Ask MTC: Tips to Have the Best Fourth of July!

limo service westchester, NYC limoFire and water may not mix, but fireworks and water certainly do in New York City and neighboring Westchester County and Fairfield County in Connecticut where a treasure trove of  of waterways not only provide a safe underpinning for the bursts of explosive color, but also serve as mirrors that mesmerize the crowds on the shore. Speaking of crowds, while it's always prudent, anywhere  in the country, to arrive early for Fourth of July fireworks, just like everything in larger than life New York, that goes double for the iconic Macy's Fireworks display. NYCGo, the official city tourist website advises anyone wanting to grab a good spot to arrive  four hours early -  at 5PM

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

Now in its 40th year, having debuted in 1976 to celebrate America's Bicentennial, the daddy of all pyrotechnics extravaganzas will light up the East River this year  Not wanting to slight anyone, the city alternates rivers. Last year the fireworks barges moored in the Hudson River to light up the West Side and the banks of New Jersey.  This year, the East Side plays host, and by extension, the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The fireworks can be viewed from any place with an unobstructed  view of the skies, and those lucky enough to have access to rooftops and highrise balconies often hold viewing parties. But the city is looking out for everyone, closing down the usually traffic-clogged FDR Drive running along the East River so that the public can set up camp along the roadway, with designated midtown and lower Manhattan highway ramps serving as entry points. The fireworks start at 9 PM, but don't forget get there by 5 if you want a spot.  

The River Towns and Sound Shore Communities of Westchester County

Now if you want more than a tight spot, you might want to head north to Westchester County. Like Manhattan, there's water to the east and water to the west, and the towns of Westchester take advantage of it  for their own more homespun but nonetheless spectacular displays. On the western side, the River Towns make use of the Hudson, and along the Sound Shore communities on the eastern side, the Long Island Sound serves to amplify the effect. Whether one views along the River or the Sound, the fireworks up here come with a bonus. Since all towns start fireworks ay nightfall, viewers get to see an echo of bursts and a duel of grand finales up and down the shores.

Peekskill, NY.

One of the biggest River town displays takes place in Peekskill NY on of Westchester's northern border. A town with a storied history that played a big part  in the Revolutionary War, Peekskill is going through an era of regeneration, actively recruiting artists to studio space in its official artist's district in the old downtown area. But fireworks are nothing new. For years, locals  have been trekking down to the Hudson, blankets and chairs in hand to Riverfront Green  to take in the Peekskill Celebration . This year  things start off with a concert by the band Lost Soulz from 7 to 9, with fireworks to follow. 

Mamaroneck, NY

Mamaroneck which traces its name to a Native American word meaning "the place where the sweet waters fall into the sea". With its beach, town boat berths and  tony beach-and- yacht clubs sharing the rangy long Island Sound coastline, Mamaroneck comes alive in summer; but especially during the week preceding the 4th of July,  traditionally marked by the fireman's parade, week-long fireman's carnival, and  fireworks display. Held on the expansive grassy area of  Harbor Island, the pyrotechnics start at dark and, since the park wraps around the harbor, the, viewing is spectacular anywhere in the park, as "bombs burst into air"  lighting up the sound and the boats and yachts at anchor. .

Fairfield County, Connecticut

Those wishing to experience New England Fireworks might travel a few miles northward along I-95, just across the state line, into Connecticut's Fairfield County where towns up and down the Long Island Sound will be holding parades, footraces and fireworks. Anyone wanting to get in two days of celebrations can join the residents of Greenwich who are getting a head start, celebrating the 4th on the Greenwich Point in Binney Park where sparks start flying at dusk.

Posted on Jul 01 2015

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