Celebrate the 4th of July in NYC | Tracy's New York Life | A New York City Lifestyle + Travel Blog Tracy's New York Life | Best Lifestyle, Culture, and Travel Blog in NYC

Celebrate the 4th of July in NYC

by Jerry Del Priore

          Macy's Fireworks!--credit
Most New Yorkers will look to escape the city’s hot and humid temperatures on the 4th of July this year by heading to cooler, outer city limits destinations such as the Hamptons and Jersey Shore. But you don’t have to leave the Big Apple in order to enjoy patriotic celebrations.  NYC has plenty to offer. Here’s a list of places that will help you commemorate the country’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence from England on July 4, 1776 with a bang!
Macy's fireworks are America's largest birthday bash. This year's annual firework display, Macy’s 37, will be designed by Usher, who will also score the musical arrangement. The 40,000 shells will be launched from barges situated on the Hudson River between 24th and 40th Streets. But you won’t be able to see it from Brooklyn and Queens, so you’ll have to venture out to Manhattan’s West Side (Twelfth Avenue and the West Side Highway) for optimal viewing.


Citi Field Fireworks Night and Fourth Fest at MCU Park
Since Brooklyn and Queens are being shunned by Macy's for the fifth straight year, you may want to find other firework spectaculars if you'd rather not stray too far from home base.

While it’s not exactly July 4, the night before Independence Day, Queens’ Citi Field will be the site of a spectacular firework extravaganza following the 7:10 p.m. Mets-Diamondbacks game.

In Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Alliance for Coney Island are joining forces to host a 4th of July merriment and firework demonstration at MCU Park. Attendees will be treated to a pig roast, a “Beers of New York” Beer Garden, a special performance by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, live music from oldies and Top 40 cover bands, and family activities including the “Fastest Arm in Brooklyn Competition” on the Brooklyn Cyclones’ speed pitch.

Admission is free. However, contributions will be accepted to benefit the Brooklyn Public Library and ConeyRecovers — an initiative of local organizations working together to assist with the recovery of the Coney Island community, which was heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

The gates will be open at 4:30 p.m. and culminate with a fantastic fireworks exhibition at 9 p.m. 
What’s more patriotic than a good, old-fashioned parade on the nation’s celebration of independence? Holding true to the grand, time-honored American parade tradition is the neighborhood of Travis, located on Staten Island’s West Shore. Travis will be hosting its 103rd Annual 4th of July Parade, the longest Independence Day celebration of its variety in the United States—a true testament to its traditional, small town-like values. 

This year’s Grand Marshal is Rev. John J. Wroblewski, The pastor at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Travis for the past 13 years. The Parade will commence at 12:30 at the Showplace Center, located at 141 East Service Road.


Considered the premier event on the competitive eating circuit, countless people flock to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island to watch contenders devour as many Nathan’s Famous Franks and Buns as possible in 10 minutes for the highly coveted Nathan’s Mustard Belt. 

According to Brooklyn historical records, the contest has occurred each July 4 in Coney Island, NY, since 1916 — the year Nathan Handwerker debuted the renowned restaurant. The competition has grown in epic proportions over time, garnering ESPN telecast coverage, with over 1 million viewers glued to the boob tube in 2012. 

Joey Chestnut, 29, of San Jose, CA, holds the current world record for eating 68 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes, and he will vie for his seventh consecutive title this year – another world record if he succeeds.

Sonya Thomas, 47, of Alexandria, VA, will defend her belt as Female Champion.  She downed 45 Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes last year, setting a new women’s world record. That’s a remarkable accomplishment for the diminutive Thomas, who is a mere 5-feet and 100 pounds, and also goes by her moniker the Black Widow for her ability to out-consume the male competition.  

The festivities will kickoff at noon, but crowds will gather well before the starting time.


Orchard Beach in the Bronx (1 Orchard Beach Road in Pelham Bay Park)
If lounging on the beach and soaking up the sun’s rays are more your speed, then head to Bronx’s Orchard Beach, where you’ll enjoy the party-like atmosphere as locals bang away on congas and bongos. Don’t be afraid to shake your patriotic moneymaker, but make sure you wear sunscreen, because nothing spoils a good time like a stinging red, white and blue sunburn.

Happy 4th to everyone!

Orchard Beach--credit

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