2017-07-05 / Front Page

'Rockets Red Glare'

Saluting Our Independence


 
Photo Jason D. Antos Photo Jason D. Antos On a glorious summer evening on June 29, the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition (CALDC) held its annual Independence Celebration in Astoria Park. Tens of thousands of people packed the lawn, the shore, the track, the pool area and every corner they could find to hear the Queens Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Conductor Martin Majkut.

The evening commenced with the entrance of the NYPD Ceremonial Unit Presentation of the Colors and a stirring rendition of the National Anthem. The Queens Symphony Orchestra gave a masterful performance of the sounds of Independence Day, performed showtunes, and backed Queens Borough President Melinda Katz as she sang several patriotic songs.

When the sun went down, a 30-minute fireworks extravaganza by Grucci lit the night sky.

Speakers included George Stamatiades, President of CALDC, who welcomed the audience to the “best Independence Celebration in New York City,” and thanked Councilman Costa Constantinides and City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer for their support of the event. Councilman Constantinides told the audience that he was happy to be able to support this great annual event presented by Central Astoria LDC and invited everyone back to all the concerts and movies during the summer in CALDC’s Waterfront Concert and Movie Series. Councilman Van Bramer, also a supporter of the event, said that this was a great community event, not only for Astoria, but the entirety of Western Queens. Stepping up to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day were CALDC Executive Director, Marie Torniali, CALDC Executive Vice President Gazette Publisher Tony Barsamian, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, Borough President Katz, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assemblyman Brian Barnwell, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris and 114th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune. Also in attendance was Andrew Scano, Plant Manager for NRG, prime sponsor of the event, and Tania Broschart, Vice President of Astoria Bank and President of the Queens Symphony.


Queens Borough President Melinda Katz sang “God Bless America” and several popular standards from the American Songbook, including “Yankee Doodle.” She was backed by Queens Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Conductor Martin Majkut. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz sang “God Bless America” and several popular standards from the American Songbook, including “Yankee Doodle.” She was backed by Queens Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Conductor Martin Majkut. 
Tens of thousands of spectators came to the Great Lawn at Astoria Park for the annual CALDC Independence Day fireworks celebration. 
Photos Jason D. Antos Tens of thousands of spectators came to the Great Lawn at Astoria Park for the annual CALDC Independence Day fireworks celebration. Photos Jason D. Antos The CALDC 2017 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, Dunkin’ Donuts and Greiner-Maltz Investment Properties. —Jason D. Antos



(L. to r.); Former Councilman Judge Peter Vallone Jr., Assemblyman Brian Barnwell, NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, CALDC Executive Director Marie Torniali, CALDC Executive Vice President Gazette Publisher Tony Barsamian, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens Symphony Orchestra Conductor Martin Majkut. (L. to r.); Former Councilman Judge Peter Vallone Jr., Assemblyman Brian Barnwell, NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, CALDC Executive Director Marie Torniali, CALDC Executive Vice President Gazette Publisher Tony Barsamian, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens Symphony Orchestra Conductor Martin Majkut.

(L. to r.); CALDC Executive Director Marie Torniali, 114th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, Councilman Costa Constantinides, CALDC President George Stamatiades and NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. 
Photo Tony Barsamian (L. to r.); CALDC Executive Director Marie Torniali, 114th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, Councilman Costa Constantinides, CALDC President George Stamatiades and NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. Photo Tony Barsamian

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