Squadron, Electeds, Community Rally to Bring July 4th Fireworks to East River This Year
Move Would Bring Fireworks to More New Yorkers, More Business and Visitors to Growing Harbor Park & Waterfront Communities
Electeds Propose “Fireworks Community Outreach Plan” to Ensure Community Notification of Planned Fireworks
BROOKLYN – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Stephen Levin, elected officials and community leaders urged Macy’s to bring its Fourth of July fireworks to the East River this year.
In 2009, Macy’s moved the fireworks to the Hudson River to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s journey up the river. There have not been Fourth of July fireworks displays on the East River for the last three summers, limiting the number of New Yorkers who can enjoy the fireworks and sending visitors and business to New Jersey instead of into more New York City communities.
In a letter sent today to Macy’s Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren, Senator Squadron and his colleagues requested that the 36th Annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks include the East River.
Senator Squadron and other elected officials also proposed a Fireworks Community Outreach Plan (F-COP) to ensure that communities receive consistent and comprehensive notification of planned fireworks. In a letter to Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, they outlined F-COP, which would be distributed to community boards at least once a year and include the following information:
- The maximum number of Use and Discharge of Fireworks permits to be issued within each community board district per month (including for fireworks on the water within 2,500 feet of any community board).
- The specified hours for which Use and Discharge of Fireworks permits may be issued.
- Any blackout days on which permits will not be issued.
- The process by which notification of the issuance of Use and Discharge of Fireworks permits within the community board district will be provided to affected communities.
"New York's Fourth of July fireworks should be a citywide celebration. Instead, the millions of New Yorkers who live in Brooklyn, Queens, and the East Side of Manhattan are kept out of the party, while we send visitors and business to New Jersey. That simply makes no sense," said State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
"As we head into fireworks season, it's also critical that communities be kept in the loop on what to expect overhead," Senator Squadron continued. "That's why we've proposed a Fireworks Community Outreach Plan that would ensure communities receive consistent notification and information about what's happening in their neighborhoods."
"The New York City Fire Department is tasked with keeping us safe and informed and we're very pleased with the job they do," said Council Member Stephen Levin. "Fireworks season is coming up and it is important for everyone to remember that fireworks are illegal without a permit from FDNY. Let's leave it to the professionals to keep us safe and to keep us informed of when and where we can expect to see a great fireworks show. We are especially looking forward to getting news about this summer's 4th of July Fireworks show and we hope Macy's brings it back to the East River so that 2.5 million Brooklynites can enjoy the show and celebrate America."
“Despite initial claims from Macy’s that the 2009 move to the Hudson River to celebrate Henry Hudson’s voyage was only temporary and that they were interested in moving the display around the city, I am disappointed that again this year it’s likely more New Jerseyans and residents along the west side of Manhattan will get a front row seat, excluding Brooklynites and a large part of the city that is home to Macy’s flagship store,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “The Macy’s fireworks display is a spectacular event that attracts economic activity and visitors from all over the world and all of us look forward to it each and every summer. I join with Senator Squadron and other supporters in requesting that Macy’s return the fireworks to the East River.”
“I welcome Senator Squadron’s leadership in the move to restore this important New York tradition,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “By returning their fireworks display to its longtime home, Macy's can bring the rockets' red glare back to New Yorkers on both sides of the East River this Independence Day.”
"I join my colleagues and community in asking that Macy's bring the 4th of July fireworks back home to the East River location where they will be enjoyed by all New Yorkers in all five of the boros,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “We are one New York City, and we are all fans of Macy's and the 4th of July fireworks. We miss them! Bring them home!"
“Eastsiders miss the opportunity we used to have, to enjoy the traditional Independence Day fireworks from our rooftops and waterfront parks. We’d love to see the show return to the East River, where it can be viewed by many more New Yorkers not only on the Eastside but also in Queens and Brooklyn,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh who represents communities along the Manhattan side of the East River from Delancey to the United Nations. “We also recognize that smaller fireworks shows throughout the city are no less important, and we want to make sure local community boards are involved in planning and outreach for these events.”
“Residents of the 52nd Assembly District have missed the opportunity to stand on our beloved promenade to see the Macy's July 4th Fireworks,” said Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman.
“Hey – what about us! It’s our turn for the fireworks. We loved them, we want them again and we think Macy can certainly give us another turn at watching its glorious 4th of July show,” said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol.
“Too often the community is caught off guard by the sound of a bombardment that occur at a time when one has no reason to believe it's a fireworks display,” said Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick. “These corporate or private events can upset people who may think it is an emergency situation, not a celebration."
“It is fitting that we once again celebrate our nation’s birthday along the East River, which was the doorway to America for waves of immigrants arriving in New York City,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “The East River is the heart of New York City and Independence Day celebrations should recognize that. By including the East River in the Macy’s Day celebrations, thousands of New Yorkers from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens will be able to participate in the festivities.”
“The greatest fireworks display must return to the heart of the greatest city – the East River,” said Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. “We love our neighbors to the west, but there are certain events that must be firmly placed in New York City. What’s next? Moving the Thanksgiving Day parade to West New York, New Jersey?”
“I feel it’s time Macy’s return their Fourth of July Holiday Spectacular back to the East River,” said Linda Minucci, Democratic State Committee Woman for the 50th A.D. “Brooklynites, Queens and Manhattan residents alike, comprise the majority of shoppers patronizing their stores. The show also gives a boost to our local businesses. It seems only fair, since their flagship store is located in Manhattan, that they come back to the East River.”
"The Brooklyn waterfront is unique, spectacular, and the perfect location for thousands to gather comfortably and watch the fireworks,” said Chris Owens, State Committee Member for the 52nd A.D. “Restoring the fireworks to the East River -- or the East River side of the Harbor -- will provide even more New Yorkers and tourists with an even greater experience."
“Williamsburg loves a celebration, but July 4th just hasn’t been the same without the East River fireworks,” said Caitlin Dourmashkin, Director of Planning and Community Development at EWVIDCO. “Our locally owned businesses used to be a big destination for Independence Day revelers, but the past few years have seen the party leave our neighborhood. Bring the fireworks back, for the businesses and for Brooklyn!”
“You can’t get better than a slice of Grimaldi's and East River fireworks. DUMBO is the perfect backdrop for an epic firework display and has so much to offer to firework enthusiasts for a full night of celebration,” said Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO Improvement District. “Brooklyn deserves an awesome spectacle! It's a shame to let the Hudson have all the fun."
"It is long overdue that the 4th of July Fireworks return home to the Brooklyn Bridge - an iconic setting that typifies the spirit of July 4th, and represents the unity of NYC. There is no more spectacular location," said Doreen Gallo, Executive Director of the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance.
“The East River waterfront is booming - just not on the 4th of July. Macy's is a New York institution and they should bring the fireworks back to the East River where more New Yorkers can enjoy the show,” said Ward Dennis, Co-Chair of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth.
"Brooklyn lost the July 4 fireworks in 2009 and we want them back!" said Stephanie Thayer, Executive Director of Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn. "The residents of North Brooklyn love their parks and turn out in massive numbers for outdoor events. The fireworks are a great celebration for our community."
"On the Fourth of July we celebrate America's liberty from an oppressive monarchy and the hard-fought freedom our Founders died for. The fireworks should be visible to our Lady of the Harbor out of respect to the men and women who gave, and continue to give, their lives defending our country's freedom and liberty,” said Craig R. Hammerman, District Manager for Brooklyn Community Board 6. “Macy's should bring them back to the East River where they belong."
"Celebrating July 4th, should include all New Yorkers, young and old, rich and poor from all our diverse ethnic communities,” said Chris Olechowski, Chair of Brooklyn Community Board 1. “Over the years, traditionally, the fireworks commemorating America's Independence have been prominently displayed along NY's East River which allows for the largest number of people throughout the city to view and participate in this special event. On behalf of our residents of Greenpoint/Williamsurg and all New Yorkers I strongly recommend the Fireworks display be returned to our midtown East River waters."