Happy 239th! Spectators Brave Tight Security for Fireworks

NEW YORK (AP) -
Fourth of July fireworks on Saturday light up the sky over the East River. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Fourth of July fireworks on Saturday light up the sky over the East River. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Hundreds of thousands of people braved tight security along the East River to watch the annual Fourth of July fireworks display Saturday night.

“It was awesome,” said Joe Cunningham, who traveled from Minneapolis. “It was the benchmark for all else to be measured.”

The 25-minute show featured more than 50,000 shells set off from barges on the river. Thousands packed onto closed-down roadways in Manhattan to watch. Enhanced security included 7,000 officers searching backpacks and purses.