Crews prepare massive Macy's 4th of July fireworks show

Macy's 45th annual Fourth of July fireworks in New York City are back and expected to be better than ever.

"It is going to be an amazing spectacle," said Kathleen Wright, the production director of the fireworks show.

Last year, a number of short fireworks shows spanned five days with no spectators because of the pandemic. This year, spectators will be able to line the waterfronts of the East River to watch the 25-minute show. There will be separate sections for vaccinated and unvaccinated folks, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"I think where we've been for the last year and a half to where we are today, it's a really important moment and opportunity to celebrate," said Will Coss, the executive producer of the show.

Five barges in the East River between Midtown Manhattan and Queens and Brooklyn will launch 65,000 shells.

Putting a show of this magnitude together takes 12 days and a lot of manpower. Tuesday was what organizers call "loading day." A team of 50 pyrotechnicians from across the country were seen loading the fireworks into the mortars.

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"What is different this year is the music is much more melodic and majestic," Gary Souza, the vice president of pyrotechnics, said. "It's going to have some dramatic and passionate moments."

The fireworks come from 13 countries. This year's theme is "the hero within us" and it honors our first responders.

Souza, who has been working on the show for 38 years, said this year a new shell called the Maltese cross will show the symbol of heroes and the FDNY.

The fireworks will light up the skies starting at 9:25 p.m. on Sunday.