4th of July 2020 Fireworks Near Me in NYC

The Empire State Building and the Christal Building are seen during the Macy's 4th of July fireworks show from Queens, New York on July 4, 2017.

Getty The Empire State Building and the Christal Building are seen during the Macy's 4th of July fireworks show from Queens, New York on July 4, 2017.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fourth of July celebrations are going to look a little different this year. Most in-person fireworks celebrations are canceled, but luckily, there are virtual options to celebrate Independence Day. Here’s what you need to know about fireworks in the New York City area.

Macy’s Fireworks and Other Options

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Macy’s annual 4th of July fireworks have actually been happening all week, with smaller displays happening in each of New York’s five boroughs starting on June 29. The locations and times have been unannounced so as to discourage large gatherings. Then on July 4, the 4th of July Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular will take place in Manhattan, but the actual live finale location is not being publicized for the same reason.

The way it will work is that on Saturday, July 4, the entire week-long shows, plus virtual or pre-recorded performances by Amanda Gorman, Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Dr. Elvis, Staff Sergeant Jeremy Gaynor, Tim McGraw, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, will air during NBC’s two-hour TV special that will culminate in a live fireworks finale.

Other options in the New York area include:

Waterbury, Connecticut: Sunday, July 5 at 9:15 p.m. ET. More information can be found here.

Dutchess County Goes Renegade Fireworks Display: Saturday, July 4 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET at three locations — Dutchess Stadium, Dutchess County Fairgrounds, and Silo Ridge Field Club Equestrian Center. More information can be found here.

A Military Flyover

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For an actual in-person experience, there will be a military flyover as part of the Washington D.C. Salute to America celebration. The flyover will be highlighting cities that played a part in the American Revolution.

“The highlight of this year’s celebration will be our salute to the Great Cities of the American Revolution,” the Department of Defense said in a statement. “The flyovers will begin in Boston and proceed to New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. From there they will join other Department of Defense and heritage aircraft in the Salute to America over our nation’s capital. In all, roughly 1,700 service members will support the celebrations. The exact timing of the flyovers is still being worked and will be announced soon.”

There will also be a military flyover at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

The Fourth of July’s Origins

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The Fourth of July — or Independence Day — is celebrated each year to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. Congress voted to declare independence from British rule on July 2 but the declaration was not signed until two days later.

Independence Day is a federal holiday and has come to be celebrated with various outdoor activities, like picnics, barbecues, town festivals, fireworks displays, parades, and more.

Macy’s fireworks in New York City is the largest display in the country, but hundreds of other fireworks displays are lighting up the sky all over the country.

There is also the annual tradition of the free PBS concert called A Capitol Fourth, which boasts live performances by some of music’s hottest stars and also appearances or performances by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the United States Army Presidential Salute Guns Battery, the U.S. Army Band, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Arts Society of Washington.

This year’s Fourth of July celebrations have largely gone virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic but hopefully, things will be back to normal in 2021.

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