By Mathew Katz
NEW YORK CITY — New Yorkers will get a chance to celebrate their patriotism — and take in a breathtaking display — when an astounding 40,000 fireworks explode into the sky over the Hudson River for the 37th annual Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Show.
This year's display will be synchronized to a 25-minute score hand-picked by Usher, who is directing the extravaganza. It features appearances by Nick Cannon, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw.
Starting about 9 p.m., the fireworks will launch from barges on the Hudson between West 24th and 42nd streets. Crowds are expected to start filling 12th Avenue in the morning to reserve a spot close to the action.
But the street may not be the most comfortable vantage point. For viewers looking for a more relaxed, less-crowded vibe while taking in the show, DNAinfo New York has put together some of the best places to watch:
The public can view the fireworks for free from spots along 12th Avenue, between West 24th and 59th streets. The area will get crowded fast, so get there as early as possible to ensure a clear view.
Access to 12th Avenue is limited to certain streets, which the public can enter from 11th Avenue at 24th, 26th, 27th, 29th, 33rd, 34th, 40th, 42nd, 44th, 50th, 52nd, 54th, 56th and 57th streets.
Historic Ships Gala at Pier 66 (West 26th Street and the Hudson River)
If you want to be close to the show and high above it all, you can pay a premium to be right on the water for the breathtaking display.
Now in its fifth year, this party on the rooftop of Pier 66 — right next to the popular Frying Pan — benefits the North River Historic Ship Society and features food, an open bar and table seating. Access is limited to 100 people who buy advance tickets, so the gala can guarantee that there won't be huge crowds.
Tickets are $225, including a $175 tax-deductible donation to the society, and are available online.
Soaked at Mondrian SoHo — 150 Lafayette St.
This 2,500-square-foot rooftop on the tallest building in SoHo offers sweeping views of both the city and the fireworks show. The bar's Red, White and Juice party kicks off at 7 p.m. with an open beer and wine bar, along with artisanal popcorn to snack on and music by DJ Brooklyn Dawn.
General admission is $95, with table packages ranging from $2,500 to $6,000. Tickets can be purchased online.
Sky Terrace at the Hudson Hotel — 356 W. 58th St.
The Hudson Hotel is a more affordable option for those hoping to catch the action from a rooftop. Tickets for this hot spot start at $40, including an hour of open bar from 6 to 7 p.m. The party runs until 11:30 p.m. with music by Rawse, J. Schott and Brandon James.
Those who want bottle service can also get a table, with prices ranging from $400 to $1,200. Tickets are available online.
Plunge Bar at Hotel Gansevoort Meatpacking — 18 Ninth Ave.
The rooftop bar at this boutique hotel has a retractable cover — meaning that it has air conditioning if Independence Day is a scorcher, and cover if it rains. A stone's throw from the Hudson River, this party offers patrons red, white and blue cocktails to enjoy along with the holiday's fireworks.
Tickets — with a guarantee of an unobstructed view of the festivities — are available for $250 a person, with general admission starting at $50 per person. Reservations are available by calling 212-660-6736.
Classic Harbor Line Boat — Pier 62, West 22nd Street and the Hudson River.
Why watch the festivities from land when you can see them from a boat? Classic Harbor Lines has four boats to choose from — two schooners and two luxury yachts — that will set sail just before the fireworks begin. Each cruise includes an open bar of beer, wine and Champagne, along with hors d'oeuvres.
This is about as close as you'll get to the fireworks without being the one to set them off — and it shows in the price. The cruises, starting at 7:30 p.m., range from $326 to $426 per person. Tickets are available online.
Top of the Rock - 30 Rockefeller Plaza
If booze isn't your thing, this landmark is tall enough to get a view of the show.
Tickets were still available this week for the Top of the Rock — for $27 — though it's likely to be crowded with a combination of tourists and thrifty New Yorkers. Snap up your tickets quickly, though — they're available online and will likely sell out.