Bayside Independence Day celebration returns to Fort Totten Park following four-year hiatus

Independence Day
Photo by Bruce Adler

Northeast Queens residents will celebrate the 4th of July a few days early with the return of the Fort Totten Park Independence Day fireworks following a four-year hiatus.

Councilwoman Vickie Paladino announced the return of the pyrotechnic extravaganza will take place on the night of Tuesday, June 27 with the gates opening at 5 p.m. with the “Fireworks by Grucci” blasting off at 9:15 p.m.

The annual event has drawn thousands to the Bayside waterfront before the COVID-19 pandemic paused the annual tradition.

“The Independence Day fireworks show and concert is finally returning to Fort Totten,” Paladino announced Tuesday. “My office has worked tirelessly with the Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Bayside Historical Society to see its return. I could not be more proud to be the Councilwoman who delivers the event back to the community. Now more than ever, the community desperately needs a strong event to celebrate and rally around.”

The event features fun activities for kids and food trucks on site and the concert includes musical performances by Chicken Head Rocks, Phil Costa and the Something Special Big Band, the 380th Army Band and DJ Russell Targove. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs. The fireworks will begin promptly at 9:15 p.m. and attendees must enter the park by 8:30 p.m.

QNS file photo

“The Queens Chamber of Commerce is excited to partner with Council member Vickie Paladino to bring this great event to Fort Totten once again,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech said. “Year after year, it has proved to be a fun day for families along one of Queens’ beautiful waterfronts. We are grateful to all our partners and sponsors for helping us make it a great evening.”

Guests are encouraged to walk or bus to the event. Limited parking will be available at Little Bay Park, with additional free parking available at the Clearview Golf Course and the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. Free shuttles provided by CITIBUS Corp. will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will bring guests to and from the offsite parking locations until 10:15 p.m.

Alcohol is not permitted at the event. All bags, coolers, backpacks, etc. will be inspected by the NYPD upon entrance.

“With funding provided by Council member Paladino and the Queens Chamber of Commerce, we are proud to announce the return of the BHS annual concert and fireworks show in Fort Totten,” said Paul DiBenedetto, president of the Bayside Historical Society. “BHS 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. We look forward to this year’s event being even bigger and better than it’s been in the past.”