Tag Archives: independence day

VIDEO & PHOTOS: First Fort Totten Independence Day fireworks show


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Dominick Totino Photography / Video courtesy of Personal Touch Video & Photo Production

The rockets red glare — and other colors, too — burst in the air above Fort Totten during an early Independence Day pyrotechnic extravaganza Wednesday night.

Hundreds of residents from Bayside and surrounding communities gathered on the fort’s parade grounds to watch the light show that the Bayside Historical Society and City Councilman Paul Vallone presented.

The festivities began before sunset with musical performances from the MichelleMarie RockBand Camp and the Phil Costa and Something Special Band. Vallone along with other elected officials — including Public Advocate Letitia James, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Rep. Grace Meng and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein — were among those in attendance.

Shortly after sundown, the Long Island-based Fireworks by Grucci lit up the night sky with a 15-minute pyrotechnic show set to patriotic music.

 

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MTA service for Fourth of July holiday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by MTA / Patrick Cashin

The MTA will offer extra railroad service on Thursday, July 3, to allow customers to get a head start on the Fourth of July holiday. On Friday, July 4, subways, buses, the LIRR, Metro-North and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Saturday schedule. More details are below.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad

The LIRR and Metro-North will provide additional early-afternoon service from Manhattan on Thursday, July 2. Between noon and 4 p.m., 18 extra trains will depart Grand Central Terminal, 10 extra trains will depart from Penn Station, and two extra New York State-bound trains will depart Hoboken Terminal. And the LIRR is offering plenty of extra train service to the East End over the extended Independence Day Weekend, including an extra Cannonball to Montauk on top of the Railroad’s already enhanced summer Montauk Branch schedule.

On Friday, July 3, the LIRR will operate on a normal Friday schedule, and Metro-North will operate on a Saturday schedule.

New York City subway

On Friday, July 3, subways will operate on a Saturday schedule.  There will be no 5 train service south of E 180 Street; 1 service is suspended between 14th St and South Ferry; 2,3 trains run local between 34th St-Penn Station and Chambers St.  Customers are encouraged to use the Bowling Green 4 and Fulton St 2, 3, 4, A, C stations, or buses between Chambers St and South Ferry. There will be increased subway service on the 4, 7, A, C, F, and S 42nd Street Shuttle prior to and following the Macy’s fireworks celebration, which will originate from five barges on the East River: four between 23rd and 37th streets, and one south of the Brooklyn Bridge at Pier 19 (near John Street) from 9:20 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.

New York City buses

Buses operated by MTA New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company will operate on a Saturday schedule on Friday, July 3. There are many routes that either do not operate on Saturdays or do not run on part of the route at certain hours. Customers traveling on the Fourth of July should check Saturday schedules, lines and routes.  The following bus routes may be affected by delays and detours:  M5; M8; M9; M14 A/D; M15 SBS; M20; M21; M22; M31; M34 SBS; M42; M50; M57; M103; M104; B6; B24; B25; B32; B61; B62; B63; B67; B69; B103; Q32; Q59; Q60; Q101; Q103.

Staten Island Railway

Staten Island Railway customers looking to get a head start on the Fourth of July holiday will be able to catch earlier afternoon express train service on Thursday, July 2 with MTA Staten Island Railway’s Early Departure Getaway schedule. Extra SIR trains will be added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m. On the Fourth of July, SIR will operate on a Saturday schedule. Staten Island Railway is prepared to add additional service prior to and after the fireworks, as needed.

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PHOTOS: An early Independence Day fireworks show on the Astoria waterfront


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Dominick Totino Photography

The Astoria waterfront shined bright Tuesday night, as the neighborhood celebrated the nation’s birthday a few days early.

Thousands gathered at Astoria Park, between the RFK-Triborough and Hell Gate bridges, to take part in the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s Annual Independence Day Celebration.

The celebration included patriotic and Big Band music from the United States Military Academy’s West Point Band.

After the performance, the sky lit up with a fireworks display presented by the Grucci Family.

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.

The show was sponsored by 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.


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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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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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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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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Fireworks light up the night as New Yorkers celebrate Independence Day 

Millions of New Yorkers and tourists alike celebrated the nation’s birthday Wednesday night with the 36th annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show. An estimated 40,000 fireworks lit up the sky over the five boroughs, propelled from two barges on the Hudson River in what was billed as the largest display in the country. The event was the culmination of days of preparations. Read more: [NY1] 

Beloved grandmother, a victim of callous hit-and-run in Queens, slowly recovering from horrific wounds

A beloved grandmother who was mowed down and left for dead on a Queens street last month is slowly recovering — but the callous driver is still at large. Bidi Kahn, 65, a widowed mother of six with “a bunch” of grandchildren, has been surrounded by her family at Jamaica Hospital as her face heals from the horrific wounds she endured in the hit-and-run nightmare. She said the support of her family has been keeping her going. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Saving the day just part of the daily rounds for MTA bus driver

Call him the Astounding Busman. The temperature plunged to 13 degrees at 6 a.m. that snowy Feb. 6, 2004, when Glen Moyles pulled his Q12 bus out of Casey Stengel Depot on Roosevelt Ave. in Queens and groaned over the Northern Blvd. overpass above icy Flushing Bay. Up ahead in the swirling white haze Moyles spotted an idling car parked in the right lane. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Queens-bound tour bus crash injures 23; no charges filed 

Police are investigating a tour bus crash in Westchester County that sent nearly two dozen people to the hospital Wednesday. New York State Police say the bus was traveling from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut to Queens just before 6:30 a.m. when the driver lost control on I-95. Read more: [NY1] 

Queens boy, 4, drowns in relatives’ backyard pool 

A 4-year-old boy drowned in relatives’ backyard pool during a Fourth of July party last night in Queens, authorities said. Firefighters arrived at the Beverly Road home in the Douglas Manor neighborhood just before 6 p.m. to find the unconscious child, identified by police as Christos Voulkoudis, lying next to the pool after he was pulled out by family members. Read more: [New York Post]

MTA cop shoots, kills psycho who stabbed him in the eye in unprovoked attack

An MTA cop who survived two wars as a Navy officer was stabbed in the eye by a police-hating lunatic at an LIRR station — but the bleeding officer managed to shoot his attacker dead before the man could strike again. “He’s a real hero,” MTA chief Joe Lhota said of Officer John Barnett, who has also served with the NYPD. Read more: [New York Post]