Fireworks for the Fourth Fly High over Hudson, Statue of Liberty Reopens


statue-of-libertyNew York City’s Fourth of July fireworks along the Hudson River have lit the sky with a kaleidoscope of fiery colors shooting 1,000 feet into the air. It’s the nation’s biggest fireworks display, with more than 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploding over a mile-and-a-half of the river. That’s the length of 25 city blocks. The extravaganza was moved back to Manhattan’s West Side for the first time since the 9/11 terror attacks. Tens of thousands of people lined up both side of river to watch the spectacle.

On Coney Island, three elephants rested after eating 505 hot dogs buns in six minutes Friday, winning a competition against three humans who downed 143 buns. It was a sideshow to the Fourth of July event – Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, won this afternoon by Joey Chestnut, who chomped down a record 68 dogs.

The day began with the Statue of Liberty’s crown opening to the public for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001. At about 9 a.m., the first huddled masses huffed and puffed their way up the 354 cramped steps to take in the spectacular view of Manhattan.

After nightfall, more than 22 tons of pyrotechnics – the nation’s biggest fireworks display – exploded over a mile-and-a-half stretch of the Hudson River, a new vantage point for New York’s festivities. Tens of thousands of spectators watched from both sides of the river.

The extravaganza was expanded this year with more than 44,000 shells.

july-4The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – a retired World War II aircraft carrier – hosted the live broadcast of the spectacle.

While the recession forced many communities to scale down, or even cancel, their fireworks, “we’re a country of survivors and fighters, and we try to make things work,” said Gary Souza, whose family-owned, California-based company staged the New York display.

The West Side Highway was closed to traffic so pedestrians could view the fireworks.

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