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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.

Related posts on ATZ…

May 29, 2013: Coney Island Flicks on the Beach Opens July 1 with Little Fugitive

May 13, 2013: Grimaldi’s Rings in Coney Island Comeback with Dreamland Bell

April 16, 2013: Photo of the Day: Coney Island Sunset by Bruce Handy

April 2, 2013: Shoot the Freak Reborn in Coney Island as Shoot the Clown

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Coney Island Fireworks

Electric Eden Revisited: Friday Night Fireworks with Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. Photo © Bruce Handy

Tonight in Coney Island, the sky will light up with a pyrotechnic display rivaling that of last week’s “Electric Eden Revisited” in this fabulous photo by Bruce Handy. It’s the last Friday night fireworks of the summer and is expected to be spectacular. Best viewing is on the Boardwalk from West 10th to West 12th Streets, on the Wonder Wheel or from Steeplechase Pier.

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May 13, 2012: Coney Island Fireworks 2012: Fridays, 4 Saturdays & July 4th

May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

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Coney Island Fireworks Posters. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Coney Island is still the People’s Playground. You can come here with a couple of bucks in your pocket and have a great time people watching on the boardwalk. Here’s our guide to more than a dozen free events this summer, including fireworks, music, dancing and movies on the beach. Stay tuned for the 2012 schedule of the Seaside Summer Concert Series, which will once again be held at Surf Avenue and 21st Street in Coney Island beginning in mid-July. Update July 7: The free concerts begin on July 12 with Gloria Gaynor and the Village People. Among the six summer concerts are Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on August 9 and Gladys Knight and the Commodores on August 16. Check the Seaside Concert website for full schedule and details.

Friday Night Fireworks, June 15 through August 31. Coney Island Boardwalk. The first Friday night fireworks of Coney’s 2012 season begin today at 9:30 pm. The free summer-long show is once again sponsored by Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park including the Scream Zone and the Cyclone, and the Brooklyn Cyclones. In addition, the Cyclones have scheduled fireworks on their Opening Day– Monday, June 18th—as well as on Wednesday, July 4th, and four Saturdays when they have home games: July 7, August 4, August 11 and August 25. Friday night “Karaoke on the Boardwalk” in front of the Wonder Wheel also starts today from 7pm.

Coney Island Dancers

Coney Island Dancers. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

Coney Island Dancers Outdoor Dance Parties, Boardwalk at W 10th Street and W 15th Street. Dance and party at two locations on the Boardwalk this summer with the Coney Island Dancers. CID’s Commander-in-chief Rican Vargas–he’s the guy in military whites– says the group has been performing on the boardwalk for almost 15 years: “Just follow your ears to the beat and your eyes to the gathering.” The weekend parties are 12 noon till 8pm, with a street festival set for Saturday, August 18th on West 10th Street. Check the schedule on CID’s website.

Pet Costume Contest. Photo © Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

Pet Day and Pet Costume Contest, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Saturday, June 16. Last Year’s 1st Annual Pet Day was an occasion for costumed dogs and one lucky parrot to parade on the Boardwalk and ride in miniature floats. The pooches wore a sailor hat, an opera hat, sunglasses and even a Hawaiian skirt. We’re hoping to see a Noah’s Ark of exotic pets this year–how about a hermit crab or an iguana? The costume contest begins at 2pm, with preregistration recommended for the 25 slots. Pets are also invited to ride the Wonder Wheel with their owners. Sonny, a Rottweiler owned by Wonder Wheel Park’s Vourderis family, used to ride all day in his very own car. He loved the Wonder Wheel. RIP Sonny.

Abe Feinstein at the Coney Island History Project. Photo © Coney Island History Project.

“Abe Feinstein: 50 Years of Coney Island Photography,” Coney Island History Project, through July 1. In the History Project’s free exhibit center on 12th Street, you’ll see photos of a vanished Coney Island that you won’t find anywhere else. Abe Feinstein, 83, has been photographing his neighborhood since he moved to Luna Park Houses in 1962. Selected and printed by History Project director Charles Denson, the images include icons like Steeplechase Park’s Pavilion of Fun, the Parachute Jump in action, and Shatzkin’s Knishes, where signs advertised huckleberry and cherry knishes. The show runs through July 1 at the exhibit center, which is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon till 6pm.

Mermaid Parade

Mermaid Parade founder Dick Zigun of Coney Island USA beating his drum. Photo © Tricia Vita

Mermaid Parade, June 23. We’ve met New Yorkers who passionately proclaim their love for Coney Island though they come here only once a year for the Mermaid Parade. It’s worth the trip from anywhere. If you plan to join the parade as a mermaid or other sea creature, we recommend registering in advance. Our fave free spot to watch (and photograph) the parade is near the reviewing stand on Surf Avenue at West 12th Street, where marching groups strut their stuff and bribe the judges. Other good spots to watch the parade for free are on Surf Avenue at the corner of Stillwell facing Nathan’s or West 10th near the Cyclone. The Boardwalk has great ambiance, but you’ll miss seeing the hippie buses and vintage cars. This year the parade is celebrating its 30th anniversary and is bound to be jam-packed. It starts at 2pm. Don’t be late–or you may find yourself unable to swim across Surf Avenue!

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Sound Check for Nathan’s 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. Photo © Tricia Vita

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, July 4. The Road to Coney for 15 regional qualifiers leads to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues for “The Big Dance.” If you can’t make it, the event will be televised live on ESPN at 3 pm. Yes, that’s right, the traditional starting time of “high noon” has been changed due to ESPN’s live coverage of the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals. On the plus side, the one-hour telecast will also include coverage of the Women’s Championship. Go, Sonya! UPDATE June 26: According to a press release from Major League Eating, the contest was changed back to its original starting time of 12 noon, with the women’s championship at 11:30 am. Traffic jam averted: “An expected crowd of some 40,000 for the contest followed by an early evening Cyclones game required the contest to be moved back to 12 Noon.”

Coney Island Film Series

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach Summer Film Series. Photo Courtesy of EPIX

Flicks on the Beach, Schedule TBA. Last summer, Flicks on the Beach was a welcome new addition to Coney’s roster of free summer-long events and will be returning this season though the schedule has yet to be announced. The Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC), NYC & Company and EpixHD partnered with Rooftop Films to launch the free Monday night film series on the beach. The event drew over 3,000 attendees to its eight movie screenings featuring such popular films as Saturday Night Fever, Annie Hall and Moonstruck along with pre-show entertainment and contests. Which flicks would you like to see this summer? UPDATE July 9: The 2012 season of Flicks on the Beach began on July 2 and continues on Monday nights through August 6 August 13. The schedule includes Bound for Glory featuring David Carradine as Woody Guthrie, Woody Allen’s Manhattan, and Jim Henson’s The Muppets. Full schedule here. The show begins at dusk on the beach near West 10th Street.

Sand Sculpting Contest

Sand Sculpting Contest, Coney Island. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

22nd Annual Sand Sculpting Contest & Unity Day, July 21. According to the contest sponsor Astella Development, amateur sculptors will compete in five categories for cash prizes of $400, $200 and $100. The contest takes place on the beach from West 10th to West 12th Streets, where fifty mounds of sand are prepared by the Parks Department for the sand sculptors to transform into works of art. Pre-register online at Astella’s website.

Coney Island Talent Show

Coney Island Talent Show. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

3rd Annual Coney Island Talent Show, July 28. The first Coney Island Talent Show – “A spectacle of sunshine and lollipops on the Boardwalk!”–was the most successful new Coney event of the season. It featured singers, dancers, magicians and jugglers, as well as a contortionist, a sword swallower, and Justin Bieber and Jackie Gleason impersonators. The 3rd annual talent show might feature — you! Producer Jen Gapay of Thirsty Girl Productions has posted an open call for contestants for this year’s contest. The talent show’s four categories are Creative Kids 9-12 years old, Creative Kids 13-17 years old, Circus Freaks and Sideshow Geeks, Song and Dance, and Best Drag Performance or Celebrity Impersonator. For an application visit coneyislandtalentshow.com.

Witches in Bikinis

Wonder Wheel Music Marathon. Photo © Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

7th Annual Deno’s Wonder Wheel Music Marathon, August 4 and 18. A dozen rock and surf bands including The Clams, Strange But Surf, and Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion! will play on the Boardwalk in front of the Wonder Wheel for two Saturdays in August from 2pm. Brooklyn babes Witches in Bikinis are perennial faves. According to their bio, the group formed in 2005 for a performance of ‘Witches In Bikinis’ with one singer and two witch back-ups at The Slipper Room in Manhattan’s Lower East Side for a fundraiser. Current witches Ali, Dreamie, Kaitlin, Kendra and Ruthie will cast their spell on August 18.

History Day

Spook-A-Rama’s Cyclops on History Day. Photo © Jim McDonnell

2nd Annual History Day at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and The Coney Island History Project, August 11 August 12. For the second year in a row, the 92-year-old landmark Wonder Wheel teams up with the non-profit Coney Island History Project to bring live music, entertainment and history to the heart of Coney Island. Last year, Spook-A-Rama’s legendary Cyclops came out of retirement to join in the fun. At this season’s event, the Hungry March Band, Banjo Rascals, Benjamin Ickies & the Coney Island Screamers, and Lady Circus will perform on the Boardwalk, West 12th Street and throughout Wonder Wheel Park. A Coney trivia contest with historian Charles Denson and a Wonder Wheel Draw-a-thon are some of this year’s activities. Prizes include ride passes and souvenirs of good ol’ Coney Island.

Luna Park Dancers

Dancers at Luna Park. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

New York City’s Got Talent and End of Summer Concert, Luna Park. August. Luna Park is launching two brand-new free events in August. On three consecutive Fridays–August 3, 10 and 17–performers will compete in “New York City’s Got Talent” for the chance to perform in Z100’s End of Summer Concert at Luna Park. The concert promises “today’s hottest performers, as well as known & loved Brooklyn talent” and will be held on West 10th Street on August 24. (Update…August 10 show rescheduled for Sunday, August 12, 4-7pm)

Many thanks to Coney Island photographers Bruce Handy and Jim McDonnell for their photos.

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Related posts on ATZ…

July 9, 2012: Coney Island 2012: Free Movie Screenings on the Beach

May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

May 13, 2012: Coney Island Fireworks 2012: Fridays, 4 Saturdays & July 4th

April 22, 2011: Coney Island Has 64 Rides and 30 Weekends of Summer!

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Coney Island Fireworks

Coney Island Fireworks from Steeplechase Pier, July 29, 2011, Photo © Jim McDonnell. All Rights Reserved

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.

UPDATE June 4, 2013: For 2013 Fireworks Schedule see “Coney Island Fireworks 2013: Fridays, 6 Saturdays and More…” The first Friday night fireworks show of Coney Island’s 2013 season will be on June 21 and this free weekly event continues every Friday through August 30.

It’s that time of year when we start to get queries about whether Coney Island has fireworks on Memorial Day. The answer is Coney Island’s tradition of Friday night fireworks begins in mid-June. But if you come out on Memorial Day Weekend, the beach opens for the season and you’ll also be able to ride a record number of new rides as well as old favorites.

The first Coney Island fireworks show of the 2012 season is on June 15 and this free weekly event continues every Friday through August 31. The pyrotechnic extravaganza starts at 9:30 pm. Best viewing is on the Boardwalk from West 10th to West 12th Streets, on the Wonder Wheel or from Steeplechase Pier. Coney Island will also have fireworks on the Fourth of July this year for the first time in years since the date is a Brooklyn Cyclones home game!

Please patronize the sponsors of the fireworks: Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park; Luna Park, including Scream Zone and the Cyclone; and the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team.

In addition, the Brooklyn Cyclones have scheduled fireworks on the following four Saturdays after their home games as well as on one Monday–Opening Day–and one Wednesday, which falls on July 4th:

Monday June 18th – OPENING DAY – vs. Staten Island Yankess
Wednesday July 4th – vs. Williamsport Crosscutters
Saturday July 7th – vs. Jamestown Jammers
Saturday Aug 4th – vs. Auburn Doubledays
Saturday Aug 11th – vs. Vermont Lake Monsters
Saturday Aug 25 – vs. Staten Island Yankees

The fireworks after the home games are shot off from the stadium located between West 16th and West 19th Streets and are best viewed from the Boardwalk or nearby streets.

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.

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Related posts on ATZ…

July 9, 2012: Coney Island 2012: Free Movie Screenings on the Beach

June 15, 2012: Amusing the Zillion’s Guide to Free Summer Events in Coney Island

May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

April 22, 2011: Coney Island Has 64 Rides and 30 Weekends of Summer!

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Friday Night Fireworks by Bruce Handy. July 22, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo57. All Rights Reserved

Fireworks and snow?! Instead of doing a Best Photos of 2011, ATZ is featuring some images that we missed during the hectic summer season. It’s also “snowing” on our blog through January 2, thanks to the Holiday Engineers at WordPress.com.

“The new ‘IN’ place to be on a Friday fireworks night is THE PIER,” wrote Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy on the Friday night in July when he took this stunning photo.

The Coney Island tradition of Friday night fireworks begins for the 2012 season in mid-June. That’s six months away, fireworks fans. Coney Island’s rides and attractions open for the season on the last weekend of March, which is Palm Sunday Weekend. That’s just over three months away. Mark your new 2012 calendars!

Related posts on ATZ…

December 6, 2011: Photo of the Day: Nathan’s Famous at Night

October 31, 2011: Photo Album: Snowtober in Coney Island by Bruce Handy

January 27, 2011: Photo of the Day: Coney Island Snowmen at Dawn

February 26, 2010: Photo of the Day: Snow Mermaid on Coney Island Beach

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Door of the Grill House: Free Fireworks 9:30 Friday Night. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Door of the Grill House: Free Fireworks 9:30 Friday Night. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

UPDATE June 4, 2013: For 2013 Fireworks Schedule see “Coney Island Fireworks 2013: Fridays, 6 Saturdays and More…” The first Friday night fireworks show of Coney Island’s 2013 season will be on June 21 and this free weekly event continues every Friday through August 30.

UPDATE…May 25, 2011… Coney Island’s tradition of Friday night fireworks begins for the 2011 season on June 17 and continues through September 2. The pyrotechnic extravaganza starts at 9:30 pm. Best viewing is from the Boardwalk or the Wonder Wheel. Please patronize the main sponsors of the fireworks:  Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park; Luna Park, Scream Zone and the Cyclone; and the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team. In addition, the Brooklyn Cyclones have scheduled fireworks on the following five Saturdays after their home games as well as on one Wednesday and Sunday night:

Saturday, June 18th – OPENING DAY – vs. Staten Island
Saturday, June 25th – vs. Hudson Valley
Wednesday, June 29th – END OF SCHOOL SPECTACULAR – vs. Hudson Valley
Sunday, July 3rd – HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA – vs. Staten Island
Saturday, July 16th – Lowell
Saturday, August 6th – vs. Staten Island
Saturday, August 20th – DSNY APPRECIATION NIGHT – vs. Tri-City

When the weather is iffy, check the Coney Island tweeters on Coney Island Fun’s list for updates here.

* * *

Coney Island’s first fireworks show of the 2010 season is this Friday, June 18th. On the eve of the Mermaid Parade! The free shows continue every Friday through September 3 and begin at approximately 9:30 pm. Best viewing is from the Boardwalk or the Wonder Wheel. Please patronize the main sponsors of the fireworks: Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the Cyclone Roller Coaster, Luna Park and the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team.

The Brooklyn Cyclones also sponsor free post-game fireworks on Saturday nights when they play a home game. Saturday night fireworks in Coney Island are scheduled for July 3, July 10, July 31, August 7 and September 4, 2010

UPDATE June 19 Fireworks!!

This weekend is going to be a double header as far as fireworks: Walking by MCU Park on the way to the circus, we passed by the Brooklyn Cyclones banner advertising the fireworks and just realized there’s a show on Saturday, June 19! Catch the fireworks after the Brooklyn Cyclones opening game of the season or the Mermaid Parade and Ball. Either way, Saturday is going to be an even more eventful day than we thought.

Related posts on ATZ…

June 23, 2011: Casting Call for Second Annual Coney Island Talent Show

May 11, 2011: Coney Island 2011: Summer Photography Workshop

April 27, 2011: Coney Island 2011: Free Movie Screenings on the Beach

April 22, 2011: Coney Island Has 64 Rides and 30 Weekends of Summer!

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Coney Island Fireworks sign on the door of Steves Grill House on the Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Island Fireworks sign on the door of Steve's Grill House on the Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

UPDATE…MAY 13, 2012…See “Coney Island Fireworks 2012: Fridays, 4 Saturdays & July 4th.” The first Coney Island fireworks show of the 2012 season is on June 15 and the free weekly event continues through August 31.

On Labor Day Weekend 2009 in Coney Island, there will be not just one but two fabulous nights to enjoy free fireworks. The show begins at 9:30 pm on Friday and Sunday night (Sept 4 and 6). Take your pick or stay the weekend! The Friday September 4 show was scheduled to be the last of the season. This week the folks who run Cyclone roller coaster, one of the sponsors of the fireworks, announced the additional Sunday show.

Please patronize the sponsors of the fireworks:The Cyclone Roller Coaster, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, and the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team. Additional participants in the fireworks include the Aquarium, the CIDC and Councilman Domenic Recchia’s office.

Although Labor Day marks the official closing of the beach for the season, many of the rides and attractions remain open on weekends through October. The Cyclone Roller Coaster is open weekends through September 20. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the Eldorado Bumper Cars and Arcade, McCullough’s Kiddie Park and other attractions remain open through October. Visit Coney Island Fun Guide for more info.

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