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It’s Official. Macy’s Fireworks Will Again Explode Over The East River in 2023


Announced yesterday, Macy’s Fireworks will launch from barges anchored in the East River south of Roosevelt Island this year on July 4th. But viewing from Roosevelt Island will again be firmly restricted.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

According to yesterday’s announcement from Macy’s, the tradition of launching fireworks into the air high above the East River continues for 2023. Some details remain pending, but the location is firm.

Best viewing is from the shoreline in Long Island City, on the FDR, which closes to traffic for the event, and, of course, from FDR Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island.

In 2021, crowds crowded beneath the Pepsi sign for the Macy’s Fireworks in Long Island City.

The Four Freedoms Conservancy generously opens the park, but attendance there is limited to 1,500 ticketed guests. Safety and security demand the restrictions.

Macy’s Fireworks for Roosevelt Island in 2023

The good news is, again, that Roosevelt Island is the prime viewing area for the big, explosive show. Going back decades, Independence Day celebrants gathered on the Island’s southern tip while the fireworks filled the sky overhead.

Bright lights flashed off Manhattan’s glass towers. It has been a treasured community event that Four Freedoms welcomed after it opened in 2011. But there’s bad news too.

RIOC, rejecting community appeals, bans viewing from Southpoint Park. No reason has ever been given, but the state authorities allow only visitors passing through to get to Four Freedoms.

Before Haynes, Southpoint Park on the 4th of July. Picnics, sparklers, food trucks and Roosevelt Islanders in community.

That policy started with the Shelton J. Haynes era, and his alleged communications team has already signaled that it will continue. But that has not stopped – nor will it – RIOC from taking credit for the event for which they contribute so little.

The state also uses the opportunity to beef up its mailing list for advisories.

Astoria, July 4th, 2022. Queens, just across the river, has no problem with community members getting together on Independence Day.

RIOC will again host an online lottery in which all available tickets for Four Freedoms will go in seconds. In previous years, the state agency that never gets it wrong has reserved hundreds for its own secret distribution.

Roosevelt Islanders failing in the lottery get invited to the shadeless lawns on the Cornell Tech campus where they will be joined with Independence Day celebrants from the rest of New York City and beyond.

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