Each show is about five minutes, instead of the 30 minute spectacular we’ve been used to, from barges in the East River or Hudson River.
Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating contest also is smaller this year, also to limit crowds.
The individual Macy’s fireworks shows are between Monday, June 29th and Wednesday, July 1st, weather-permitting.
All five displays will be shown together on July 4th in a grand finale televised special, along with tributes to health care workers and first responders.
Plus, there’s a teaser about something additional and special at the Empire State Building.
According to the Macy’s 4th of July website, “Each show is brief and will be over before residents can gather at its source. The displays will be launched from one or two land or water based locations over the course of the week-long celebration covering every borough of New York City.”
And each will feature thousands of dazzling shells fired per minute, with heights reaching up to 1,000 feet at select locations. Sites were chosen because they could safely accommodate the launch and firing of large-scale pyrotechnics.
Macy’s will not announce locations of the individual fireworks displays. That’s to support COVID-19 safe distancing precautions and avoid “advance gathering of crowds”, according to the website.
However, local residents will be notified so they are aware of the noise, to avoid calling 911.
Macy’s is describing it as choosing to “delight New Yorkers with unannounced displays across the five boroughs.”
It’s a safe bet that one of those locations will be the East River – But where? And when?
Locations and times of each borough display are supposed to be announced shortly before they are set to begin, to further prevent large crowds and allow for social distancing.
The July 4th finale is headlined by John Legend and Tim McGraw. Mayo Clinic surgeon Dr. Elvis and Alicia Keys, who will perform salutes to front line workers.
According to Macy’s, this year’s fireworks will feature a musical score that’s “a mix of pop and patriotic anthems celebrating New York City’s resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
The Young People’s Chorus of NYC will also virtually perform “America the Beautiful” and “Lean On Me.”
The finale will be televised nationally on NBC from 8pm to 10pm EDT.
“New York City is our hometown. Macy’s believes in giving back to the communities where we live and work, and this year, we are taking our Fireworks show on a trip across the city. In reimagining this year’s show, the idea of bringing elements to many parts of our hometown resonated with our team and partners in the City of New York,” said Susan Tercero, executive producer Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks.
For safety reasons, fireworks are illegal in New York City, except when used by professionals such as for the annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display.
Organizers confirmthe tribute to mass consumption will happen this year, but at a “private location with COVID-19 safety measures in place,” rather than in Coney Island.
Both men’s and women’s categories will have five eaters this year, rather than 15, to preserve social distancing.
This year’s contest will be dedicated to raising money for local food banks, according to Major League Eating – yes, there’s an official organization for eating contests.
That donation is in addition to the annual donation of 100,000 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs to the Food Bank of New York City.
Joey Chestnut, who holds the world record of 74 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, is expected to compete this year as well, as is six-time champion Miki Sudo of Connecticut.