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In Photos: Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, From 1976 to Today

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Independence Day event, a tradition since 1976

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks
Credit Kent MillerStudios-Macy’s Inc.

This year marks the 40th anniversary for the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. Though the iconic brand first lit up the sky with their fireworks display in 1958, the event did not become an annual celebration until 1976, when they paired up with the Walt Disney Company to celebrate the United States’ bicentennial.

It wasn’t until 1991 that the event was broadcast on national television as the ‘Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular,’ airing on WPIX until switching to NBC in 2000. Today the event prides itself on being the largest Independence Day pyrotechnic show in the country.

To celebrate this milestone, Macy’s will once again light up the sky above the East River, launching more than 50,000 shells from four barges in Midtown Manhattan and one below Brooklyn Bridge. The location makes the display visible for those in western Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan’s east side. If you’re in town, be sure to catch the spectacular event at any one of these ideal viewing locations. The show starts at 9:25 p.m. so wherever you choose to watch from, be sure to beat the crowds and get there early.