Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show by the numbers

Fireworks are an essential part of any Fourth of July celebration -- and the show by Macy’s is one of the most iconic.

Millions of spectators watch the show in person in New York City and tens of millions of people watch on TV, a Macy’s spokesperson told FOX Business.

This year -- the event’s 43rd year -- the fireworks will go off from barges on the East River near Pier 17 at the Seaport District, as well as from the Brooklyn Bridge.

The show will also be accompanied by a musical score including “America the Beautiful” and instrumentals from classic movies such as “Star Wars” and “Superman,” according to a Macy’s press release. Jennifer Hudson will also sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for the show.

Though Macy’s does not discuss the cost of the event, the show could cost up to $6 million just for the fireworks themselves, Bankrate estimated in 2012. The cost for the preparation for the show or the performers is unclear.

Ahead of the show, which will start around 9:20 p.m. on Thursday, here’s a look at some facts and figures about the fireworks, according to the Macy’s spokesperson.

More than 70,000 firework shells will go off during the 25-minute show, or 2,800 shells per minute. There are more than 100 firing locations, including the Brooklyn Bridge and four barges on the East River.

There will be 25,000 shells and effects launched from the Brooklyn Bridge alone this year. In 2014 (pictured) Macy's also launched fireworks from the bridge.  (Macy's, Inc.)

There will be 25,000 shells and effects launched from the Brooklyn Bridge alone, including 1,600-foot waterfall bursts between the bridge’s towers.

This year, the fireworks will be in 28 colors and will have five new effects that have reportedly never been seen before, according to Macy’s. The new effects are called: Wolf Whistle, Little Snakes, Hidden Happy Faces, Revolving Dragons and Multicolor Meteor Mines.

There will be between 1 and 3 million spectators in person and more than 10 million people will watch on television.


It takes 12 days for the 60 pyrotechnicians to set up the show. Once it’s ready to go, six computers will actually control when the fireworks launch.

And as soon as the show is over, Macy’s team immediately gets back to work because it takes 12 months to plan the annual show.