Millions of revelers flocked to grab a spot on either side of the East River Thursday, hoping to get the best view of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks that lit up the New York City skyline.
The nearly half hour spectacle made for a colorful display up and down the river, and especially at the Brooklyn Bridge, where the show began with a shower of sparkles raining down from the landmark.
As the sun set, red, white, and blue lights shone from several buildings in Lower Manhattan and along the Brooklyn waterfront.
While it is impressive every year, if this year's showing seemed even grander than usual, it's because it was. Organizers said 70,000 aerial shells were used for the giant display, 10,000 more than the next largest show.
The Macy's team said that the spectacle also had three times more firepower — launching 3,000 shells a minute. The colorful fireworks show was six months in the making, with the Macy's team first putting it to the test in the California desert.
This year's had some high-powered musical performances as well, with Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Ciara and Khalid all performing before the big show — one of the biggest in the U.S.
The celebration of America's birthday went off without a hitch, largely thanks to the extensive efforts and preparations by the NYPD. The department kept the crowd safe using tools and tactics to monitor the ground, the skies and the water.
Police used a drone for the first time to keep an eye on the celebration, and had sensors set up to detect any unauthorized drones that would potentially crash the party. There were also several barricades and security checkpoints set up at viewing areas in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with cops checking bags for prohibited items.
The fireworks spectacular was so big that in addition to the Brooklyn Bridge, more than two dozen streets were closed ahead of the show.
Around the city and on Long Island, police cracked down on illegal fireworks but Suffolk County police say two women, 44 and 45 years old, in Port Jefferson were injured Thursday night after a block party's fireworks exploded near their legs.
It wasn't immediately clear whether anyone was charged with a crime.
In a separate incident, a Farmingdale garage possibly caught on fire due to fireworks. The sound of the pyrotechnics exploding in the flames can be heard in a video.