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First night of fireworks series kicks off to mixed reviews

Fireworks
Posted at 10:47 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 22:56:36-04

NEW YORK CITY — The first night of a series of small fireworks shows in the five boroughs kicked off Monday night, though not everyone was thrilled with the new format.

Mayor Bill de Blasio previously announced that instead of one big show like in years past, Macy's and the city would bring smaller fireworks displays to all five boroughs in a series of shows between Monday, June 29, and Wednesday, July 1.

In an effort to avoid large crowds gathering, de Blasio said the city planned only to release information about each show "very close to the actual moment" they happen.

Monday's shows took place near Long Island City, Queens and South Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Many people took to social media to express frustration with the Monday night fireworks meant to celebrate Saturday's holiday.

These lead-up displays last just about five minutes each. "Brief but mighty," the mayor said. "You'll know this is a professional, beautiful show."

Not every New Yorker was put off by the weeknight celebration.

A special finale event will air July 4 using the best moments of the fireworks displays from across the city, as well as musical performances, celebrities and more.

The mayor said the night will end with "something very special" from the top of the Empire State Building.

"Every July fourth the fireworks display is something people look [forward] to all year round here in the city, and it's actually looked at all over the nation, all over the world," de Blasio said.

The mayor noted that this Independence Day will take on added meaning. "We've all been through so much."

Fireworks have become a hot-button issue citywide, mostly due to amateur fireworks, not professional ones.

New Yorkers filed 11,535 complaints with 311 about illegal fireworks between Jan. 1 and June 21, according to the NYPD.

More than 4,500 of those complaints were reported in Brooklyn between June 1 and June 21, police said.

The agency only received 54 fireworks complaints citywide during the same period in 2019, according to the NYPD.

Calls to 911 about illegal fireworks have also exploded this year.

From Jan. 1 to June 21, there were 13,315 calls to 911 for illegal fireworks — that’s up from 1,007 during the same time period in 2019, according to police.

More than 12,500 of this year’s calls were received between June 1 and June 21, police said.

A task force was created to address the issue of illegal fireworks in New York City.