Vallone Calls For Return Of East River Fireworks
Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. is on a mission to bring the Macy’s July 4 fireworks display back to the East River.
Vallone, in a letter to Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s requested that the annual fireworks extravaganza be returned to the East River, where “millions of people…are eager to participate in what should be a citywide event”.
Vallone is a member of a panel of elected officials and community leaders who are asking Macy’s officials to bring the fireworks “back home” to the East River, where millions of people gathered each year to view the annual tribute to American independence.
The panel was established early this year, after Macy’s officials announced that the 2012 fireworks would remain on the Hudson River–a move that blocked the view of the show from the Long Island City waterfront.
Macy’s officials moved the display to the Hudson River in 2009, to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the historic waterway.
Dozens of community leaders and business owners in Long Island City have since complained that the move had an adverse effect on the neighborhood.
“We had hundreds of people coming in here on July 4, on their way to the fireworks,” one Vernon Boulevard deli owner said. “Since they’ve moved, the crowds and our customers are gone.”
In his letter to Ludgren, Vallone said, “…the celebration of Independence Day is as old as the nation itself. While New Jersey residents and businesses must enjoy their current proximity to this New York fireworks display, many New Yorkers do not get to enjoy the celebration.”
Vallone said millions of New Yorkers…in Brooklyn and Queens…are eager to participate in what should be a citywide event. “Indeed, residents of all five boroughs could watch the fireworks if the East River were included,” Vallone wrote.
“The greatest fireworks display must return to the heart of the greatest city – the East River,” Vallone said in a prepared statement.
“We love our neighbors in the west, but there are certain events that must be firmly placed in New York City,” Vallone said. “What’s next? Moving the Thanksgiving Day Parade to West New York, New Jersey?”
A Macy’s spokesperson said store officials are engaged in talks with city officials and lawmakers regarding return of the fireworks to the East River, but would not offer further comment.