The Borough of Fort Lee doesn’t have any 4th of July events planned; the real kickoff to a summer of local fun is Saturday, when the first installment of the annual gets started with a screening of Back to the Future (1985) and a performance by The Hot Sardines.
But for those who live in Fort Lee who do want to see fireworks on the 4th, it's certainly possible; it just won't be particularly easy.
If you’re willing to venture out of Fort Lee on Wednesday, and you don’t mind braving the crowds and some potentially very heavy traffic along the way, you might want to consider the 36th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display, which once again promises to “Ignite the Night” over the Hudson River.
The display, which Macy’s touts as “an awe-inspiring display of patriotic firepower,” will feature more than 40,000 fireworks set to a musical score—a medley of standards and pop hits—and last about 25 minutes.
One Patch reader said he went to the George Washington Bridge last year to watch the show from the south edge sidewalk “since it is open until midnight” only to find out that wasn’t the case on the 4th of July, when the Port Authority closed the spot early.
“Hundreds of people were there already so they naturally flowed up and in to ,” he said. “I had a decent vantage point there. Immediately after the fireworks were over, the Palisades Interstate Park Police flushed everyone out.”
For those who feel like making the trip across the bridge, Macy’s recommends heading to 12th Avenue south of 59th Street or various “access points” on 11th Avenue, including 24th to 26th Streets, 27th to 29th Streets, 33rd to 34th Streets, 40th to 42nd Streets, 52nd to 54th Streets and 56th to 57th Streets.
However parking in the city is more than likely to be problematic, and Macy’s therefore recommends taking mass transit.
If you’re going to stay on the Jersey side of the Hudson, NJ.com recommends JFK Boulevard East, Kennedy Boulevard East and Lincoln Harbor Park as prime spots in Weehawken to take in the Macy’s show but notes that Lincoln Harbor Park will only be open to Weehawken residents, and that proof is required.
Spots in Jersey City, Hoboken and North Bergen are also possibilities, according to NJ.com, but it also reports that road closures are planned in North Hudson Wednesday evening to protect the throngs of pedestrians expected, making getting to those places a challenge. Closures include Boulevard East and Port Imperial Boulevard in Weehawken, West New York, Guttenberg and North Bergen, according to the report, which also says Hoboken officials are expecting traffic delays in excess of four hours.
In addition, variable message signs in Edgewater have been warning that "heavy traffic delays" are expected for those heading south on River Road on the 4th of July and recommending motorists use alternate routes.
NorthJersey.com reported Tuesday that the southbound portion of River Road near the border of Edgewater and North Bergen would be closed from 5 p.m. to midnight on the 4th, and that Edgewater officials expect heavy traffic after the Macy’s display.
Just a few places in on the actual holiday: Allendale at 9 p.m. in Memorial Park at Brookside and Park Avenues, Hackensack at 9:15 p.m. at Foschini Park at 278 River Street and Ridgewood for a fee.
And then there’s always the option of staying home and watching the "Ignite the Night" display on TV. NBC will broadcast it live, along with performances by Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney, at 9 p.m., according to Macy's.