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July 4th fireworks in NYC: locations, times, where to watch, how to stream

The annual Macy's Independence Day firework display is back this year with the biggest event to date. Here's how to watch it live or follow along at home.

The annual Macy's Independence Day firework display is back this year with the biggest event to date. Here's how to watch it live or follow along at home.

In 2020 the traditional Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks event was a much more reserved affair than New York residents are used to, but organisers are hoping to return with a bang this year.

The main event will begin at 9.25pm (ET) on Sunday, 4 July with a 25-minute-long extravaganza launched from the East River. Macy’s claim that the show will see 65,000 shells combining to form "dozens of colors and shapes, creating dramatic effects a mile across the river and from 1,000 feet in the air to the water's edge."

How to watch the Macy’s Fourth of July firework display

The return of the Independence Day fireworks display is a point of pride for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who called the occasion “America's biggest fireworks display.” In a city eagerly anticipating its return to normality this record-breaking event marks an important step in that process.

De Blasio continued: "They are bringing the full-scale fireworks show as we have loved it for decades and decades back to New York City for all of us to enjoy. This will be the biggest show yet. Literally, Macy's is putting together the biggest fireworks display they've ever had.”

Organisers are separating onlookers into two areas, divided into ‘vaccinated’ and ‘unvaccinated’ sections. An online map lists the best spots to watch the show from, which are mainly on the east bank of the East River along FDR Drive.

Following the main event on the East River, another display will be running from Coney Island between 10 and 10.15pm. To check it out just find yourself a spot on the famous Coney Island boardwalk.

How to stream the Fourth of July firework display online

The 25-minute display is an annual tradition for many in NYC but millions more watch along at home across the country too. The whole two-hour-long show will be broadcast from 8pm (ET) by NBC with its “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular,” which will this year be hosted by Ryan Eggold and Renee Elise Goldsberry.

If you don’t have cable television there are a variety of other ways to watch the show with numerous streaming platforms offering access to NBC as part of their package.

The cheapest of the options is a Peacock TV premium plan, which will set you back just $4.99/month and offers access to live sports and events, exclusive Peacock original series, and thousands of movies and TV shows.

If you just want a short-term subscription then maybe consider Sling TV, which costs just $10 for the first month. Through this you can watch all the top cable channels, as well as more than 80,000 TV shows and movies to watch on-demand.

If you are thinking of splashing out for a more comprehensive plan that will also give you access to the Fourth of July fire work, both AT&T TV and Fubo TV offer more premium packages. They coming in at $64.99/month and $69.99/month respectively, but offer access to the vast majority of cable channels as well as extra bonuses like HBO Max.


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