NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The annual Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display will look a lot different this year in New York City as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the fireworks will be spread out over three nights beginning June 29 in various locations across the five boroughs, weather permitting.
"The idea is very brief bursts. Brief but mighty," de Blasio said, adding that this year's show will be different, but "very special, very powerful, very moving, but also very safe."
The goal is to maintain social distancing.
"It's going to be a series of shows only five minutes each," the mayor said Tuesday. "Why? Because we want to get the shows around the five boroughs where people can see them from their own homes, from their own rooftops, from nearby parks, but not something where people go to a single location and group in large numbers."
De Blasio added, "It will not be like the past where there's one big giant show, we do not want a lot of people out watching, there's not going to be a single focal point. In fact, we're only going to let out information about specific points very close to the actual moment when these shows happen."
According to Macy's, the displays will feature a host of new shells and effects in 26 colors. In total, more than 65,000 shells and effects will be launched by the final event.
“New York City is our hometown,” said Susan Tercero, executive producer Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. "Macy’s believes in giving back to the communities where we live and work, and this year, we are taking our Fireworks show on a trip across the city. In reimagining this year’s show, the idea of bringing elements to many parts of our hometown resonated with our team and partners in the City of New York."
There will be a televised program on the 4th of July, featuring highlights from the previous nights, musical performances as well as tributes to health care workers and other frontline heroes. It will air on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.
De Blasio also promised there will be "something very special" live on July 4 at the Empire State Building.
“These past few months have been some of the most difficult in our city’s history, and New Yorkers are looking for a break. This 4th of July Celebration with Macy’s will give all New Yorkers a safe and exciting way to enjoy the holiday together, even when we are apart,” said de Blasio.
Plans for the event come as the city deals with a surge in complaints about illegal fireworks across the city. De Blasio announced a task force will crack down on the problem.