Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular: How to Watch Independence Day Display Live Stream for Free – CNET

Now well into its fifth decade as an Independence Day staple, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is set to light up New York’s night sky once again this evening for another “pyrotechnic salute to America.”

This year’s festivities are set to begin at 8 p.m. with a series of live musical performances from big-name acts including the Roots, Bebe Rexha, Ja Rule, and LL Cool J. 

The main event itself blasts off at 9:25 p.m. ET., when over 60,000 firework shells are set to be launched from five barges in the East River as part of a 25-minute display.

Soundtracked by the US Army Field Band, according to the official event website, the display is set to include a new type of Ghost pyro that features four different alternating hues.

How to watch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular 2023 in the US

If you don’t live in New York — or just want to watch the display from the comfort of your own home — you can watch the fireworks on TV on Tuesday night. NBC will televise Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show from 8 to 10 p.m. ET in a special broadcast hosted by Rutledge Wood (Floor Is Lava) and Zuri Hall (Access Hollywood). 

You don’t need a cable or satellite TV subscription to watch NBC. All of the major live TV streaming services include NBC. The catch is that not every service carries every local network, so check each one using the links below to make sure it carries NBC in your area. 

Alternatively, if you live in an area with good reception, you can watch NBC for free just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.

As well as NBC, you can also watch the broadcast live online via streaming service Peacock.

The Macy's 4th of July fireworks show lights up the sky next to the Empire State Building in New York City on July 4, 2022

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Sling TV’s $40-a-month Blue plan includes NBC. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our Sling TV review.

All of the live TV streaming services other than Peacock above offer free trials, and all allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.

How to watch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular 2023 online from anywhere using a VPN

If you find yourself unable to view the event locally, you may need a different way to watch the fun — that’s where using a VPN can come in handy. A VPN is also the best way to stop your ISP from throttling your speeds on the holiday by encrypting your traffic, and it’s also a great idea if you’re traveling and find yourself connected to a Wi-Fi network, and you want to add an extra layer of privacy for your devices and logins.

With a VPN, you’re able to virtually change your location on your phone, tablet or laptop to get access to the game. Most VPNs, like our Editors’ Choice, ExpressVPN, make it really easy to do this.

Using a VPN to watch or stream sports is legal in any country where VPNs are legal, including the US, UK and Canada, as long as you have a legitimate subscription to the service you’re streaming. You should be sure your VPN is set up correctly to prevent leaks: Even where VPNs are legal, the streaming service may terminate the account of anyone it deems to be circumventing correctly applied blackout restrictions.

Looking for other options? Be sure to check out some of the other great VPN deals taking place right now.

Express VPN

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Quick tips for streaming Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular 2023 using a VPN 

  • With four variables at play — your ISP, browser, video streaming provider and VPN — your experience and success when streaming the event may vary.
  • If you don’t see your desired location as a default option for ExpressVPN, try using the “search for city or country” option.
  • If you’re having trouble getting the game after you’ve turned on your VPN and set it to the correct viewing area, there are two things you can try for a quick fix. First, log into your streaming service subscription account and make sure the address registered for the account is an address in the correct viewing area. If not, you may need to change the physical address on file with your account. Second, some smart TVs — like Roku — don’t have VPN apps you can install directly on the device itself. Instead, you’ll have to install the VPN on your router or the mobile hotspot you’re using (like your phone) so that any device on its Wi-Fi network now appears in the correct viewing location.
  • All of the VPN providers we recommend have helpful instructions on their main site for quickly installing the VPN on your router. In some cases with smart TV services, after you install a cable network’s sports app, you’ll be asked to verify a numeric code or click a link sent to your email address on file for your smart TV. This is where having a VPN on your router will also help, since both devices will appear to be in the correct location. 
  • And remember, browsers can often give away a location despite using a VPN, so be sure you’re using a privacy-first browser to log into your services. We normally recommend Brave.