2015-07-08 / Front Page

Celebrating Independence

BY JASON D. ANTOS


The Hell Gate Bridge is illuminated underneath a canopy of light from the Grucci fireworks. 
Photo Jason D. Antos The Hell Gate Bridge is illuminated underneath a canopy of light from the Grucci fireworks. Photo Jason D. Antos The Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s (CALDC) 33rd Annual Independence Day Celebration was held on June 30, along the Astoria Park Waterfront at Shore Boulevard.

More than 20,000 people went to Astoria Park to enjoy the annual fireworks celebration, which marked the beginning of the Annual Waterfront Concert Series.

The program started at 7:30 pm with beautiful music provided by the West Point Band of the United States Military Academy.

Elected officials were on hand to express their gratitude to CALDC and the people of Astoria and to emphasize the importance of the annual fireworks event. Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides, state Senator Michael Gianaris, and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas were present, as were CALDC President

George Stamatiades, CALDC Executive Director Marie Torniali and Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski.

“Tonight is a great night for CALDC and a great night for Queens,” said Stamatiades.

At 9:30 pm the Grucci team, who were set up on a high bluff on the other side of the East River near the Hell Gate Bridge started the fireworks show, which was greeted by collective “wows” and “aahs” by the crowd of thousands.

The CALDC Waterfront Concert Series will continue every Thursday through August 13 with performances beginning at 7:30 pm in Astoria Park. Shows will include the Cab Calloway Orchestra on July 9, Swingtime Big Band on July 16, Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash tribute) on July 23, Piece of the Rock doo wop group on July 30, Dancin’ Machine (disco) on August 6 and Spitfire (rock and roll) on August 13. The Movies on the Waterfront series will be held on Mondays at 8:30 pm, beginning July 27 with The Princess Bride followed by Frozen on August 3, How To Train Your Dragon on August 10, Ghostbusters on August 17 and The Incredibles on August 24.

The CALDC 2015 Waterfront Concert Series and Fireworks show is made possible through funding provided by Constantinides and Van Bramer, and in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and corporate sponsors, including NRG, Kaufman Astoria Studios, Mount Sinai Queens, Atlantic Bank, Astoria Bank, Thomas M. Quinn & Sons Funeral Home, and Quontic Bank and Greiner-Maltz.

For more information, call 718-728-7820 or visit www.centralastoria.org.

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