Visitors paid their respects at the Happy Land monument on Thursday
Thursday marked the 20th anniversary of the Happy Land Social Club fire, a blaze that killed 87 people in a nightclub on Southern Boulevard in East Tremont on March 25th, 1990. (More details on the fire here).
At dusk on Thursday evening, a crowd had gathered around the Happy Land monument just across the street from the former club. Family members placed flowers and lit candles next to photos of loved ones.
At 7 p.m., Community Board 6 and the Happy Land 87 Committee held a memorial mass at nearby St. Thomas Aquinas Church. The service began with a reading of the victims’ names, and ended with a procession to the site of the club.
In a statement, Community Board 6 manager Ivine Galarza called on city agencies to continue to inspect neighborhood bars and clubs in order to prevent fires like the one at Happy Land, which had received a number of violations and was deemed a fire trap in the months before the tragedy.