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Friday Night Fireworks

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

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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Little Fugitive, the 1953 classic about a 7-year-old boy who spends 24 hours on the lam in Coney Island, returns to Coney on July 1st to open the 3rd Annual Coney Island Flicks on the Beach. This year is the 60th anniversary of the film, which won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and influenced the French New Wave. “My Dad used to say his veins were full of sand from Coney Island,” said Mary Engel of her film-maker father Morris Engel at a screening of the new 35MM print at Film Forum earlier this year.

Also screening at this year’s Flicks on the Beach are Bending Steel, a documentary which premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and Men in Black III starring Will Smith and Josh Brolin. Both movies feature scenes shot in Coney Island. Here is the complete schedule for this summer’s Coney Island Flicks on the Beach:

July 1: Little Fugitive, 60th Anniversary (rained out, rescheduled for August 27)
July 8: Bending Steel, in partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival
July 15: The Hunger Games
July 22: Wreck it Ralph (rained out, rescheduled for Sept 3)
July 29: Men in Black III
August 5: The Avengers
August 12: Fame
August 19: 42
August 27: Little Fugitive (rescheduled for a Tuesday night due to rain on July 1)
Sept. 3: Wreck It Ralph (rescheduled for a Tuesday night due to rain on July 22)

The Monday night beachside film series is a free event sponsored by the Alliance for Coney Island together with Rooftop Films and NYC & Co. Pre-show entertainment begins at dusk on the beach near West 10th Street.

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach

Pre-show entertainment at Coney Island Flicks on the Beach. July 12, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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February 2, 2013: A Coney Island Classic: 60th Anniversary of “Little Fugitive”

December 28, 2012: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island Videos of 2012

August 27, 2012: Video of the Day: Raw Footage of 1960s Coney Island

July 26, 2012: Film Trailer: Zipper, Coney Island’s Last Wild Ride

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For the past two seasons, photographer and film editor Jim McDonnell has released a video titled “Coney Island Dancing” after the boardwalk dancers pack it in for the season. We’re happy to report that the 2012 edition has arrived just in time for, well more dancing on the Boardwalk! The Coney Island Dancers have announced that they are extending their season of free outdoor dance parties with an October Fest from September 29 through Halloween.

Posted on Labor Day, “Coney Island Dancing 2012″ opens with the legendary Tony Disco before segueing to the legendary dancing doll known as “Miss Coney Island.” Both are charismatic old-timers who are famous in Coney Island and deserve wider acclaim. Nice to see them start this show, which distills a season’s worth of dance moves on the Boardwalk and the Polar Express and at Luna Park, Wonder Wheel Park and the Mermaid Parade and Ball into a joyous four minute forty-five second video. Here are links to Jim’s dance vids from 2010 and 2011 in case you missed ‘em. Party on!

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