On Thursday, June 29, 2017, tens of thousands of Bronxites and revelers from all over the region joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and State Senator Jeff Klein as they hosted the borough’s official kickoff to the year’s Independence Day Celebrations, the annual “New York Salutes America” boardwalk festival and fireworks extravaganza at Orchard Beach.

“The annual ‘New York Salutes America’ boardwalk festival and fireworks extravaganza at Orchard Beach is one of our jewel events, and is a great way to kick-off our city’s July 4th celebrations. I was proud to once again join State Senator Jeff Klein in bringing together thousands of our neighbors to celebrate America,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“As always, the annual Fourth of July extravaganza at Orchard Beach drew thousands of Bronxites for a spectacular evening of free entertainment and fireworks. It was a night where the community came together to celebrate our nation’s freedom, and I’m proud to have once again worked with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr to make it such a memorable event,” said State Senator Jeff Klein.

The event was produced by The Bronx Tourism Council and sponsored by Assembly Member Michael Benedetto, Altice, Anheuser-Busch, Bronx Tax Man, Con Edison, Empire City Casino, G.A.L. Manufacturing Corp., Manhattan Beer Distributors, Mercy College, Pascap, Schulyer Funeral Home, Havana Café, Domino’s, Sabrett, PepsiCo, Radio 103.9, Snapple and Healthfirst.

In addition to a fireworks show by the world-famous Grucci, spectators also enjoyed the third annual Bronx Empanada Eating Contest. Contest winner received prizes from The Bronx Tourism Council, the New York Botanical Garden, Wave Hill, the Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo, Freshdirect and George Raphael. The empanadas were provided by Havana Café on East Tremont Avenue.