Atlantic City delivered an amazing sky show with about 10,000 multicolored fireworks shooting out at four locations simultaneously starting at 9:30 p.m. for 20 minutes Thursday evening.
Cars lined up on both the Black Horse and White Horse pikes as people who couldn't make it into the city on time stopped to take in the spectacular sky sights.
"It was fun, entertaining. … Every year, I come to Atlantic City to see the fireworks," said Calvin Washington, 20, of Mays Landing, who was most impressed by the fireworks that popped and then did curls.
Washington comes into Atlantic City to see the fireworks annually.
"It shows that they care about their people and the tourists that come to see the fireworks. It shows appreciation," Washington said.
It was the first time the four simultaneous fireworks launch was tried in Atlantic City.
The launch locations were in the Marina District near Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, on the beach at New Hampshire Avenue near Revel Casino-Hotel, on the beach at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Bally's Atlantic City and on the beach at Hartford Avenue near Atlantic Club Casino Hotel. Fireworks by Grucci did the land launch, which cost about $300,000 to produce and was a first for the Atlantic City Alliance.
Tom Foley, chief of emergency services, emergency management, for Atlantic City, estimated that 200,000 people were in the city, not including the people at Borgata, who he did not have an estimate on as of 10:15 p.m.
Foley said there were no major incidents at any of the four locations.
Charlotte White, 52, of Newark, usually is on the Boardwalk to watch fireworks, but she decided to stay on the Black Horse Pike because she had a newborn and thought the wind would be too much.
"It was beautiful. It was like it (the fireworks) were falling out of the sky on us," White said.
People watching the fireworks could tune into radio station WAVY-FM 95.1 to hear music accompanying the show. The fireworks lit up the nighttime sky to such songs as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," John Mellencamp's "Ain't That America," James Brown's "Living in America," "God Bless America" with a climatic end to Bruce Springsteen's "Born in The USA."
Hina Jani, 45, of the Chelsea Heights neighborhood in Atlantic City, looks forward to the fireworks every year and the tourists they bring.
"All this traffic coming in is beautiful, especially on the Fourth of July," Jani said.
Atlantic City lucked out weatherwise for the fireworks display. There was no rain in the forecast Thursday evening. For once, the prediction proved correct. Temperatures were in the 80s when the sun was out, but the dropped into the 70s by the time the fireworks went off.
The latest Atlantic City display is just the most elaborate of what has been an escalating display of colors and sounds in the sky.
Last year, there was a newly coordinated $150,000, 23-minute fireworks show, which was based on a barge near The Pier Shops at Caesars. It was immediately followed by the debut of a $3 million light show at Boardwalk Hall
The Fourth of July holiday in 2011 featured back-to-back shows, which lasted for about an hour. It started with a display in the Marina District, and after a three-minute pause, restarted again from a barge anchored off the Pier at Caesars, which was the first time that was done since 2001.
In 2010, the fireworks were concentrated in the Marina District as they flew over the Borgata and Harrah's Resort.
Contact Vincent Jackson: