NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A waterfall of fireworks off the Brooklyn Bridge started this year’s Macy’s fireworks spectacular in New York City.

All part of a 25-minute, jaw-dropping show over the East River.

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“I just love all the red, white, and blue, and everyone coming to celebrate Independence Day,” one spectator told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.

“I’ve never seen any fireworks show so big,” another person said.

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Around 70,000 shells and effects were launched from barges along the river and more than 100 positions on the Brooklyn Bridge – which was a particularly big hit with the crowd.

This year’s theme, American cinema, synchronized fireworks with a musical medley of scores from the most beloved movie classics.

“Fireworks are emotional. Music is emotional. We wanted big sound to complement the fireworks… I want everyone to feel a sense of pride and be happy to celebrate here with us,” Susan Tercero, executive producer of the Macy’s Fireworks Show said.

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Thousands of uniformed and plain-clothes police officers were also patrolling the public viewing areas.

New this year, two NYPD drones kept an eye over crowds as nearby officers monitor the feeds in real time on their cell phones.

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The celebration started hours before the show, with spectators filling a two-mile stretch of the FDR Drive.

The Wainwright family flew all the way from California to see the legendary New York fireworks.

“We’ve seen stuff on the west coast, so wanted to check them on the the east coast,” the family said.

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“I’m from Jersey and I always watch it on TV or whatever so I decided to come over to New York and see it for myself,” Karen Timley added.