The Real Cost of July 4, from NYC to Nashville

By Lewis Braham - 2012-06-26T20:34:29Z

Photograph by Mike Adamucci/AP Photo

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Macy's Celebration

Pyrotechnicians spent $318 million on professional fireworks displays last year. Macy's in New York has the biggest show. This year's "Ignite the Night" extravaganza begins at 9 p.m. and will include 40,000 shells fired from four barges on the Hudson River. The show lasts 25 minutes and has rockets that explode in the shape of hearts, smiley faces, stars and waterfalls. Two newcomers this year: the blue octopus and the eclipse. Although Macy's will not disclose the cost, fireworks are only a small part. Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney will perform, and there are the costs of security and sanitation.