NEW YORK—It all started early afternoon when the most tenacious spectators arrived at the East River waterfront in New York City to grab the sweetest spots for watching the spectacle. About eight hours later, when the darkness fell and the early birds were surrounded by thousands upon thousands, the first sparklers launched from several barges gently rocking on the water—Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks was on!
To celebrate Independence Day, Macy’s has been putting on the show for 35 years. The fireworks show lasts about 30 minutes and is synchronized to music broadcast live by NBC and also made available on Macy’s website.
Gasps and exclamations from the audience enhance the excitement while many a spectator donning stars, stripes, and national colors lend the experience to patriotic overtones.
Gary Souza, producer of the show, shared with Epoch Times last year some secrets of his art. He’s the vice president of Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, a California-based family company that’s been putting on the New York fireworks for the past 30 years.
The most magical part is the synchronization with music, Souza said. He first picks the songs and then choreographs the fireworks in his mind. “It’s almost like having videos in your brain,” he said. Then the songs are broken into segments and specific fireworks are fit in.
In the last stage pyrotechnics spend dozens of hours to program a digital launching system to achieve the synchronization. And, of course, all of the individual projectiles have to be manually wired and prepared for launch. Quite a feat of engineering for 30 minutes of fun.