More than a dozen New York State landmarks will be illuminated in blue and gold on Tuesday as fireworks light up the sky at several locations — including Jones Beach — to celebrate a milestone in the battle against COVID-19.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said 70% of adults in the state have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, allowing most pandemic restrictions to be lifted. The celebration is also a special tribute to essential workers who sacrificed during the pandemic. Many lost their lives to the deadly disease.
"We thank you," Cuomo said during an event at One World Trade Center on Tuesday to make the announcement. "To celebrate and honor tonight, we're going to light all the state assets...blue and gold. And we're going to have fireworks all across the state of New York tonight to celebrate and honor the essential workers."
"It's our way of saying thank you all across the state, the essential workers to celebrate our reopening, our re-imagining," he said. "And to remind all New Yorkers, join the success... you get vaccinated so you don't need the essential workers again....So wherever you are, they'll be in your community and you can be part of the celebration tonight."
Fireworks will start around 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday evening at Jones Beach and in New York Harbor.
George "Chip" Gorman, regional director of Long Island Parks, said people who want to view the fireworks at Jones Beach should park in Field 4.
"Field 4 is the best viewing location," Gorman said. "If we get a big crowd, we will open additional parking."
The fireworks program will start at 9:15 p.m. and last about 15 minutes, he said.
Other fireworks displays around the state will be visible from Lake Placid, Niagara Falls State Park, Empire State Plaza in Albany, Binghamton University M Lot, Nyack Memorial Park, Rochester Dome Arena, New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse and downtown Utica.
In New York City, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal — Pershing Square Viaduct, One World Trade Center, the MTA LIRR East End Gateway at Penn Station and the Kosciuszko Bridge will be bathed in the state colors of blue and gold.
The other landmarks being lit up are the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building, State Education Building, Alfred E. Smith State Office Building, State Fairgrounds — Main Gate and Expo Center, Niagara Falls, The "Franklin D. Roosevelt" Mid-Hudson Bridge and Albany International Airport Gateway.
The rate of COVID-19 cases on Long Island and across the state have dropped to some of the lowest numbers since the pandemic began in early 2020. But vaccination rates have dropped in recent weeks, causing the state and local governments to offer incentives to get more people inoculated against the disease.
Those incentives range from tickets to sporting events to college scholarships, free food items and scratch-off lottery cards.