Central Astoria LDC Kicks Off Concert Series
Central Astoria LDC
Kicks Off Concert Series
Once again the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition carried out its tradition of inaugurating city-wide festivities to celebrate America’s birthday with the 20th annual Astoria Park Independence Celebration. The event featured a performance by the George Gee Make Believe Ballroom Orchestra and a spectacular Garden State Fireworks display. The Independence Celebration opened the weekly series of free outdoor performances that will take place every Thursday for the next eight weeks at Astoria Park.
A highlight of this year’s celebration was the dedication of the entire Astoria Park Concert Series to Julian Wager, founder and president of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition. The dedication was followed by a presentation from City Council Speaker Peter Vallone who recognized Wager’s 20 years of service to the community.
Much of the credit for this year’s attendance was due to favorable weather conditions which resulted in an outpouring of residents representing the four corners of Queens county. Not even a brief sprinkle of rain towards the end of the musical performance could deter an audience estimated at 15,000 from witnessing a grand finale of fireworks unequalled in the history of the series.
Julian Wager, Master of Ceremonies for the event, greeted the crowd which filled not only the park but Shore Boulevard from bridge to bridge. "Central Astoria is indebted to the generosity of those who have contributed to this night," he declared. Included in the acknowledgement of sponsors was the involvement of the New York Power Authority which has made extensive financial support and organizational contributions over the last 16 years.
Wager also praised New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone for funding provided through the city Department of Cultural Affairs and his efforts to improve Astoria Park for community use.
Other sponsors included Astoria Federal Savings, European American Bank, Time Warner Cable, Queens Council on the Arts and the Forest City Ratner Management Companies, responsible for the shops at Northern Boulevard, Grand Avenue and the Kaufman Astoria Regal Cinemas.
Others responsible for making the successful event possible were the 114th Police Precinct, the city Department of Parks and Recreation, United States Coast Guard, United States Army National Guard, United States Marine Color Guard and the 114th Civ-Op.