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Posts Tagged ‘Alliance for Coney Island’

Coney Island Fireworks

Alliance for Coney Island’s Poster for the 2013 Friday Night Fireworks. Photo via Facebook.com/coneyislandfun

Coney Island tourism was one of the winners in the third year of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils competition. An award of $225,000 to the Alliance for Coney Island for improvements to the tourism initiative “The One and Only Coney” was among 824 statewide projects receiving a share of $715.9 million in New York State economic development funding.

“The campaign aims to draw tourists by marketing and expanding seasonal events and programs that will reintroduce Coney Island as America’s Playground, furthering the appeal of Coney Island as a tourism destination,” according to a release from the Governor’s Press Office. New York City received $57.4 million, including funding for a tech incubator in Queens and program expansion and improved accessibility at New York Botanical Gardens.

Alliance for Coney Island

Johanna Zaki, Alliance for Coney Island’s Director of Operations at a presentation on the 2013 season at Tom’s Coney Island. November 15, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Founded in 2012, the Alliance for Coney Island is a successor to the Coney Island Development Corporation. The non-profit’s mission is “continuing the transformation of Coney Island into a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination while improving the quality of life of the entire Coney Island community.”

Current opportunities on the organization’s website include RFPs for a creative agency/graphic designer firm as well as for fireworks shows and outdoor movie screening vendor services for the annual Flicks on the Beach program for 2014. The Alliance is also seeking sponsors for programming.

Free events such as Coney Island’s Friday night fireworks are currently supported by funding from the Alliance’s founding members. In the past, Schaefer Beer sponsored free Tuesday night fireworks from 1949 till they pulled out in 1968, writes Charles Denson in Coney Island: Lost and Found. The Village Voice sponsored the much-missed Siren Music Festival, a free indie rock concert from 2001-2010.

This promotional short “Coney Is…” showcases the Parachute Jump’s new lights, restored B&B Carousell and future improvements at the New York Aquarium. “The One and Only Coney” is Back, it says.

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The 4th Annual Coney Island Talent Show is tomorrow, July 27, from 3-8PM. It’s too late to register to perform, but spectating is free. The stage is on the Boardwalk between West 10th and West 12th Streets. Here’s what it looked like last year — once again the talent categories are Creative Kids, Song and Dance, and Circus Freaks and Sideshow Geeks! Produced by Jen Gapay of Thirsty Girl Productions and emceed by The World Famous *BOB*, the Coney Island Talent Show is sponsored by the Alliance for Coney Island.

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Friday Night Fireworks

Friday Night Fireworks with Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. Photo © Bruce Handy

UPDATE May 10, 2014: Readers are already starting to ask about this year’s fireworks, so here you go: The first Friday night fireworks show of Coney Island’s 2014 season will be on June 20, the eve of both the first day of summer and the Mermaid Parade. Schedule for 2014 fireworks is here.

The first Friday night fireworks show of Coney Island’s 2013 season will be on June 21, the first day of summer and the eve of the Mermaid Parade. This free weekly event continues every Friday through August 30. Sponsored by the Alliance for Coney Island, the pyrotechnic extravaganza starts at 9:30 pm. Best viewing is on the Boardwalk from West 10th to West 12th Streets or from the Wonder Wheel. Another popular viewing spot, Steeplechase Pier, is currently under renovation after damage from Superstorm Sandy and expected to reopen in July.

The Brooklyn Cyclones have also scheduled fireworks on the following six Saturdays after their home games as well as on one Tuesday – the team’s opening day, June 18th –and one Wednesday, which falls on July 3rd. This year every Saturday night fireworks show will have a special musical theme, including Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles. Ebbets Field 100th Anniversary, an old-time baseball exhibition, Scout sleepovers and other special events as well as the starting times for the games are listed on the Cyclones promo schedule.

Tuesday June 18 – BROOKLYN CYCLONES OPENING DAY – vs. Staten Island Yankees – Homecoming Fireworks
Saturday, June 22 – vs. Aberdeen IronBirds – Jimmy Buffett Fireworks
Saturday, June 29 – vs. Hudson Valley Renegades – Girl Power Fireworks
Wednesday, July 3 – vs. Staten Island Yankees – Patriotic Fireworks
Saturday, July 20 – vs. Batavia Muckdogs – Springsteen Fireworks
Saturday, Aug 10 – vs. State College Spikes – Billy Joel Fireworks
Saturday, August 17 – vs. Vermont Lake Monsters – Disney Fireworks
Saturday, August 31 – vs. Aberdeen IronBirds – Beatles Fireworks

The fireworks after the home games are shot off from MCU Stadium located between West 16th and West 19th Streets and are best viewed inside the ballpark or from the Boardwalk or adjacent streets.

UPDATE: A special Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks Show was announced this week. The Brooklyn Cyclones and the Alliance for Coney Island are hosting the event at MCU Park. This means that Coney Island will have fireworks three days in a row — on July 3, 4 and 5! According to the news release for the July 4 event:

Admission is free, however donations will be accepted to benefit the Brooklyn Public Library and #ConeyRecovers, an initiative of local organizations working in partnership to assist with the recovery of the Coney Island community.

The gates will be open at 4:30 p.m. and all ballpark concessions and restrooms will be available to the public.

During the event, attendees can enjoy:
• A pig roast presented by Thomas Joseph Catering
• “Beers of New York” Beer Garden
• A special performance by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn
• Live music from oldies and Top 40 cover bands
• Family activities including the “Fastest Arm in Brooklyn Competition” on the Brooklyn Cyclones speed pitch

The event will culminate with a tremendous Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza at 9 p.m., preceded by a performance from the Brooklyn String Orchestra.

Fourth of July in Coney Island kicks off with the world-renowned Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest beginning with the women contestants at 11:30AM and the men at 12 noon at the Original Nathan’s of Coney Island located on Stillwell Avenue. Pre-show entertainment begins at 10:30AM

For more information, please call 718.37.BKLYN

When the weather is iffy on a day that fireworks are scheduled, check the Coney Island tweeters on Coney Island Fun’s list for updates. Thanks to People’s Playground photographer Bruce Handy for his splendid photo of one of last summer’s fireworks shows.

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Fire Eating

Fire Eating at Coney Island Winter Celebration, Gargiulo’s Restaurant. December 13, 2012. Photo © Jim McDonnell

In this photo by Jim McDonnell, fire eaters Adam RealMan and Kryssy Kocktail of the Coney Island Sideshow liven up the cocktail hour at Thursday’s Coney Island Winter Celebration at Gargiulo’s Restaurant. The Alliance for Coney Island-sponsored dinner raised more than $40,000 for Sandy relief and recovery efforts in the neighborhood.

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Gargiulo's Restaurant

Gargiulo’s Restaurant Will Host the Alliance for Coney Island’s Winter Celebration on December 13. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

On December 13, Coney Island’s newest nonprofit, the Alliance for Coney Island, is having its first fundraiser at the recently reopened Gargiulo’s Restaurant. Coney Island’s Winter Celebration will benefit Coney Recovers, an initiative launched in the days after Hurricane Sandy to organize volunteers and relief efforts. Tickets for Thursday’s benefit, which includes entertainment, cocktails and dinner are $100 via advance purchase and $120 at the door.

The Alliance’s board consists of owners of businesses in the amusement area including Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the Brooklyn Cyclones, Nathan’s and Gargiulo’s, as well as the nonprofit New York Aquarium and Astella Development. Although the members of the Alliance suffered storm damage and most remain closed while they recover and rebuild, the priority of the new organization has been to aid neighborhood residents and businesses.

Astella Development

After Sandy: Astella Development on Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island. December 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Coney Recovers, which is a coalition of Astella Development Corporation, the Alliance for Coney Island, Coney Island Hospital, and the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, recently received a $100,000 grant from the Brooklyn Foundation and $25,000 from Robin Hood’s relief fund. Their plan is to set up an office to organize rebuilding and immediate needs, create the “Coney Corps” to provide job opportunities and skills training for local residents to help in the rebuilding, and develop a long-term recovery plan for the community. The Alliance is a successor to the Coney Island Development Corporation and will take over the CIDC’s tourism marketing efforts for Coney Island.

Kiddie Whip Car

Amanda Deutch Cleaning Kiddie Whip Car at History Project After Hurricane Sandy. November 1, 2012. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project.

Coney Island’s three nonprofit attractions–the New York Aquarium, Coney Island USA and the Coney Island History Project, were extensively damaged by flooding from Hurricane Sandy and have asked for donations via their websites. Their fundraising efforts have been decidedly low-key since many of their own personnel were flooded out of their homes and the focus of relief efforts has been residents without heat, electricity or basic services. If these nonprofits are to reopen as planned in the spring or summer, they will need to drum up more funds from supporters to recover and rebuild.

Coney Island USA

Patrick Wall Continues Clean-Up at Coney Island USA Sideshows by the Seashore. December 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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Sandy Cleanup Volunteers

Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Volunteers from the Barman’s Fund, Coney Island Boardwalk. November 11, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Among the last Hurricane Sandy volunteers to leave the Boardwalk on a recent Sunday evening was this bartender and her customers. They were from the Barman’s Fund, a group of bartenders who pool their tips to donate to charitable causes. This group told me they used the tips to buy the shovels and spent the day shoveling sand from the Coney Island Boardwalk. They were among the over 3,000 volunteers who participated in volunteer weekends organized by the Alliance for Coney Island’s Coney Recovers initiative. Cheers!

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Mayor Bloomberg in Coney Island

Mayor Mike Bloomberg and City Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr on the Coney Island Boardwalk. November 18, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

Tom’s Restaurant, which “soft-opened” in late September on the Coney Island Boardwalk, miraculously escaped damage from Hurricane Sandy and is one of the few restaurants open in the neighborhood. This morning, owner Jimmy Kokotas welcomed Mayor Bloomberg and Coney Island City Councilman Domenic Recchia for a breakfast meeting with the Alliance for Coney Island and Community Board 13. Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy was there and shared his set of photos via flickr. Seen in the photo below to the right of the Mayor are Dennis Vourderis, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park; Jimmy Kokotas, Tom’s Coney Island; Jon Dohlin, New York Aquarium and Judi Orlando, Astella Development. Nicole Robinson-Etienne, New York Aquarium and Valerio Ferrari and Alberto Zamperla, Luna Park, have their backs to the camera. The Mayor’s Office later tweeted: “Today the Mayor met with Coney Island small business owners to talk about rebuilding…”

Breakfast at Tom's

Breakfast Meeting at Tom’s Coney Island: Mayor Mike Bloomberg, City Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr with members of Alliance for Coney Island and Community Board 13, November 18, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

In the days after the storm, the newly formed Alliance launched the #ConeyRecovers initiative which has brought in hundreds of volunteers and dozens of partners to help with relief efforts in the community. Tom’s has been a hub of activity, serving as a command center for volunteers and a host for breakfast meetings about storm relief for local business owners. While the Boardwalk businesses were untouched by the storm and a few have managed to reopen, Ruby’s Bar does not have electricity and Paul’s Daughter and Lola Star Boutique lack meeting space. Though Tom’s opened near the end of the amusement park season, the restaurant is expected to initially remain open at least nine months of the year. If Tom’s hadn’t been here, the meetings of the past few weeks would have had to be held in another neighborhood since most of the other restaurants, from the original Nathan’s and Gargiulo’s to Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s, remain closed due to flood damage.

Tom's Coney Island

Breakfast Meeting at Tom’s Coney Island with Alliance for Coney Island and Community Board 13, November 18, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

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