Macy's turns to fans to 'Ignite the Light' on July 4
The team behind Wednesday's fireworks show on the Hudson spent a whole year putting it together, but part of the credit belongs to the show's fans.
For the 36th annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, producers turned to the Internet and social media to help shape this year's theme: "Ignite the Light."
After weeks of public feedback on song choices to accompany the fireworks, executive producer Amy Kule came up with an eclectic soundtrack for the show.
"Every day this comes closer together, I'm amazed at what the team has put together," she said.
For the show, four barges situated on the Hudson River between 43rd and 14th Streets will fire off 40,000 shells starting at 9 p.m. Along with the traditional explosions, there will be specialized fireworks that form smiley faces, flags and even a giant octopus.
Businesses along the West Side said they are gearing up to treat the thousands of people expected to take in the colorful sights.
"People come here pre-fireworks and post-fireworks," said Russ Sonosky, the owner of Bunga's Den bar on West 14th Street.
Before the fireworks begin, Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney will e performance.
Although Kule is proud that such big stars will take part in this year's show, she's more excited about the fan-created soundtrack that will play with the fireworks.
Tracks that are on "America's Mixtape" include renditions of patriotic songs like Ray Charles' take on "America the Beautiful" and modern hits such as "Sparks Fly" by Taylor Swift.
One of the fans who participated in the song planning will be lending her own voice to a rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Kory Leigh Glattman, 23, of New Jersey, said she was ecstatic when she learned that she won the "Macy's Star-Spangled Sing-Off" contest in May. She's proud her recorded performance of the national anthem will headline one of the biggest Fourth of July shows in the nation.
"It's kind of like a dream come true," she said.
For her part, Kule said the production team enjoyed adapting the show to fit fans' requests and will do so again for next year's program.
"I would tell [attendees] to expect the best and we'll over-deliver," she said. (with Ariam Frezghi)