Macy's 4th Of July Fireworks. (Photo: Bill Head)
"Could you be at a better 4th of July
Senior VP Robin Reibel
always gushes when we remind her we have driven back from the Hamptons for their fireworks bash. It's hard not to feel that way when you've got the best seat in the house ... and a Macy's signature cocktail in your hand. NBC
on-air emcees, "Today" show's Tamron Hall and Willie Geist
, hosted NBC's national coverage. Also in the VIP section: Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Thalia
Sodi — whose Latina clothing line is the first new Macy's line designed especially for Hispanic customers — her husband, Tommy Mottalo, Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren, wife Tina, and Macy's Chief Marketing Executive Martine Reardon.
"Brave" was this year's theme and the music, a nod to old-fashioned patriotism. "It's the last word in our national anthem," explained Reibel. Having the United States Air Force Band march out to play for the pre-show (and back up Estefan) set the tone. "We had new arrangements for classic patriotic tunes," Reibel said. "Ce Ce Winans' 'My Country 'Tis of Thee,' 'America the Beautiful,' sung by Rodney Atkins, and an original song Gloria Estefan recorded that she wrote with husband Emilio for the occasion. An unusual rendition of 'In the Mood,' a George M. Cohan medley of 'Yankee Doodle' and 'Grand Old Flag,' and John Philip Sousa's 'Liberty Bell March,' were part of our intention to create a stirring, upbeat, classic Fourth of July."
The party was a sprawling affair across the lawns of Hunters Point Park in Long Island City, which Macy's had dotted with red, white and blue colored mats, chairs, park benches, even candle lit tables with floral arrangements. Special 3D glasses in the Goodie Bags had us seeing stars — literally — when focused on the bright lights. Classic, upscale picnic fare, including lobster rolls, BBQ chicken, cheeseburgers, kale, Caesar, potato and corn salads kept us munching till showtime
. There were playground activities for kids set up by Planters Peanuts, Kool Aid and Cracker Jack, as well as custom guacamole creations from the Mexican Avocado growers.
Amy Kule was Executive Producer of the Fireworks. The Media Relations team headed by Holly Thomas — Orlando Veras, Julie Strider-Fukami and Christine Olver — put the press party together. We may not be thinking of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade yet - but, trust us, they are.