By Bill Parry
Vernon Boulevard will be closed to traffic between 50th Avenue and 46th Avenue Saturday for the second annual LIC Springs! street festival. The Long Island City Partnership and the Department of Transportation’s Weekend Walks Program, host the block party, which drew over 5,000 people last year, from noon to 5 p.m.
“The LIC Springs! street festival is always a great opportunity to showcase everything our vibrant community has to offer,” LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin said. “In addition to fabulous outdoor dining options presented by our local restaurants, festivalgoers can look forward to a whole host of free, family-friendly activities, including outdoor fitness routines, art making and live musical performances.”
LIC Springs! will feature neighborhood restaurants, shops, cultural institutions, artists and community organizations hosting a variety of activities: McManus Irish Dance Performance at Woodbines, bites from an M. Wells Pop-Up, a circus act from Circus Warehouse, archery games by Indoor Sports Extreme, group workout sessions with CrossFit Gantry, and a spaghetti and gelato eating contest and Manducatis Rustica.
“We’re hoping the spaghetti and gelato eating contest will someday rival Coney Island’s Hot Dog Eating Contest,” an LIC Partnership spokeswoman said. “The winner’s name will be engraved on a trophy that will stay in Manducatis Rustica.”
There will be a ballerina dancing at Bareburger, performances by the Sage Music School, Thalia Spanish Theater, the LIC School of Ballet, Corbu, Variations Theater and Shelly Bhushan.
Site-specific art work from LIC artists will be featured as well as MoMA PS1, Socrates Sculpture Park, the Museum of the Moving Image, Noguchi Museum and the LIC Cultural Alliance.
The LIC Partnership will also hold the second annual LIC Springs! photo contest as part of the event. Follow the Partnership on Instagram and Twitter and use #LICSprings throughout the #BlockParty to share photos of #Dining, #Arts, #Family and #Fitness. Winners in each category will receive an LIC prize package.
“We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors for a day of fun in LIC,” Lusskin said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr