4th July BBQ

4th of July in NYC – Fireworks & Other Events 🇺🇸

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America’s Independence Day, also known as July 4th or Fourth of July, is a major national holiday. Rightfully so! It marks the most significant moment in American history. On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed and the US since separated from Great Britain to become the free country we now know.

Therefore, celebrating Independence Day is a must for every American. From US themed BBQs to parades, air shows, fireworks and concerts. Of course, 4th of July in NYC comes with all of those events in one place. You can literally pick and choose.

Here are three events you should consider: Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks ShowNathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest/Coney IslandManhattan Harbor Cruise

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show on the East River (Courtesy of Macy’s)

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show

4th of July in NYC wouldn’t be the same without Macy’s Fireworks Show. Each year, between 1 to 3 million people gather along the East River to watch the colorful fireworks being launched into the night sky.

Several firework boats are lined up on the East River. This allows the many spectators to spread out along the Manhattan and Brooklyn shores to comfortably watch the fireworks. The first group of boats is usually located near Brooklyn Bridge, the second group around Roosevelt Island.

Best places to see the fireworks in New York (via Google Maps)

You can get the best views from Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, South Street Seaport, and public locations along the FDR Drive in Lower Manhattan (around 34th Street). Keep in mind, because these are the best areas to watch the fireworks, it can get pretty crowded. To ensure everyone’s safety, arrive way ahead of time – don’t make a last minute trip to a viewing location as you may get stuck in very dense crowds on your way there. Always remember, celebrating 4th of July in NYC is on many, many people’s bucket list!

Quick tip: There’s also a fireworks show happening in New Jersey, called 50 Star Fire Show. Head to Battery Park, Rockefeller Park or Jersey City to see the majestic fireworks above the Hudson River.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Fancy some entertainment while you’re spending 4th of July in NYC? Say no more! Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island is the right event for you. Each year, on July 4, contestants around the world compete for the Mustard Belt and the title “Hot Dog King of the Year” outside of the original Nathan’s Famous restaurant on Surf Avenue.

How many hot dogs does it take to win? Let’s see, the current champion, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, devoured a total of 75 hot dogs and buns in only 10 minutes! This event has become so famous that it’s even broadcasted by ESPN. Make sure to arrive early to be in the picture with a gigantic hot dog hat (event usually starts around 12 PM ET).

Once the winner has been declared, you should definitely take a stroll along the Coney Island boardwalk, visit the amusement park (check out the Wonder Wheel!) or just chill at the beach and work on your tan. In case you get hungry… Well, there’s a Nathan’s Famous on the boardwalk where you can not only get yourself a delicious hot dog, but also a Hot Dog Eating Contest souvenir T-shirt!

Manhattan Harbor Cruise

4th of July in NYC can fall on a pretty hot, and sometimes humid day. The best way to cool down is a breezy harbor cruise around Manhattan. Spoiler alert: impressive New York skyline views are guaranteed! If we had to recommend a cruise, we’d definitely advise you to book an evening/sunset cruise. But honestly, even if you choose to hop on a boat during the day, you won’t miss out on anything. It’s always an unforgettable experience.

If you want to watch the fireworks from a boat, you need to book a special 4th of July Fireworks cruise. Please be advised that (surprise, surprise), these cruises are usually crowded and quickly sold out. So make sure to … yep… arrive early to secure the best spot on the boat.

There you have it, the best places to see the fireworks and other fun events to make your 4th of July in NYC as American as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a quick note. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible!


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