If you are in Scarsdale for July 4th weekend, I'll bet you and most of your friends plan on heading down to the Scarsdale Pool to see the breathtaking phenomena that has forever defined Independence Day: fireworks. Crackling sounds and a web of vibrant colors lighting up the sky. Yep, fireworks are pretty awesome. And while Scarsdale undoubtedly does a great show, for my taste it is getting slightly repetitive. Don't get me wrong, the Scarsdale Pool's fireworks are first rate (and conveniently close) but if you are getting a little bored of the same venue or just want to try something new, there are an abundance of places close by that offer their own unique Fourth of July Festivities...all with lots of fireworks.
July 3rd 6:00 PM-10:00 PM at Kensico Damn Plaza in Valhalla
On Wednesday July 3rd, head to the Kensico Damn Plaza in Valhalla to celebrate our country's Independence Day with some patriotic music and a spectacular fireworks display. The festivities will start at 6 PM with pre-concert entertainment; followed by the Bensen-Scott Big Band at 8 PM. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. Admission and parking are free, though carpooling is suggested, as parking spots are limited. Concert-goers should bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. The Kensico Dam Plaza is located at the north end of the Bronx River Parkway in Valhalla. For more information, go to westchestergov.com/parks or call (914) 864-PARK.
July 3rd 9:15 PM at the Scarsdale Pool Complex
On Wednesday July 3rd, Scarsdale will hold its annual Fireworks Spectacular. This display is open for all residents and is held at the Scarsdale Municipal Pool. For non-pool members and anyone arriving after 5 PM, there will be an entrance fee of $2. Non-pool members cannot enter the pool complex before 5:00 PM. Scarsdale Pool members should come back the next day, July 4th, for Carnival Day! From 11:00 AM-4:00 PM when there will be pool games, swim races, face painting, inflatable's, sandcastle building and other water games that kids love. The Scarsdale Pool's address is 311 Mamaroneck Road in Scarsdale. For more information about either the firework show or carnival day, contact the Scarsdale Pool office at (914) 722-1292.
July 4th 8:00 PM at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah
For those who prefer some jazz music with their fireworks, head north to Katonah on July 4th where the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts will be holding their "Pops, Patriots and Fireworks" concert. The concert will feature hits from Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and the Harlem Jazz Craze, all performed by the Westchester Jazz Orchestra led by conductor Michael Barrett. Vocalists and Ellington experts Darius de Hass and Janis Siegel will sing and scat their way through the Ellington Songbook, while Jamie Bernstein fills in the historical background with little-known stories about Harlem's golden age of jazz. The concert will begin promptly at 8:00 PM in the Venetian Theatre. After the concert, prepare to be blasted by a thunderous firework show. Tickets range from $30 to $70 and are available at https://tickets.caramoor.org/public/show.asp or by calling (914) 232-5035. Children under 18 receive half price! The address is 149 Girdle Ridge Road in Katonah. For more information, call (914) 232-5035 or visit their website www.caramoor.org.
July 4th 9:00 PM at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck
This July 4th, head over to Mamaroneck for the Annual Firemen's Fireworks Spectacular at Harbor Island Park. What better way to celebrate our independence than by watching a ton of fireworks explode over the Long Island Sound? Apparently there aren't many, as Westchester Magazine included the Harbor Island Park Firework Show in their 2013 Bucket List. Oh, and from the waterfront you'll also be able to see Rye Playland's firework show! Not to mention it is free. That's two firework shows for the price of none. The evening will begin at 7:00 PM with The Annual Firemen's Carnival. The carnival will have a Ferris wheel, spaceship ride, a funhouse, a dunk tank and a variety of food vendors. All of this will be followed by a dazzling display of fireworks starting at 9:00 PM. The address is Mamaroneck Avenue South and East Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck. For more information, visit townofmamaroneck.org or call (914) 777-7784.
July 4th 9:30 PM at the New Rochelle Waterfront
For those look for a true firework extravaganza, head down to the New Rochelle Waterfront on July 4th for a viewing of New Rochelle's annual "Spark the Sound." This grand fireworks display, produced and sponsored by the famous Grucci family, will start at 9:30 PM rain or shine. For those unenlightened, here is some quick background info on the Grucci family: The Gruccis were responsible for the firework programs for seven presidential inaugurations; the Lake Placid Olympics in 1981; the Los Angeles Olympics in 1985; the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002; the Athens Olympics in 2004; and the world's largest fireworks program ever produced for the grand opening of Dubai's Palm Jumeirah and the Atlantis Palm Resort. Clearly, these guys know what they are doing when it comes to fireworks, and anyone that went to last year's show (or watched the Olympics recently) can attest to that. Optimum viewing locations include Hudson (1 Hudson Park Road), Five Islands Parks (1 Lefevre Lane) and certain waterfront restaurants. Admission is free. For more information, call (914) 654-2087.
July 4th 9:20 PM in New York City
This year, for the first time ever, Macy's has joined forces with a superstar artist, Usher, to develop and present Macy's 37th annual 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. This firework display is the largest in America; with approximately 40,000 shells exploding at a rate of 1,500 per minute, all synchronized to a 25 minute, hand picked score. Reaching heights of 1000 feet in the air, the fireworks will be launched from six barges positioned between West 24th and West 50th Streets on the Hudson River. The fireworks can be seen from any unobstructed view of the sky above the Hudson River, but for the best spots, head to 12th avenue below 59th street at the following access points along 11th avenue: 24th, 26th, 27th, 29th, 33rd, 34th, 40th, 42nd, 44th, 50th, 52nd, 54th, 56th and 57th street. Can't make it down to NYC? No problem. Starting at 8 PM, NBC is broadcasting Macy's entire show, hosted by Nick Cannon complete with performances from artists Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Tim McGraw and Mariah Carey. The theme for 2013 is "It begins with a Spark." Admission is free. Parking will not be available in the area, so Macy's recommends leaving cars at home and using NYC transit, which will run an increased subway service during this time. For more information, visit www.macys.com/fireworks.
July 4th 9:30 PM at Rye Playland
Celebrate your July 4th at Rye Playland with a fireworks spectacular choreographed to music. The fireworks will start at 9:30 PM on the Rye Playland pier. Parking is $10 Fireworks also every Wednesday and Friday in July and August at 9:15 PM (parking is $5 for these dates.) The address is 1 Playland Parkway in Rye. For more information, call 914-813-7000 or visit their website http://ryeplayland.org.