By Tom Momberg
The details of the July 1 fireworks at Fort Totten have been released and include a free concert and unlimited opportunities for Independence Day celebration and recreation.
City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) joined the Bayside Historical Society and members of Community Board 7 Monday to announce the specific lineup of events.
“For the first time, residents in northeast Queens won’t have to travel far for world class fireworks and I look forward to sponsoring this event for years to come,” Vallone said. “These types of family events really bring the community together in celebration.”
Admittance to Fort Totten will begin at 5 p.m., and a performance from the Michelle Marie Rock Band will start after 6 p.m. Another musical performance is scheduled to follow from Phil Costa and the Something Special Band.
A formal ceremony is set to start at 9 p.m., featuring select speakers and the singing of the National Anthem. The fireworks display, to be launched from the Fort Totten parade grounds by Grucci Fireworks, will immediately follow at 9:15 p.m., and will last about 15 minutes.
Organizers are encouraging everyone who plans to attend on the Fort Totten grounds to bring blankets, chairs and any picnic items. All coolers and bags will be inspected at the gate, and organizers have made it an alcohol-free event.
Vendors and food trucks will sell carnival food, snacks and beverages on site, and portable sanitary stations will be available adjacently.
Limited parking will be available at the new Little Bay Parking Lot and along Bell Boulevard. Organizers said additional parking will be available at the Clearview Golf Course starting at 5 p.m., as well as at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. Vallo Transportation has agreed to bring guests to and from the two off-site locations with a free shuttle bus service.
The concert and fireworks display is the first such event ever held on the Fort Totten grounds. Alison McKay, the executive director of the Bayside Historical Society, said the event is a historic undertaking.
“Bayside Historical Society at the Castle serves as a cultural destination within the Fort Totten Historic District and hosting an Independence Day Celebration right outside our front door is a great way for the community to link the past with the present,” McKay said in a statement.