From: Market Watch
Published: June 27, 2019
By: Nicole Lyn Pesce
One of America’s biggest birthday bashes has several surprises in store this year.
The 43rd Annual Macy’s 4th of July fireworks display will blast off from the Brooklyn Bridge at around 9:20 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, returning to the New York landmark for the first time since it served as the launch pad for the 2014 showcase.
The 1 million to 3 million spectators expected to watch in person or by tuning into the live telecast on Comcast-owned NBC will “ooh” and “aah” over more than 70,000 pyrotechnic effects in 28 different colors — including five brand new fireworks with spirited names like “Revolving Dragons” and “Multicolor Meteor Mines.”
This year’s Macy’s event is slightly smaller than the 2018 display, which featured more than 75,000 explosive effects, in part because it has relocated to a narrower area of the East River compared to last year’s location. But the 25-minute star-spangled spectacle still promises to be one of the nation’s biggest Independence Day blowouts, with the Brooklyn Bridge taking center stage. (Indeed, it will begin with a silver “waterfall” of fireworks resembling a theater curtain that opens the show.)
“We do like to change our creative every year. It’s nice to change it up. And the way to do that … is to move it a little bit,” Susan Tercero, vice president and executive producer of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, told MarketWatch. Plus, the pyrotechnicians are taking advantage of the bridge in a way that they couldn’t back in 2014 (which was the first time that the Macy’s Fireworks were ever hosted there), because parts of the bridge were under construction back then. “We have close to five times the amount of pyrotechnic effects that are happening on the bridge this year. We have a lot more show,” she said.
And that includes five new fireworks, such as: Wolf Whistles, Little Snakes, Hidden Happy Faces, Revolving Dragons and Multicolor Meteor Mines. Tercero hinted that the names describe the shapes or the sounds of the exploding shells. “Some of those were created just for the Macy’s show,” she said. (The show was conceived, designed and produced by Pyro Spectaculars by Souza.)
This year’s Macy’s Fireworks show also celebrates classic American Cinema — including “The Wizard of Oz” turning 80 — with Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson singing “Over the Rainbow” as Technicolor rockets explode to form a mile-wide, rainbow-accented gold, crackling wall. And there will be plenty of red, white and blue rockets offsetting patriotic songs like the national anthem.
Macy’s does not disclose what it spends on its annual July 4th blast. “Macy’s really prides itself on giving back to the community, so this is all a labor of love,” said Tercero. “As with any good gift, we don’t want to reveal the price tag.”
But industry insiders estimate that the show is probably shelling out a lot of buck for all of that bang. “This is a multi-million dollar event,” Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, previously told MarketWatch. “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.” After all, short and sweet small town displays run $2,000 to $7,000 a pop, and syncing the explosions to music, programming the computer launching systems to time everything just right, and buying larger shells can get the price to skyrocket to $2,000 per minute, or more than $20,000 for the full display, Bankrate reported. And the Macy’s Fireworks eclipses those shows; Bankrate put the tab in the ballpark of $6 million — and that was back in 2013.
Here’s a look at what goes into this Independence Day display.
See Macys.com/fireworks or call the Macy’s Fireworks Hotline at (212) 494-4495 for in-person viewing information. NBC’s two-hour live national broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings).