Despite a gloomy start to the holiday, tens of thousands of spectators lined up along the East River Friday night in Brooklyn and Manhattan to catch a glimpse of the 38th annual Macy's fireworks show. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.
For the first time in five years, the biggest fireworks show in the nation returned to the East River.
Forty thousand shells were fired off of 3 barges, lighting up the city's skyline, and dazzling the more than three million estimated spectators, including folks who had a front row seat at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The bridge was the star of the 25 minute display.
This years space, narrower than that on the Hudson River, required a more compact show, and Macy's officials say they created more than 5,000 custom-made designs.
"A lot of fireworks came out," one spectator said.
"I think it was awesome," another said.
They dressed the part.
"Stars and Stripes, cuteness," one spectator said.
They came from all 50 states.
"This is real exciting, seeing the whole city in the background. I've never seen fireworks in a city like this," another spectator said.
On this 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner, they felt more patriotic than ever.
"Just like the makeup of our country, and how many different types of people are here. I don't know if that's something that our founding fathers would have imagined, so that's awesome to me," one woman said.
Here from North Carolina, Chris Holmes and Emily Dunbar started their day by visiting the 9/11 museum for the first time.
"It's very overwhelming actually," Holmes said.
They say that trip made this holiday extra special.
"It's reassuring to know that, you know, whenever we need to we come together as a country, as a people and at the end of the day, we're all humans. We're not anything in particular, and just trying to celebrate and enjoy that," Holmes said.
"Just extremely proud to be an American," Dunbar said.
Despite the fact that the rainy weather cleared up, officials say a high rip current caused them to re-position a barge slightly south of the bridge. That sent some folks scrambling to find a new seat, but they forgot all about their troubles once the show started.