Apparently, Macy’s has finally realized that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. For much of the past year, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Brooklyn Heights state Sen. Daniel Squadron have been rallying for the annual 4th of July fireworks extravaganza to return to the East River, including public rallies, petitions and a non-stop tirade of phone calls.
Since 2009, Macy’s has hosted its annual holiday blowout from the Hudson River. The original move there four years ago was said to acknowledge the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s journey up the river. But the fireworks have remained there since, despite an onslaught of protests that aiming them toward New Jersey spites the spirit of the event, stealing views from residents of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan’s East Side, where they had been for 32 years previous.
Now, the New York Daily News reports that Macy’s is “considering a return” to the East River: “Bending to outer-borough pressure, Macy’s execs and top people in its fireworks operations have agreed to meet with pols to discuss” bringing the show home. A source told the Daily News, “Macy’s has expressed willingness to move to the East River. Macy’s has been receptive to sitting down and discussing solutions. We’re optimistic that soon there will be good news.”
The sit-down will be local elected officials first face-to-face discussion about the fireworks with Macy’s execs. De Blasio stressed, “The fireworks belong in the East River. Outer-borough New Yorkers deserve to be part of the city’s Fourth of July celebration too.” Squadron added that their return to the East River “would allow millions of New Yorkers to join the celebration and provide communities and businesses with the economic spark they need.”
City Councilman Steve Levin, who represents Brooklyn Heights and has also been a persistent advocate for the fireworks’ return home, said, “They couldn’t come back soon enough, and we will welcome them with open arms. I’m from New Jersey. I’ve got nothing but love for New Jersey, but the fact of the matter is there is nothing quite as spectacular as Fourth of July fireworks over New York Harbor.”
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is also invited to the imminent sit-down, where pols will present a petition that now has 3,100 signatures urging that the show return to its original locale.
All the same, Macy’s has not determined where the 2013 4th of July setting will be. Spokesman Orlando Veras repeated what he’s been saying for the past three years: “Macy’s fireworks will take place in and around all accessible New York City waterways and will not be a permanent fixture at any one location.”
(Photo: New York Daily News)