For the second year in a row, Hudson County’s waterfront cities will be treated to a front-row seat when Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show returns to the Hudson River on Sunday, July 4.
Various towns, including Union City, Hoboken, Secaucus, and Bayonne, are also planning individual events on July 1, 2, or 4. However, the Jersey City Police Department recently issued a message through their “Nixle Alert” system cautioning people against coming to Jersey City to view the fireworks: “Unfortunately, we do not expect the downtown and waterfront areas of Jersey City to have ideal viewing of the celebration. They may offer only VERY LIMITED AND OBSTRUCTED VIEWS of the fireworks.”
The police said they put out the message based on last July 4, when visitors came to places like Owen Grundy Pier on Exchange Place, only to be disappointed that they couldn’t see the fireworks.
The Macy’s display will begin at approximately 9:20 p.m.
Two of the towns that expect to get large waterfront crowds – Hoboken and Weehawken – have closed certain streets and plan to beef up security.
The Macy’s display will be fired off from six barges in the Hudson River located between the area of 24th St. and 50th St. in Manhattan, starting around 9:20 p.m.
Premier locations for viewing include the Hudson River waterfronts in Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York, North Bergen, and Guttenberg.
Certain activities banned in Hoboken, Weehawken
Hoboken and Weehawken have apprised residents of various restrictions on the night of July 4.
Hoboken has announced that a “zero tolerance” policy will be in place for the Fourth of July evening, which means heavy fines are likely to be assessed to people breaking one of the restrictions. Restrictions include the following:
• Visitors will need to pass through checkpoints to access the Hoboken waterfront.
• No parties or gatherings on rooftops for viewing fireworks unless the property has been properly zoned and approved for rooftop access.
• Gathering on fire escapes is strictly prohibited.
• Balconies, porches, or any other structures for viewing will be strictly enforced within the confines of the codes for such structures.
• No alcohol will be permitted on any walkways or parks along the waterfront, but coolers with non-alcoholic refreshments will be permitted.
In Weehawken, that town has addressed similar issues in a letter to residents:
• Public consumption of alcoholic beverages will not be permitted.
• No fireworks, including sparklers.
• Barbeques on balconies or terraces are not permitted.
• Use of rooftops for viewing of fireworks or any activity is prohibited and will be strictly enforced. Landlords and/or property owners are responsible for keeping rooftops clear of people.
Streets closed countywide
The county and various cities have announced that streets will be closed to parking and driving at certain times over the weekend.
Boulevard East in Weehawken, West New York, Guttenberg and North Bergen will be closed to traffic by 7 p.m. on July 4.
Port Imperial Boulevard and River Road in Weehawken, West New York, Guttenberg and North Bergen will be closed to all but emergency vehicles from Baldwin Avenue to the Bergen County border at approximately the same time as Boulevard East.
Hoboken and Weehawken ferry, train, street changes
In Hoboken, various streets are being closed on July 4 to all traffic except emergency vehicles between 8 a.m. and midnight. Additionally, parking is being banned on certain streets on July 4, and on Sinatra Drive on July 3 and 4. For specific streets and times, see the Hoboken City Hall website.
Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation. Those looking for parking will be directed to municipal garages B and D on Second and Hudson streets.
The town of Weehawken has mailed a letter to residents listing a multitude of streets to be closed around 4 p.m. on July 4, with only pedestrians and emergency vehicles permitted on those streets. They include many of the streets leading to Boulevard East.
The town also noted that:
• NY Waterway Ferry will cease regular operations at 7 p.m. on July 4 and reopen after the fireworks are completed. However, it will offer a special 4th of July Fireworks Cruise boarding at 6 p.m. and departing at 7 p.m. at various locations in New York City and North Jersey. Tickets are $75 per person, $65 for children under 12, and $70 for seniors. For more information, check www.nywaterway.com.
• N.J. Transit light rail operations will bypass Weehawken at any time if crowd conditions on the waterfront become a safety concern.
West New York waterfront available
Although no events will be occurring exclusively within West New York’s borders, Mayor Sal Vega said that the town provides “a great place to watch the fireworks.”
Water stations will be set up with supplies of drinkable water along popular viewing spots along the cliffs and the waterfront, but vendors will not be allowed in.
Police presence, EMT’s, and portable bathroom facilities will also be set up throughout the area for the crowds.
Hoboken street fair July 4
Hoboken will present a small 4th of July Festival along Frank Sinatra Drive between First Street and approximately where Sinatra Drive intersects Seventh Street, from noon until 10 p.m.
The festival will feature artists, crafters, photographers, food vendors, rides, games, live music and more. For additional information, contact the Cultural Affairs office at 201-420-2207.
Union City fair July 1
Union City will hold a street fair celebrating the Fourth of July, on Thursday, July 1.
From 6 to10 p.m., performers will entertain on three stages located on New York Avenue from 22nd to 30th streets.
The featured performers include local acts Cubano Songs, Union Hill, Therese Jeneco and Her Little Big Band, and Tap Ole Dancers.
There is no fireworks display for safety reasons, but there will be a boxing demo, pony rides, hot dogs, clown painting, an art exhibit and a classic car exhibit.
No guests at Secaucus pool event
Secaucus will hold its annual fireworks celebration at the municipal pool, 2000 Koelle Blvd., on Friday, July 2 from 4 to 10 p.m. It is a Secaucus-only affair, open just to residents and members of the pool. No guests are allowed this year, and pool officials will check ID at the pool entrance starting at 4 p.m.
Bayonne events July 1
The city of Bayonne will celebrate the Fourth of July on Thursday, July 1.
Fireworks, music, and children’s amusements will take place on the lower level of DiDomenico Park at 16th Street, near Newark Bay, weather permitting. The entertainment will begin with a concert from 7 to 9 p.m. by John Christian and Soiree. The band will play popular music from the 1940s to the present.
Two inflatable rides will be available for children from 7 to 9 p.m. Ice cream will also be available at the park.
At approximately 9:15 p.m., Garden State Fireworks will present its show, at the 19th Street bulkhead of the park. The fireworks will be launched behind a baseball backstop, which will act as a buffer.
In order to prepare a zone of safety for the fireworks, the northern end of the lower level of 16th Street Park will be closed.
Also, limited parking will be available on the lower level of DiDomenico 16th Street Park, so Mayor Mark Smith urges people to walk or take public transportation to the area and to bring beach chairs.
The Bayonne Recreation Division will provide shuttle bus service to the park from in front of the Catholic War Veterans Post at West 23rd Street and Del Monte Drive. Continuous shuttle service will run from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and then again after the fireworks.
Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.