Bernadette Kilkelly


Long Island Moon Landing Anniversary Event Roundup

Astronaut Edwin E."Buzz" Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module pilot, is photographed during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the Moon on July 20, 1969. (Photo by Neil Armstrong/NASA Photo)

As the 50th anniversary of the moon landing approaches Saturday, Long Island has much to celebrate, given locally based Grumman Corp.’s leading role in building the lunar module.

Related Story: Long Islanders Recall Leading Role in Moon Landing

This weekend, Long Islanders of all ages can get a chance to remember and learn about the first moon landing, with events all over the island, from Centerport to Garden City and places in between.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with astronaut encounters, a countdown, Apollo 11 documentary screening, virtual reality experiences, model rocket launches, telescopes, Lunar Module exhibit and simulators, and much more! Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. July 20. 

The museum rolls out special Apollo-centric programming July 15-21 including Apollopalooza, with activities for kids ages 3 and older centred around the milestone mission. Long Island Children’s Museum,  Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City, $14. 12-3 p.m. July 20.  

After the family friendly activities of the day, adults can celebrate the moon landing with dinner, dancing, and champagne, the night ending with the countdown to the official first step at 10:56 P.M. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City, $125.7 p.m. July 20.

The Long Island Concert Orchestra and a live chorus present out-of-this-world works from Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, E.T., Star Trek, and more, set against cinematic space-scapes from NASA archives and Apollo missions. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue, $25-$553 p.m. July 21. 

Together, the Montauk Observatory and Stony Brook University present a five-hour event, complete with lecture from SBU professor Timothy Glotch, a Grumman Roundtable discussion, the screening of the documentary Apollo 11, and more. Avram Theater, Stony Brook University (Southampton Campus), 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton, Free. 1 p.m.-6 p.m. July 20. 

In this movie from 1978, Capricorn One is the first manned mission to Mars — or was it a conspiracy all along? This showing also features food, beverages, and prizes, with a bonus mix CD for early attendees. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington, $5-$7. 10 p.m. July 20.

Programs include a presentation by a Grumman design engineer who worked on the Lunar Module that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon; a live Planetarium lecture; space-themed craft workshops for children, and viewings of a new documentary, CapCom Go! The Apollo Story. 180 Little Neck Road,
Centerport, $11-$14. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 20, 12-5 p.m. 21.


Pride on The Beach Parade Attracts Thousands

Volunteers and supporters of the LGBT network march together.

Under clear blue summer skies, the City of Long Beach hosted the annual Long Island Pride Parade on Sunday, attracting what festival organizers described as the largest crowd to ever attend a Pride event on Long Island.

David Kilmnick, president and CEO of the LGBT Network, which sponsors Long Island Pride activities, estimated that 30,000 people came to watch more than 100 organizations parade down West Broadway. The grand marshalls were several participants of the Stonewall riots, the 50th anniversary of which is on June 28.

“It’s important to be a part of the LGBT community from a younger age and perspective, because when our generation enters the workforce and the voting booths, we get to make the changes we’ve wanted to see since we were kids in middle and high school,” said one student marching with her local GSA, who preferred to remain anonymous.

At opening ceremonies before the parade, Kilmnick welcomed local politicians who marched, including State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

A wide variety of organizations marched to show their support for the LGBT community, with charities like the Red Cross and Planned Parenthood joined by health care providers Northwell Health and St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and major businesses including Target and Walgreens.
Up and down the parade route, there were colorful participants and floats, with enthusiastic volunteers giving out goodies such as whistles, stickers and of course, rainbow flags.

Paradegoers noted that many of the parade participants were LGBT youth, including groups who marched with their high school’s GSA, or Gay-Straight Alliance. Among the GSA groups marching were groups from high schools across Nassau and Suffolk counties, including Long Beach, Oceanside, Uniondale, Copiague, and West Islip.

After the parade concluded the spectators flocked to the Pride Market on the boardwalk, which featured dozens of vendors with a variety of goods to purchase, from pride related flags and apparel, as well as information on health and related services from groups such as Planned Parenthood. Local sports teams including the New York Islanders and New York Mets also had booths, with the Mets promoting the upcoming Pride Night at Citi Field on August 10.

The Pride festivities ended with a concert on the beach, starting with singers including Brian Justin Crum from America’s Got Talent and Ada Vox from American Idol. At 6 p.m., the concert’s headliner, Macy Gray, took the stage to entertain the crowd. Gray is best known for her hit song, “I Try,” which was released in 2000 in the United States and was an international hit.