July 4th fireworks honor Henry Hudson
By Anastasia Economides
Special to amNewYork
When Henry Hudson sailed into New York Harbor in 1609, he and his crew aboard the Half Moon could never have imagined the nations largest fireworks display would honor his trip 400 years later or, for that matter, have conceived of the city that would grow around it.
The 33rd annual Macys Fourth of July Fireworks are honoring Hudsons arrival, which led to the establishment of New Amsterdam, which in 1664 would become New York.
We are pleased by the celebration. Its a symbol of Dutch-American relations, the arrival of the Dutch, said Gajus Scheltema, consul general of the Netherlands in New York, who will attend Saturdays show.
The evenings spectacle will end with bursts of red, white and blue fireworks shaped like tulips flowers that symbolize Dutch heritage.The Dutch brought the [idea of] entrepreneurship with their trades, something which is very characteristic of New York and the United States. These are the basic values that we still share, Scheltema said.
To honor Hudson, this years barges will be positioned in the Hudson River for the first time since 2000 a boon to West Siders, who normally have to make the trek over to the FDR Drive to see the East River show.
Fireworks will explode to the festive tune of patriotic classics performed by the New York Pops.
Celebrities such as Rob Thomas, Jewel, theater and television star Audra McDonald and Tony winning-actress Idina Menzel are set to perform.
The 26-minute spectacle will feature some never-before-seen pyrotechnic effects, as well as some traditional favorites.
The nautical shells where fireworks hover above the water are back in action this year. Saturn shells with interlocking rings will float and fade into sparkle dust.
The new ghost shells will fool the viewer into thinking the illuminations are achieved by disappearing for a few seconds before reappearing.
The customary one-mile-long shower of gold sparkles, known as Macys Golden Mile, will be accompanied this year by the first-ever Silver Mile.
* 9:20 p.m.: Show begins
* 40,000 fireworks
* 6 barges positioned side by side
* 26: The length in blocks the boats will occupy, from 24th Street to 50th Street
* 1,500 fireworks per minute, at 1,000 feet high
Public access points,
along 11th Avenue
* 24th Street
* 26th Street through 30th Street
* 34th Street
* 40th through 44th Street
* 47th Street through 52nd Street
* 54th Street through 57th Street