Jam-packed shoulder to shoulder, spectators on the Long Island City waterfront let out gasps and cheers as the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza kicked off Tuesday night.
For the first time in the 47-year tradition, the show was kicked-off by 500 drones that lit up the sky. The flying machines wowed crowds by forming various iconic representations of Americana, including The Star-Spangled Banner and the Statue of Liberty.
Revelers like eight-year-old Nicholas and his brother Brendan Cosme-Ng, 10, and their friend Robert Romeo Disantillo, 10, were completely flabbergasted by the surprise describing it as “awesome” and “super cool.”
“It was so cool! I was impressed. At first, I didn’t know what it was,” Brendan Cosme-Ng told amNewYork Metro.
“The minute I saw the drones, I asked myself how in the world did they make the drones light up with those colors,” Nicholas Cosme-Ng added.
Disantillo agreed with his friends, he explained that he was pleasantly surprised by the drones.
“It was amazing. I was here last year and there weren’t any drones. I just feel like everyday technology gets more and more advanced,” Disantillo said.
Fireworks immediately lit up the sky as the drones whizzed away, bursting in deep reds and emerald greens.
While some held up their phones to capture the awe-inspiring display, others took in the romantic moment by sharing a warm embrace and a kiss.
The event has become an annual tradition for thousands of New Yorkers, including those not originally hailing from the Big Apple.
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While Kaitie Rau has lived in California and Chicago, New York City has been her home for the past ten years and every Fourth of July holiday she watches the fireworks with friends.
“I love coming out to see the fireworks every year, and you can’t get any better than the Macy’s show,” Rau said, “I was very much impressed by the drones. I wasn’t expecting that at all. And it was a great show. I’m glad that the city has kind of returned back to normal and they’ve brought out the crowds and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.”
As attendees enjoyed the display, NYPD officers kept an eagle eye out, ensuring the safety of all involved both on the riverfront and in the harbor.
According to Assistant Chief Christine Bastedenvack, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North, the NYPD visited the area on July 3 with acting Police Commissioner Edward Caban and went over their safety plans to disseminate hundreds of officers to ensure the protection of New Yorkers prior to the fireworks show, during, and afterwards when the crowds dispersed.
“We’re working hand in hand with all the other city agencies looking for a really excellent show through Macy’s,” Bastedenvack said Tuesday ahead of the show. “We’ll be here till everyone gets home and throughout evening after that.”