A view of Macy's annual Fourth of July fireworks show.

A view of Macy's annual Fourth of July fireworks show. Credit: Getty Images, 2009

It's a Fourth of July essential -- Macy's fireworks show over the Hudson River.

Starting around 9:20 Wednesday night, the first of 1,600 firework shells will be fired each minute for "Ignite the Night," Macy's 36th annual Independence Day show.

The spectacular of 30 different shapes, 15 colors and 50,000 pounds of firepower promises to be "America's most explosive party," according to organizers.

More than 40,000 shells will be fired 1,000 feet in the air during a 25-minute show of thunderous pyrotechnics from four barges on the river between 18th and 43rd streets -- all set to patriotic music that includes John Philip Sousa marches.

The best vantage points for viewing the show are on the West Side Highway northbound along 12th Avenue between 14th and 59th streets.

Side streets between 11th and 12th streets, as well as Pier 84 on 44th Street, also are good viewing sites.

People with disabilities can go to Dewitt Clinton Park on West 52nd Street and 11th Avenue.

The NYPD requests that spectators not bring large bags, backpacks, lawn chairs, blankets, coolers or alcoholic beverages to the viewing areas. Police will search and seize restricted items.

Manhattan street closures include the northbound West Side Highway from 23rd to 57th streets; southbound West Side Highway from 79th to 42nd streets; and southbound West Side Highway from 42nd to 23rd streets -- all closed from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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