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Bigger, Brighter, Louder: The 31st Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Celebrate the Hopes and Dreams of a Nation

June 26, 2007 - by Orlando Veras

On the fourth day of July, light and thunder will roar over Manhattan as the 31st annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks burst into the night sky, marking a day 231 years ago when patriots created a rumble heard around the world and a nation was born. This year’s star-spangled journey celebrates the hopes and dreams of a nation through the eyes of our smallest citizens, America’s children. “In Our Children’s Eyes,” the theme of the 31st annual Macy’s Fireworks, celebrates the patriots, pioneers, and even superhero childhood idols that have shaped the fabric of our great nation.

Thundering over NYC’s skyline with over 35,000 shells, the 30-minute display will be choreographed to a score performed by the New York Pops. The musical fireworks will be fired from two locations, the East River and South Street Seaport, at approximately 9:20pm. Dazzling over 3 million spectators, the display of pyrotechnic firepower will launch over 1,000 shells per minute, making this not only the most exciting patriotic display in the nation, but also the largest.

The magic begins with the most creative team in the business, the group at Macy’s events and the explosive family of fireworks, the Souzas. Gary and James Souza, and the entire Sousa Fireworks team of Rialto, CA have helped create the show for over 25 years. It all comes together after months of globetrotting in search of the newest, most unique firework shells, a year of design meetings, and over a week of installation.

The backbone of every show is the musical score that sets the framework. This year’s is performed by the New York Pops under the direction of Rob Fisher, and features patriotic works, iconic movie themes, and uniquely American popular songs like “Yankee Doodle” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The score also features new musical works composed by Macy’s creative director, William Schermerhornn, and Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Stephen Flaherty, and is performed by Tony Award winners Andrew Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys), Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon), and Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change and star of the film Dreamgirls). For the the full effect, tune in to radio station 1010 WINS, to hear the score.

High tech in design and execution, the fireworks are at the command of a computer and fired from 4 floating stages. The entire show is digitally synchronized to each individual firework shell, timed to fire and burst to the beat of the music. Last year’s high-definition concept in pyrotechnic presentation takes on a whole new level for this year. Expanding the show’s explosive canvas, the shells will ignite and cover a broader and wider range of sky and have enhanced movement and effects.

Every year, the show features pyrotechnic-shell debuts. This year’s new firework shells include the Jellyfish (shells that resemble the underwater inhabitants), Electric Rice Krispies (crackling metallic shells), and Nautical Strobes (shells with multi-colored explosions that reignite after landing on the water).

As always, the highlight is the famed Golden Mile, a multi-layer explosion that stretches across the skyline, filling it with a golden sparks from 1,200 feet in the air to the water’s edge.

Spectators along the East River will not only have a front-row view, but also get an extra special show. At 7:30pm, viewers owill be treated to an FDNY Fireboat Water Show. New York’s Bravest will sail two Marine Division fireboats spraying red, clear and blue water arcs up 300 feet in the air in a patriotic salute to the stars and stripes.

If you can’t make it to the show, tune in to NBC-TV at 9pm. The Macy’s Fireworks are only one part of a fantastic entertainment special hosted by Natalie Morales and Tiki Barber.

For more information, call the Macy’s Fireworks Hotline at 212-494-4495.

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