The whole community is invited to a fireworks show that has become a borough tradition at Orchard Beach.
The annual New York Salutes America fireworks extravaganza, which is also a celebration of the communities comprising the borough, will take place at the beach in Pelham Bay Park on Thursday, June 28.
The event, which features a fireworks extravaganza by the world-renowned Fireworks by Grucci, is also a boardwalk festival that features musical entertainment and a program at 7 p.m. at the beach’s bandstand, followed by fireworks at around 9:20 p.m.
New York Salutes America is the borough’s largest fireworks show and serves as a precursor to the start of Independence Day events, with thousands expected to attend.
The Bronx Tourism Council produces the event, which is hosted again this year by Senator Jeff Klein and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Klein has co-hosted the show since he was first elected to the senate in 2004.
The senator said it was a tradition that he will always work to continue, adding he has now coordinated the event with two borough presidents to make the fireworks extravaganza happen every year.
“I think our goal is to ultimately have it as the premier fireworks display, rivaling what Macy’s does,” said Klein. “It is a way for the Bronx to come together and celebrate our diversity and our communities, and is an early start to the Fourth of July.”
The borough president appears to be equally enthusiastic to be co-hosting the event.
“Every year, my office is thrilled to partner with Senator Jeff Klein to bring fireworks to Orchard Beach as part of the ‘New York Salutes America’ celebration,” said Diaz. “This year, I encourage everyone to come out with their friends and family to enjoy the fireworks, our annual empanada eating contest, music, food and fun as we begin our city’s celebration of our nation’s independence.”
For the fourth year, the Bronx Empanada Eating Contest comes back to the fireworks extravaganza and boardwalk festival, featuring mini-empanadas from the Havana Café.
Sophie Thierfelder, Bronx Tourism Council deputy director, said as of press time that the council is still finalizing the roster of sponsors for this year.
These sponsors typically include companies and non-profits from around the borough and beyond, according to previous Bronx Times articles.
About two months of planning go into preparing the event, said Thierfelder, who described it as a “beautiful event” that will have significance for United States citizens or those who want to celebrate the country’s history, including the fireworks and a concert on the beach.
“It is a nice place to go either with your partner or with friends and family,” she said.
Many borough residents enjoy the event every year, with Bob Bieder, a community leader in Westchester Square, saying he makes it a point to attend annually.
“I love the fireworks display; they do a great job,” said Bieder, describing New York Salutes America as ‘old home week’ or a kind of reunion for neighbors.
“It is really nice to get together with all of the community people, neighbors and friends and celebrate the country,” said Bieder.
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