Tag Archives: fireworks

Enjoy an early Independence Day fireworks show on the Astoria waterfront


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/File photo

Fireworks will light up the evening sky over Astoria on June 30, during the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition (LDC)’s Annual Independence Day Celebration on Astoria Park’s waterfront.

The celebration will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is sponsored by the Central Astoria LDC with the support of Councilmen Costa Constantinides and Jimmy Van Bramer, the city Department of Cultural Affairs and corporate sponsors including NRG and Kaufman Astoria Studios.

Thousands of spectators are expected to sprawl across the Astoria Park Great Lawn between the RFK-Triborough and Hell Gate bridges to enjoy the fireworks extravaganza. The show includes patriotic and Big Band music from the professional solider-musicians of the United States Military Academy’s the West Point Band.

The West Point Band is the Army’s oldest musical organization that provides world-class music to educate, train and inspire. They have showcased at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. West Point Band vocalist Master Sergeant Mary Kay Messenger will sing the National Anthem.

After the performance, the skies over the East River will light up with a fireworks display presented by the Grucci Family, bringing the crowd to its usual flag-waving frenzy of patriotism and American pride.

The annual Independence Day Celebration is part of Central Astoria’s 33rd Annual Waterfront Concert Series at Astoria Park which accompanies the summer season of events there, including the Carnival and the Movies on the Waterfront Series.

For more information or directions to the concert, contact the Central Astoria LDC by emailing info@centralastoria.nyc, calling 718-728-7820 or clicking here.

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LIC Flea & Food to hold night market on Fourth of July


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Diana Robinson/Mayoral Photography Office

Visitors enjoying the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks on the Long Island City waterfront will have another spot to stop by both before and after the show.

The LIC Flea & Food, located at the outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, has announced it will be holding a night market on July 4 running until 10:30 p.m.

Visitors will be able to hang out at the LIC Flea Beer Garden, which is the only venue serving all six Queens-brewed beers from local breweries including Big Alice Brewing, Rockaway Brewing Company, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, and SingleCut Beersmiths.

Along with shopping at over 80 vendors offering items such as jewelry, clothing and arts and crafts, visitors will also be able to purchase food from vendors and take it with them to the waterfront as they enjoy the fireworks.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October. For Saturday, July 4 hours for the market will run from noon to 10:30 p.m.

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFleaInstagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.

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Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks returning to Queens waterfront


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Diana Robinson/Mayoral Photography Office

The Queens waterfront will once again explode with excitement this Fourth of July.

On Wednesday, Macy’s and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that this Independence Day, the 39th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks will launch from two locations in the East River — in Midtown and within the South Street Seaport historic district, starting at about 9:20 p.m.

There will be four barges positioned between 23rd and 37th streets in Midtown and one double-barge positioned below the Brooklyn Bridge. The Midtown barges will be visible from the Long Island City waterfront.

After moving to the Hudson River in 2009, Macy’s and de Blasio announced last year that the department store’s annual 4th of July Fireworks show would return to the East River that summer. But the initial excitement and potential revenue that the festivities could bring to Long Island City was squashed when residents and business owners realized that the launch point, from the Brooklyn Bridge and from barges positioned on the lower East River, would not be a prime viewing spot for Queens.

This year, however, will be different, and could bring back big bucks to the waterfront area.

“Once again the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks spectacular will light up the East River skyline,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said in a statement. “I have advocated tirelessly for years alongside Mayor de Blasio to bring the fireworks back to the borough of Queens. Today we are delivering on our promise and bringing borough residents an opportunity to enjoy one of our nation’s most spectacular events. Residents from Hunters Point in Long Island City and all of western Queens will rejoice welcoming thousands into their neighborhoods to celebrate. Staging the fireworks along the East River will give our local small businesses a boost and draw attention to all we have to offer here in Long Island City. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Macy’s for helping us keep this promise and making this day a reality.”

The country’s largest Independence Day pyrotechnic display, Macy’s are the only fireworks that borough residents can watch locally on the actual holiday. But for the first time this year, Fort Totten will be having a fireworks celebration to mark the nation’s birthday on July 1. The annual Astoria Park fireworks will take place on June 30.

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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.

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Where to celebrate the Fourth of July around Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Macy’s

Friday makes the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and, weather permitting, Queens residents can celebrate the country’s birthday with a boom.

The Macy’s fireworks extravaganza has moved back to the East River after a five-year hiatus, but the show is centered downriver in Brooklyn.

Still, there are many spots to view the fireworks — but not all of them are free.

Z Hotel in Long Island City is selling tickets to watch the fireworks show from their rooftop lounge. Tickets go for $66.56 for kids and $166.03 for adults.

On Center Boulevard, LIC Landing by Coffeed will be hosting an all-you-can-eat barbecue with a view of the fireworks for $100 a ticket.

The Starstream VIII, which sails from the Flushing Marina, is having a waterborne viewing party that includes dinner and a cash bar for $125.

Cheaper options include Resorts World Casino, which is hosting a free viewing event at Bar360 and on their sixth-floor parking lot.

Another free option is the Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City on the East River.

And baseball fans will be treated to a fireworks display at Citi Field as the Mets host the Texas Rangers.

But the baseball may be a washout and the fireworks may fizzle as Hurricane Arthur took aim at North Carolina Thursday and is expected to impact much of the East Coast.

 

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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.”

 

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Macy’s, local pols to meet about moving fireworks back to East River


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

liducks fireworks2

Macy’s executives are planning on meeting with local politicians, including Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., to discuss moving its Fourth of July fireworks back to the East River. The meeting was scheduled for today, but was cancelled, said Vallone.

This July 4 was the fourth year in a row that the Macy’s fireworks display was on the Hudson River, leaving nowhere in Queens to see fireworks on the holiday.

Joining Vallone will be New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Senator Daniel Squadron of Brooklyn. To help their case, they will present Macy’s with a petition to return the fireworks to the East River. Since it was launched on June 28, over 3,000 people have signed the petition, said Squadron spokesperson Amy Spitalnick.

Vallone has been urging the department store to return the fireworks to the East River for years, but with de Blasio and Squadron’s help, Macy’s has finally agreed to sit down and discuss the move. “The East River is the heart of New York City and the people of Queens and Brooklyn should have front row seats,” he said. “Having it here on the East River helps Queens and Brooklyn businesses.”

Though Vallone would prefer that the fireworks were on the East River each year, Macy’s is likely to agree to alternating them between the Hudson and East rivers.

 

What to do in Queens: July 4 holiday


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Even though you can’t see fireworks in Queens, there are still plenty of fun things to do around the borough this Fourth of July holiday.

 

TUESDAY, JULY 3

Fireworks at Citi Field
Following the 7:10 p.m. Mets game vs. the Phillies, the Mets will have its annual fireworks night at Citi Field. Don’t have tickets to the game? You can catch a great view of the fireworks from other location near the stadium, including the Home Depot parking lot, located at 131-35 Avery Avenue.

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4

Independence Day Festival in Queens Village
Starts at 10 a.m. at Sanford Avenue between Main Street and Union Street

Louis Armstrong Birthday Tours 
Louis always celebrated his birthday on the Fourth of July. The Louis Armstrong House Museum honors him by remaining open  from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  for special tours that include celebratory birthday photos, audio clips and a complimentary cupcake for kids 12 years old and under.

Skyline Princess NYC Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise
Skyline Princess’s Fourth of July Dinner cruise features a five hour cruise with a front row seat for the famous Macy’s fireworks display in New York Harbor. The cruise boards  from the World’s Fair Marina in  Flushing Meadows at 5:30 pm. Sailing time: is at 6:00 p.m. and it returns at 11:00 p.m.

Free Summer Movie at Socrates Sculpture Park
Celebrate July 4th with a program of short films that is funny, revelatory, dramatic and all-American. “The American Experience” starts at 7:00 p.m.


THURSDAY, JULY5

Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats
The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats are coming back to Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Corona Park in Flushing. There is a new cast, new acts and new thrills! Performances will include a combination of acrobatics, traditional dance, costumes, ancient/contemporary music and theatrical techniques.

Sissy McGinty’s Trivia Night
Sissy McGinty’s, located at 25-67 Steinway Street in Astoria, is holding their weekly Trivia Night from 9 p.m. – 11:45 p.m. This week, they will be celebrating the Fourth of July and there will be drink prize for the round winners and a bar tab for the champion.

 

FRIDAY, JULY 6

First Fridays at the the Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi Museum, located at 9-01 33rd Road in Long Island City, has a First Fridays feature which includes a pay what you wish admission with an extended evening hours (5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.). Beer and wine will be offered at the cash bar and a special programming will include “Center of Attention,” and others.

Rocky McBride’s Neon 80’s & 90’s Party
Rocky McBride’s, located at 27-01 23rd Avenue in Astoria, will be hosting a Neon 80’s & 90’s party f rom 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. Come out wearing your favorite neon and enjoy the night with drink specials and more!

Mariachi Flor de Toloache
The Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the all-female mariachi band, will be performing at the Queens Kickshaw, located at 40-17 Broadway in Astoria, from 9 p.m. – 11:30 p.m..

 

SATURDAY, JULY 7

Warm Up at MoMA PS1
Every Saturday this summer, starting July 7, MoMA PS1, located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, has an outdoor series that features  live music, sound, performance and DJs. It is held at their courtyard. From 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., the admission fee is $15 and this includes access to all exhibitions and Warm Up.

 

 

 

Queens shut out, Macy’s fireworks again over Hudson River


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

For the fourth summer in a row, there will be no Fourth of July fireworks on the East River, and no place for Queens’ residents to see them in the borough. Instead, the 36th Annual Macy’s July 4 Fireworks will again take place on the Hudson River.

Restaurants near Long Island City’s Gantry Plaza State Park, a popular spot for viewing fireworks when they were on the East River, have seen the effects of the fireworks’ relocation. Since they moved, restaurants have fewer customers on July 4. Though some report greater differences than others do.

At Riverview Restaurant & Lounge there has been a significant difference for the last three Independence Days. Located just across from Gantry Park, at 2-01 50th Avenue, it was a tradition for people to come to the restaurant and watch the fireworks, said Riverview’s event coordinator, Doris Nowillo. Whether inside or outside, people could see them because of the restaurant’s large windows.

When the fireworks were on the East River, about 200 people would come to the restaurant, but now it is less crowded than an average night, she said.

Even after three years, people still call the restaurant, not knowing that the fireworks are only on the Hudson this year. After we tell them, they hang up and don’t make a reservation, said Nowillo.

“[July 4] would triple our business,” said Mimi McKenna, a hostess at The Waterfront Crabhouse (2-03 Borden Avenue). There used to be people lined up outside waiting for a table, but for the past few years, no one has had to wait to be seated, she added.

Italian restaurant Bella Via has seen about a 20 percent drop in customers since the fireworks relocated, but still does good business on the holiday, said owner Sal Polito.

Though the restaurant no longer has as many customers from other Queens neighborhoods, as it did when the fireworks were on the East River, it’s still busier on July 4 than other nights, said Polito.

Ryan Linchow, manager of Pan-Asian fusion restaurant Shi, at 4720 Center Boulevard, just across from Gantry Park, said that since the fireworks moved his restaurant has also had a 20 percent drop in customers on the Fourth of July. But “last year was still really busy,” he added.

It’s not just local restaurants that are pushing for the fireworks to return to the East River. “If there was a petition [to bring the fireworks back to the East River], all of Long Island City would sign it,” said Nowillo of Riverview Restaurant and a 37-year L.I.C resident.

Nowillo got her wish. On June 28, State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced an online petition demanding that the fireworks return to the East River. Squadron and de Blasio, along with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, will meet with Macy’s in the coming weeks to move the fireworks back to the East River in 2013.

“What we all were told was a one-year hiatus on the Hudson has now become the new norm—leaving more than half the city out of the July 4 celebration,” said de Blasio at a press conference on June 28. “We look forward to sitting down with Macy´s to find a way to bring the show back to the East River, where more New Yorkers can be a part of it.”

In early April, Squadron along with other Brooklyn and Queens politicians, including Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., who represents Long Island City, sent a letter to Macy’s chairman, president and CEO, Terry Lundgren, urging him to bring the fireworks back to the East River this July 4. But they couldn’t convince the department store to make the move this year.

 

On July 3, following the 7:10 p.m. Mets game vs. the Phillies, the Mets will have its annual fireworks night at Citi Field.

 

 

 

Explosion kills man in his home


| mchan@queenscourier.com

bomb3 011W

A man described as emotionally disturbed was killed in an at-home explosion in South Ozone Park.

Police found 50-year-old Theodore Ellinghaus unconscious in his 111th Avenue home on Monday, January 23 at around 9:30 a.m.

According to Kenneth Zorn, Community Affairs officer for the 106th Precinct, police found no other explosives and could not identify the exact type of explosive detonated. However, several published reports say the blast came from fireworks, which reportedly tore through the victim’s fingers and ripped through his stomach.

Zorn said officers then evacuated the immediate area — including Ellinghaus’ home and the entire block in each direction — until the NYPD’s Bomb Squad and Arson & Explosion Squad arrived.

Though bomb squad officials determined that Ellinghaus had no terrorist ties, it is still not clear whether or not he was trying to commit suicide or harm others.

There were no other reported injuries.