The Macy’s 4th of July fireworks celebration fell in ratings from previous years in the continuation of a recent trend.
The fireworks, which aired on NBC, saw an average of 4.38 million viewers and a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic on Sunday, Deadline reports.
Hosted by Renee Elise Goldsberry and Ryan Eggold, the 4th of July event nonetheless had Sunday’s highest ratings. It included performances by Black Pumas, Coldplay, OneRepublic and Reba McEntire.
This year’s event dropped 7.9% in the ratings from last year’s hybrid event. And it was down 25% from the pre-pandemic event in 2019.
Macy’s Fireworks Show Dazzled New Yorkers
The annual fireworks celebration returned to New York City this year after undergoing changes last year due to the pandemic.
The first fireworks went off from five barges in the East River at 9:25 p.m. on Sunday, per WABC. At the same time, fireworks launched from the Empire State Building’s 72nd, 86th and 103rd floors.
While the viewers at home may have been thinning out, there were plenty of crowds on the ground watching the fireworks display, according to WABC. Some people reportedly lined up for hours to secure a good spot.
Many New Yorkers who watched the fireworks display in person were able to do so from areas reserved for fully vaccinated people, Reuters reports. There was also a viewing area open to people who had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
All told, the display included 65,000 shells and special effects.
“It’s really good to see the city come back to life again, and to be able to be here and experience it is awesome,” spectator Hannah Wilson told WABC.
There was a heavy security presence, including K-9 units and bomb squads. But many in the crowd seemed glad they were there.
“This is amazing energy,” Piatto Restaurant owner Giancarlo Piatto told WABC. “It’s amazing. New York opening up and seeing all these wonderful people. The officers keeping this in order.”
The fireworks event went off without a hitch. New Yorkers reportedly followed it up with parades around the city before the holiday weekend ended.
Still, the event’s slide in ratings was a disappointment to event organizers, who had hoped to see numbers bounce back from the pandemic slump. But after all, there’s always next year.