The grand finale of a 10-minute fireworks display on the Hudson River might have been spectacular — but 311 are “filing multiple complaints from residents of illegal fireworks.” Now it appears the display was linked to a $1,250 a ticket gala event at the Javits Center — with Mayor Bill de Blasio as the guest of honor. Back in June, the Mayor promised to crack down on “dangerous” and illegal fireworks.

Fireworks on the Hudson River this evening. Photo: Phil O’Brien

At 9:40pm this evening, social media lit up as loud noises were heard throughout Hell’s Kitchen — and those with a river view started to see fireworks in the rainy sky over the river.

The New York City portal for Fireworks Displays said: “There are no fireworks displays scheduled at this time.” On local Facebook groups, many complained of their pets struggling with the noise. “My dog is freaking out. I’m usually prepared with CBD after I get an NYC alert,” said one local.

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Another local said: “I thought it was roadworks — and for a brief moment, an explosion.”

New York’s outgoing Mayor gave remarks at the New York Building Congress Centennial Ball before the display. Tables for the event were sold at up to $50,000 for the black-tie event.

Mayor Bill de Blasio at the New York Building Congress Centennial Ball. Photo via NYC Mayor’s Office Twitter.

In the river, there were small boats with blue lights accompanying the display in the area of Pier 76 and Hudson Yards. The Twitter account @nyc_fireworks reported: “There are indeed fireworks tonight, no info on who sponsored them / what they’re for.”

However, the Federal Register shows that on November 4 a notice was given: “The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for certain navigable waters within a 600 foot radius of the fireworks launch site which is located on the Hudson River, Manhattan, NY, in the vicinity of the Hudson River Park and Pier 76. This safety zone is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from the potential hazards during a fireworks display on November 18, 2021. Entry of vessels or persons into, transiting through, mooring, or anchoring within this zone are prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port of New York.” This was effective from 9:30pm through 11:30pm on November 18, 2021. There are more details here.

We will update this story as we get more information from the Mayor’s Office, NYPD and 311.

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  1. That was more than a 10 minute display, and it was kept a secret from us, instead of sending the alerts normally texted for fireworks. DiBlasio is showing his true colors very vividly on his way out….and I for one hope the door stays closed to him!

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