Patriotic Firepower Dazzles on 4th of July

By Della Hasselle | July 5, 2011 7:28am | Updated on July 5, 2011 7:27am

By Della Hasselle

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Patriotic firepower boomed for Independence Day when 40,000 fireworks exploded in the sky at this year's Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show.

The "Gift of Freedom" themed show was done as a special tribute for the Statue of Liberty's 125th anniversary. The meaning of the holiday wasn't lost on many of the city's patriotic revelers.

Paulette Kellner, 66, and Arthur Grubbs, 67, of the Upper East Side, spent their July 4th holiday at the High Line in Chelsea, with a patriotic singalong en route.

"We taught some guy in the subway at 68th Street to sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner,'" said Kellner, who launched into an impromptu demonstration of her singing skills Monday.

Later in the evening, millions saw the fireworks show, which executive producer Amy Kule described as a  "kaleidoscope of brilliant colors and jaw-dropping effects" that extended for two miles over the Hudson River.

Crowds gathered along the West Side Highway to see the orange sunset and view the pyrotechnics, which included everything from stars and stripes to pink strobing jellyfish.

Others packed into bars, clubs and onto piers to catch a glimpse of the show. Parks were packed by Monday afternoon as revelers prepared for the holiday with picnics and patriotic spirit.

Broadcast on television, the show also included renditions of "God Bless America" by Beyonce, "Star Spangled Banner" by Jennifer Hudson and "Amazing Grace" by LeAnn Rimes. The performances were accompanies by shells, gold cascading waterfalls and two towers of light in tribute to Sep. 11.

"It's a birthday celebration for all of us," Bill Schermerhorn, creative director of Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, said before the event.

Other highlights included multi-colored falling leaves, golden brocade fans and a grand finale of lighting and titanium salute shells.

All in all, the show included 50 different shape effects, 17 colors, and shells ranging in size from 1-inch to 10-inches in diameter, some weighing up to 35 pounds. Macy's estimated that an average of 1,600 shells were launched per minute.