Enjoy summer fun throughout the borough

The mountains of snow that buried the borough only a few months ago are all but a distant memory as the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) officially kicked off the summer season with “Discover Queens – 75 Days of Summer ,” an initiative designed to highlight the plethora of events, attractions and programs happening around the borough.
“When we planned this program it was the middle of winter,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the QEDC at the Citi Field kickoff event. “It was cold it was nasty. It was the worst winter in many years. And today – summer is really here.”
The event began with a few special selections by Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz who went from street performer to holding the 9th annual New York City Musical Saw Festival on July 16 and Gabriela Granados from the American Bolero Dance Company who dazzled those in attendance with a Flamenco dance. Flora, the new mascot for the Queens Botanical Gardens, helped remind Queens residents that its best to water your lawns in the morning to avoid drowning your plants during the night.
“For 75 hot summer days, Queens attractions will offer entertaining programs for the young and old and everybody in between,” said Helen Marshall, Queens Borough President and number one cheerleader for Queens as described by Bornstein. “Working together, we will get more and more visitors to discover Queens and see the world.”
Guest speakers at the kickoff event included Dave Howard from the New York Mets, who spoke about the success of the recent Ecuador – Greece match-up at Citi Field and an upcoming match between Italian powerhouse Juventus FC and popular Mexican team Club America on July 26.
“Hopefully soccer will continue to thrive at Citi Field,” said Howard.
Sponsors of 75 Days of Summer include United State Tennis Association (USTA), Expedia, Queens Council on the Arts, NYC & Company and Delta Airlines who has taken great pride in representing Queens through the decades.
“Delta normally spends their days bringing people all over the world, but they say that home is where the heart is, and for us, Queens is home,” said Gail Grimmett, senior vice president of Delta in New York. “Not just because we have two airports in Queens, but also because we have 1,600 employees and their families that live here.”
Delta – also a sponsor of the Mets – has been providing free water taxis to alleviate traffic congestion during Mets home games and will provide the same service during the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park.
According to statistics provided by NYC & Company, visitors to the city spent $300 million dollars in 2010 – $37 million alone in hotel taxes alone. Queens also attracted 16 percent of all tourism in the city, second to Manhattan.
“We believe the city has something for everybody,” said Diarmaid O’Sullivan from NYC & Company. “We are five cities in one.”
Some of the organizations that are participating in 75 Days of Summer include Alley Pond Environmental Center, Bayside Historical Society, Flushing Town Hall, King Manor, Louis Armstrong House and Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the Moving Image, Queens Theatre in the Park, Queens Zoo and more.
To learn more happenings around the borough this summer, visit www.discoverqueens.info or on Facebook at discoverqueensny.