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Macy's To Show Off New Tricks At July 4th Fireworks Show

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Thursday night will feature Macy's 37th annual New York City 4th of July fireworks spectacular.

The skies above the Hudson River will be the canvas for this year's show.

"Forty-thousand shells are gonna burst into the sky," executive producer Amy Kule told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

Kule said the show will feature some new effects.

More: NYC's 7 Best July 4th Parties

"We've got blinking eyes in our smiley faces, and everybody's seen the smiley faces in the past, but nobody's actually seen them blink. Well this year they're gonna be a little flirty," she said.

Macy's To Show Off New Tricks At July 4th Fireworks Show

There will also be beating hearts.

"They'll appear and then appear again and then re-appear. It's really quite amazing," she said.

To make it happen, Macy's teamed up with R&B superstar Usher to choreograph the look of the show with an impressive soundtrack. In an interview with 1010 WINS' Brian Carey, Kule said the partnership has been a success.

"Usher has been marvelous to work with. He has put his creative stamp on the Macy's 4th of July fireworks," Kule said. "Once we started talking to him about the fireworks and the feel and the look of what we needed, he immediately got it. [He] has been an incredible partner in bringing the show to life."

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Macy's Gears Up For 37th Annual Fireworks Show

Live coverage of the 4th of July fireworks will begin on 1010 WINS at 3 p.m. The show begins at 9 p.m.

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If you're watching the show in person, your spot along the river will determine what kind of show you see.

"The show will not be the same in each barge. It will actually be very different," she said of the four barges that will be positioned between about West 42nd Street and West 23rd Street.

LINK: Macy's Viewing Map And Tips

The West Side Highway in Manhattan and River Road/Port Imperial Boulevard in New Jersey will be closed to traffic for the show. New Jersey authorities plan to enforce a no bag policy in viewing areas.

Plus, the final five minutes of the show will be synced up with the dancing lights atop the Empire State Building.

Not everybody is happy that the fireworks are still being launched from the Hudson River.

Calls For Fireworks To Return To East River

"If you think you've seen this movie before it's because you have. Five times," said New York St. Sen. Daniel Squadron on Wednesday.

For over 30 years, the fireworks were held on the East River.

"This was an incredible summer tradition for working class people, middle class people," said New York City Public Advocate and mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio. "[Taken away] for no reason that made sense to anybody."

St. Sen. Daniel Squadron Bill De Blasio Steve Levin
St. Sen. Daniel Squadron, Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, and Brooklyn City Councilman Steve Levin along the East River in Brooklyn - July 3, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

The original reason for switching to the Hudson in 2009 was for the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage up the river.

"It was supposed to be a one time change," de Blasio said. "We were promised it was a one time change."

"Macy's is willing this year to have the fireworks display down here on the East River. However, the administration at City Hall has said that they don't have the resources to do it," said Brooklyn City Councilman Steve Levin.

The mayor's office wouldn't comment on that.

But Squadron added "Gov. Chris Christie is loud. He doesn't also need our fireworks."

Of course, where ever they have the fireworks, you should leave the them to the licensed professionals, as they are illegal for amateurs in both New Jersey and New York.

Kelly Talks Fireworks Safety

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he is encouraged that the number of illegal fireworks found in the city has been reduced and no significant cache of illegal fireworks has been recovered recently.

"Hopefully that's a good thing. We are certainly vigilant at this time of the year for fireworks and I haven't received any reports of large seizures in the last couple of weeks," Kelly told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb.

The number of fireworks-related injuries has also been drastically reduced since a crackdown started in 1995, Lamb reported.

"It remains to be seen, but all indicators are that [it's] not going to be a big problem, but unfortunately, you'll always read that someplace that somebody is losing a digit or whatever based on fireworks," Kelly said. "So, hopefully it doesn't happen in this coming weekend."
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