Firework Teams Prepare for NYC Show

Over the past week, dozens of pyro technicians have worked to wire 40,000 explosives for the nation’s biggest Independence Day celebration. Check out behind-the-scenes photos of workers preparing for the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular in New York.

11 photos
Marcus Harun
A pyro technician carefully places a firework onto a mortar on June 30, during preparations for the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular.
Marcus Harun
Many new fireworks were added to this year’s show, including a happy face that winks. Show designer Gary Souza holds up a model of the new pyrotechnic design.
Marcus Harun
The 2013 fireworks show took a year to design, and each shell has a unique location on the barge. Here, a pyro technician lays out the fireworks according to the design plan.
Marcus Harun
Pyro technicians setup fireworks of different sizes and shapes on board a Macy's barge. Newly designed fireworks for 2013 include “diamonds in the sky” that will shine during Rihanna’s song “Diamonds.”
Marcus Harun
Empty mortars will be loaded onto specially rigged barges, then filled with fireworks shells for the New York Forth of July fireworks show.
Marcus Harun
Each firework is wired to an ignition system that is controlled by a computer. The system will launch the pyrotechnics in sync with the soundtrack Usher compiled.
Marcus Harun
Workers will sit in this freight container at the end of the fireworks barge to control the show via a computerized digital launching system.
Marcus Harun
Show designer Gary Souza traveled around the world to purchase the biggest and best new firework shells from China, Portugal, Spain, Germany, and America for this year’s show, he said.
Marcus Harun
Mortars are wired with 20 miles of cable.
Marcus Harun
Some fireworks measure up to 10” in diameter, and weigh up to 35 pounds.
Marcus Harun
Planning for the 37th annual Macy’s show took a year and a day, show designer Gary Souza said, because he recorded observations during last year’s show on what worked and what didn’t.
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