NEW YORK – Macy’s traditional July 4 fireworks show is back after being canceled a year ago due to the pandemic. The return of this show de Luces was another example of the recovery of the Big Apple and of those events that make it unique.
The traditional fireworks show returned with a unique display about the East River in which projectiles were fired from five boats to see the lights that were televised and that followed a choreography to the rhythm of the music of various orchestras.
This year in turn, the crowds that enjoyed the celebration with their loved ones also returned.
The program was broadcast live on our sister network NBC 4 as part of a two-hour special featuring artists such as Black Pumas, Coldplay, OneRepublic, and Reba McEntire. The artists’ appearances were prerecorded across the country in front of live audiences.
Last year, due to pandemic restrictions, there were a series of shorter fireworks shows in the days leading up to the celebration, and the venues were kept secret to prevent people from congregating.
“It is very significant because we are all together again. We were separated for so long, ”said Mike Marrone, who watched the fireworks among crowds of spectators along Franklin D. Roosevelt Avenue.
Other visitors expressed a mixture of joy and apprehension, noting that the coronavirus remains far from being defeated. Slightly more than half of the city’s population is fully vaccinated, according to the city’s Health Department, but many bystanders wore their masks.
“It is a refreshing relief for me. It gives us a feeling of being outside and being free, ”said Richard Armstrong, a retired police lieutenant who was in quarantine for months and, prior to Sunday, had not photographed fireworks in three years.
“I’m always glad to be on the surface,” he joked, “but when I look around, I can’t tell who is vaccinated and who is not.”
On the other hand, Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest was also held on July 4 and welcomed audiences to Brooklyn as well. Joey “Jaws” Chestnut beat her own record by eating 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes in the men’s competition, while Michelle Lesco took the women’s title by eating 30 3/4 hot dogs.
The event was not the same as always. Instead of being on Surf and Stillwell avenues, right off the Coney Island boardwalk, this year’s competition was held nearby at a minor league ballpark, Maimonides Park. Viewers were asked to register for free tickets in advance.
Last year, however, no spectators were allowed.
Also, iconic landmarks across the state, from the World Trade Center’s central tower, the Empire State Building to Niagara Falls, were illuminated in red, white and blue to mark Independence Day.
“If the last 16 months have reaffirmed anything, it is how precious life is and how vital freedom is to our identity as New Yorkers and Americans,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.