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Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Senator Jeff Klein host annual festival and fireworks in Pelham Bay Park’s Orchard Beach

New York Salutes America Orchard Beach Fireworks, Eating Contest on June 25

Bronx Times
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The annual New York Salutes America fireworks show and promenade festival wiil be held in Orchard Beach, and all are welcome to attend.

Billed as the borough’s official kick-off to Independence Day celebrations, this year’s event will take place on Thursday, June 25 at the ‘Bronx’s Riviera.’

Over 10,000 people are expected to be in attendance, according to event organizers.

Senator Jeff Klein and Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. host the event every year.

“The annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration marks a special time for the Bronx community - bringing together families and children to commemorate our nation’s independence and enjoy the summer season,” said Klein.

This year’s event will feature an eating contest, with local restaurants offering food, and prizes and giveaways.

Borough President Diaz said “things will definitely be heating up with this years’ firework extravaganza and eating contest.”

“It is a fun-filled evening when family, friends and the entire community comes together from across the city to experience our great borough,” Diaz added. “Everyone will have a blast.”

Longtime attendee John Marano said that he believes the event brings together the community.

“Speaking as a citizen of Throggs Neck, I think it is a great event and it brings community together, especially since it has been years now that fireworks are illegal,” he said. “The kids today can actually see a beautiful display of fireworks in a safe manner.”

John Doyle of the City Island Civic Association, who has attended numerous New York Salutes America fireworks shows and festivals, said that a great deal of work goes into the event.

New York Salutes America is a nice place to see friends and neighbors, and also serves as a gathering of community activists for networking, he said.

“It is also a showcase of the beauty of Orchard Beach, and that should be a source of pride for all Bronxites,” said Doyle.

New York Salutes America is a free event that is open to the public. It will include activities for children like balloon makers, music, and magicians.

Every year there is also a ceremony at the stage at the Orchard Beach Pavilion where Klein and Diaz address the crowd.

The extravaganza begins at 6 p.m., with the eating contest starting at 7:45 p.m. and the professional fireworks show at 9:20 p.m.

There are 20 spaces available for the eating contest, and anyone interested in taking part in this just-for-fun competition can either submit their names by e-mail to bkemraj@bronxbp.nyc.gov by Wednesday, June 24, or give their names to event coordinators at Orchard Beach before 6:30 p.m. on the day of the celebration.

The participants in the first-ever eating contest will be selected at the beach prior to the contest.

Winners will receive a Bronx Prize Package, according to event coordinators.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Posted 12:00 am, June 20, 2015
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