Crowds gather for Empire State Plaza 4th of July celebration

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The countdown is on for the July 4th celebration at the Empire State Plaza.

The annual event draws in thousands of people every year.

It all got underway at 5 p.m. Monday.

It’s a free event and there will be live music.

The fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:15.

Outside alcohol is not allowed, but you are allowed to bring your own food.

Parking is free, and everyone is asked to leave their pets at home.

MORE: Empire State Plaza road closures and parking restrictions