’s flagship store,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
“Macy's is a New York institution and they should bring the fireworks back to the East River where more New Yorkers can enjoy the show,” said Ward Dennis, co-chair of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth.
He echoed statements from many groups and businesses along the waterfront, including the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance, the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, Community Boards 1 and 6, and the DUMBO Improvement District.
The leaders also say that bringing the fireworks show back to the East River will further emphasize the nation’s history, as the East River served as the doorway for immigrants arriving in New York City. They also noted that it would be a huge boost to local businesses.
But one Macy’s spokesperson Orlando Veras, said that the Macy’s Fireworks show will not be changed this year and will continue to take place on the Hudson River.
Stating that the fireworks have been fired from various waterways and locations in New York City for more than 30 years, he said that Macy's Fireworks will, “continue to take place in and around all of New York City's waterways and will not be a permanent fixture in any one location.”
“Exclusively limiting the show to any particular area would greatly hinder the creative freedom that has made it the nation's best and largest Independence Day display,” he said.