Big bangs! Brooklyn celebrates Fourth of July fireworks spectacular

Blast off: Crowds gathered at Brooklyn Bridge Park to take in the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display, which launched thousands of explosive shells from the span and from barges in the East River.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

Brooklyn had a blast!

Patriots traveled far and wide to take in the nation’s largest fireworks display in Kings County, which one Big Apple resident admitted had the best views in the city.

“I wanted to see the fireworks up close and personal,” said Alex Blue, who watched the pyrotechnic display from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 with his friends.

The 43rd Annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks erupted from the Brooklyn Bridge and nearby barges in a half-hour pyrotechnic bonanza beginning at 9:20 p.m., stunning thousands of onlookers around Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo.

All-in-all, the department store launched a whopping 70,000 shells from the 136-year-old span and barges, proclaiming it the largest Independence Day fireworks show in the nation.

The Macy’s show has delighted Brooklynites for generations, and Blue, who has been a fan of the July 4 fireworks show since the 80s, said this latest display didn’t disappoint.

“I like to celebrate the United States’ birthday,” he said. “I was born and raised here, and I like to represent.”

For those who didn’t want to shoulder their way through hundreds of thousands of July 4 revelers, Coney Island offered a more modest beach-front pyrotechnics display, which proved the perfect capstone to a day of fun in the sun, according to one Bay Ridgite.

“Macy’s is more of a hassle with small kids and the crowds, with Coney Island, you can have a beach day, sit on your blanket and watch the fireworks,” said Paul Blackwell, who drove down to the People’s Playground with his wife Julie and boys Ellis, 5, and August, 2, both of whom had a great time building sandcastles during the day and taking in the spectacular celebration after the sun set.

“Ellis and August love the beach, so the fireworks were just like a bonus on top of that,” Blackwell said. “They were mesmerized, they were staring at the sky gobsmacked and didn’t want it to end.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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