For 32 years prior to 2009, residents of Brooklyn and Queens were given the chance to enjoy the Macy’s fireworks show on the East River, and watch bright colors and designs splash in the sky in celebration of the day that America gained independence.
No longer do residents of these areas enjoy the opportunity, for the July 4 fireworks show has been moved from the East River to the Hudson three years ago.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Senator Dan Squadron, Councilman Stephen Levin, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz have united to campaign for the return of the Macy’s fireworks show to the East River waterfront, and have even put together an online petition for residents to sign.
“There’s no tradition we love more in Brooklyn than gathering on our rooftops and waterfront for the fireworks,” said de Blasio at a press conference in Brooklyn Bridge Park. “We look forward to sitting down with Macy’s to find a way to bring the show back to the East River, where more New Yorkers can be a part of it.”
According to de Blasio, Macy’s was to move the fireworks show to the Hudson for only one year in 2009, to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage and his exploration of the New York area. However, de Blasio said that the show should have returned to the East River immediately in 2010. He said at the press conference that the absence of this show leaves more than 50 percent of New Yorkers out of the July 4 celebration.
“On the Hudson river, there are several advantages, but the truth is, many of the boroughs in New York City are left out,” said Squadron at the press conference. “We don’t want the fireworks to permanently leave the heart of New York City.”
Squadron and de Blasio said that they and Markowitz will meet with Macy’s executives to pressure them to commit to bring the fireworks back home to the East River.
De Blasio also put together a petition to help “turn the lights back on” for the 4.7 million residents of Brooklyn and Queens, urging Macy’s not to leave these communities “in the dark,” on July 4.