Tag Archives: 4th of July

First Independence Day fireworks show coming to Fort Totten

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo via Jon Sullivan/ Wikimedia Commons 

Bayside residents can skip the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks this year, because fireworks are coming to Fort Totten.

The Bayside Historical Society and Councilman Paul Vallone have organized the first official fireworks show at Fort Totten, which will be on July 1 ahead of Independence Day weekend.

The 15-minute pyrotechnic show by Long Island-based Fireworks by Grucci will commence following a three-hour concert by local bands. People will be able to see the colorful explosions from as far as Whitestone, Douglaston and even The Bronx, Vallone said. The entire event is free and will run from 5 to 9 p.m.

“My idea is for it to become a really great annual event,” Vallone said. “For me, doing things outside, like we do with the Children’s Holiday Parade, really are the things that start to define how great this community is.”

People will be instructed to bring seats and picnic blankets for the show. The fireworks will shoot up from a soccer field at Fort Totten, and guests will be directed to the area near the pool, which will be able to fit more than 2,000 people, according to Vallone. However, there will be other places around Fort Totten for people to view the show.

Vallone said they are also expecting to bring tall ships around Fort Totten for children to watch.

The Bayside Historical Society is covering the event costs — more than $20,000 for the fireworks — through grant money it received for events from the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Advertising for the event will begin around mid-May and maps will be printed so people know where to watch the show and to park their vehicles.

The Bayside Historical Society usually holds a concert around the end of June, but after speaking with Vallone, they decided to mesh the two events. Depending on the event’s success, it could become an annual tradition for Independence Day, according to Alison McKay, executive director of the Bayside Historical Society.

“We’re so excited to bring this family-friendly event to Bayside,” McKay said. “No pun intended, if it launches well, we’ll do it again.”

Vallone and the historical society are calling for volunteers to help direct guests and coordinate the event. Contact info@baysidehistorical.org to volunteer.


Fourth of July fireworks returning to East River

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo: Ed Reed for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Updated 2:35 p.m.

A boom is coming back to the Queens waterfront this Independence Day.

After moving to the Hudson River in 2009, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show is returning to the East River this summer, the department store and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The country’s largest pyrotechnic July Fourth display, the fireworks will be launched from the Brooklyn Bridge and from barges positioned on the lower East River.

“What this means, the fact that fireworks come back to the East River, means that countless more New Yorkers will now be able to enjoy what is really the greatest annual fireworks show in the country,”  de Blasio said. “From Brooklyn to western Queens to the East Side of Manhattan, many more New Yorkers will be able to take part in this celebration, in their neighborhoods, on their rooftops, along the shoreline.”

The 2009 move not only left Queens residents without a place in the borough to watch fireworks on the holiday, but hurt businesses along the East River that saw increased traffic during the festivities.

“For too long, residents of our neighborhoods have been left out of what is not only a citywide, but a national event,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris said in a statement. “Once again, the Queens waterfront will be a participant in the grandest Independence Day celebration in the United States.”