Macy’s Finally Sees The Light? ‘Considers’ Fireworks Return To East River

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)

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  • Mr. Crusty

    Oh no. This will set off another round of complaints about the hoards of disgusting people threatening the promenade’s structural ability to withstand their collective weight. Oh my.

  • Knight

    Yes, Crusty, I saw that coming, too!

  • Peter

    Worse news ever who needs tons of people here every 4th oy July !

  • Big Dave

    This should not be a MACYS decision anyway, they should go where the City wants them to go.

  • Bloomy

    @ Big Dave

    The city can put it wherever they want, all they have to do is start paying for the display. Until then, they need to work with Macy’s. While the city does incur some costs (sanitation and police) they are less than what Macy’s pays for the show.

  • Big Dave

    And Macys gets…
    Come on.
    Giant national multi-hour commercial plus tv revenue?
    I would love to see your data, though. Esp. NYC costs.

  • JOHN

    I think it would be terrific! I applaud Mr. Di Blasio’s efforts!

  • yoohoo

    The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation also needs a place at the negotiating table. While the merchants and restauranteurs along Montague Street (and Old Fulton Street) will lick their collective fingers, It’s the park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with its access points that will bear the impact of tens of thousands of people. I’m sure the Brooklyn Heights Association will also have something to say.

  • Rick

    Maybe the fireworks display can be held inside the velodrome.

  • Mr. Crusty

    I don’t think Macy’s gets any TV revenue. It’s covered like any other news event from public locations. It’s great PR that is for sure, that’s why they do it, but it costs them a pretty penny for that commercial.

  • Hicks on Hicks

    Sorry Crusty. Im a former Macys exec. Macy’s events dept which hosts the Thankdgiving parade and the 7/4 fireworks is a profit center for Macy’s. Macy’s sells the television rights which more than offsets the substantial costs.

  • Mr. Crusty

    Ok, I stand corrected.

  • Andrew Porter

    When Macy’s started the fireworks—and the Thanksgiving Day Parade—they were just here in NYC, and not even *the* major dept store. Now they’ve bought up the competition, from Marshall Field’s in Chicago to Gump’s in San Francisco, and having the fireworks on the Hudson, where they are surrounded by customers, from NYC to northern New Jersey, is just good promotional sense.

    Also, the Hudson is far wider, there are many more good vantage points, and the many boat owners and dinner cruise ship operators have much more room to maneuver. Like Yoohoo said, the BBP and the Promenade will bear the brunt of the spectators; the parks and streets and houses will bear the impact of their garbage.

  • Knight

    @Big Dave and Hicks on Hicks: whether or not Macys makes a profit is not really the issue. The issue is that it is a private event and to say that “they should go where the City wants them to go” would be government interference. At that point, where they would “go” is probably away from the City … like keeping over to the NJ side of the Hudson. I know that would be just fine Andrew. He’s probably never seen someone on a Heights street that he didn’t immediately distrust — especially if they were under 30.

  • Mary Heller

    Way to go Sen. Squadron and Bill deBlasio! Thank you and keep up the agitation to get the show back “home”.