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Fireworks create fire in the sky over New York, D.C.

NEW YORK (AP) – Tens of thousands of people crammed the narrow cobble stone streets of a landmark seaport and the closed lanes of a riverfront highway to watch the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show in New York City.

Fireworks light up the sky above the Brooklyn Bridge during Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show,
Fireworks light up the sky above the Brooklyn Bridge during Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

A brilliant 25-minute show of reds, whites and blues lit up the sky from three barges on the East River, sandwiched between Brooklyn and lower Manhattan – and even some from the Brooklyn Bridge itself.

[RELATED: Weekend Fireworkds in New Jersey}

Macy's says more than 1,600 shells were launched per minute during the display. It's the nation's largest Fourth of July fireworks celebration.

One World Trade Center marked the holiday by lighting its 400-foot antenna red, white and blue.

In Washington, composer John Williams debuted a new arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner" featuring choirs, trumpets, an orchestra and cannons on the National Mall.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the national anthem. Francis Scott Key was inspired by the sight of the flag over Baltimore's Fort McHenry in September 1814 after a 25-hour British bombardment.

Fireworks illuminate the sky over the U.S. Capitol building and the Washington Monument during Fourth of July celebrations,
Fireworks illuminate the sky over the U.S. Capitol building and the Washington Monument during Fourth of July celebrations, (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

A fireworks display set against the Washington Monument electrified the night sky, along with the screens of thousands of smartphones in the hands of onlookers poised to snap photos for their friends and family who couldn’t make it to annual the Independence Day celebration in the nation’s capital.

Earlier, thousands of people celebrated the Fourth in the nation’s capital under clear skies, despite initial fears rain could ruin their fun. Visitors to the Mall gazed at the White House and the Washington Monument and strolled through the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which featured food, music and cultural demonstrations.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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