Downtown popping on Independence Day

Instead of lounging on the La-Z-Boy to watch the fireworks on a screen, there is a bouquet of activities to commemorate the Fourth of July Downtown this year.

Macy’s is putting on its 30th annual fireworks display, with fireworks stationed to go off on the edge of the East River. The fireworks will begin around 9 p.m., and the F.D.R. will be closed starting at 7:30 p.m. from 14th to 42nd Sts. and from the ferry terminal to the Pearl St. ramp. Pedestrians can get to the F.D.R. to view the fireworks via the Pearl St. ramp at the South Street Seaport and at 23rd, 38th and 42nd Sts.

On the other side of Manhattan’s tip, a local band will host a free concert at Battery Park City’s Wagner Park to accompany the fireworks production. TriBattery Pops, founded and conducted by Tom Goodkind, is composed of 17 members, all residents of Tribeca, Battery Park City and the Financial District. Ranging from the clarinet to the flugelhorn, the Pops will perform a set of tunes laced with an Independence Day theme, such as the Star Spangled Banner and the 1812 Overture. The free concert will begin at 8:30 p.m.

Another free concert will be held at Battery Park earlier that day at 3:30 p.m. featuring the indie rock band Belle & Sebastian and folk singer Martha Wain-wright as part of the summer-long River to River festival.

For some New Yorkers too hip for the traditional Fourth of July scene, there is an early bird alternative as opposed to its late night fireworks brethren. For the holiday’s purists, a trek through Lower Manhattan’s historical hot spots might be the ticket.

Sponsored by the Fraunces Tavern Museum, the All Night Walking Tour of Revolutionary War New York will kick off at the bleary-eyed hour of 2 a.m. and end at 6 a.m., meeting next to City Hall Park at Broadway and Park Pl. and ending the tour at the Fraunces Tavern Museum. The tour, led by James Kaplan, a long time New York historical aficionado, will cover much Downtown ground as it visits chronicled sites such as the last residence of Thomas Paine, the statue of Nathan Hale, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. Tickets for the tour are $20 for museum members and $25 for nonmembers. Also, the Fraunces Tavern Museum, site where Gen. Washington bid farewell to the troops, will be hosting its annual Independence Day open house from noon to 4 p.m. General admission is $3 and $2 for seniors and students.

—Janet Kwon

WWW Downtown Express