Hot dog! NYC marks July 4 with eating contest, fireworks

Holidays

FILE – With the New York City skyline in the background fireworks explode during an Independence Day show over the East River in New York, in this Tuesday, July 4, 2017, file photo. After a year lost to the coronavirus, New York City’s most well-known Fourth of July traditions are back. The traditional Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show will be back in full form with a display over the East River, with shells being shot from five barges in a televised, choregraphed spectacle. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — After a year lost to the coronavirus, New York City’s most well-known Fourth of July traditions are back. The traditional Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show will be back in full form with a display over the East River, with shells being shot from five barges in a televised, choreographed spectacle.

This year, crowds will be welcome to gather. Last year, because of pandemic restrictions, there were a series of shorter fireworks shows in the days leading up to the holiday, with the locations kept secret in advance to keep people from congregating.

The annual spectacle of gluttony that is the Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest also returned live.

Repeat men’s champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut said Sunday that hearing the fans again helped propel him to victory. “They kept pushing me. They didn’t give up on me,” he said in an ESPN interview. “Even if I was uncomfortable, having everybody cheer me and push me, it made me feel good.”

Landmarks around the state, from the World Trade Center’s centerpiece tower to Niagara Falls, were to be lighted in red, white, and blue to mark Independence Day.

“If the last 16 months has reaffirmed anything, it’s how precious life is and how vital liberty is to our identity as New Yorkers and Americans,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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