By Bill Parry
SummerStage is coming to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for the first time Sunday, June 7, to headline the 2015 World’s Fair anniversary festival.
The free outdoor concert begins at 4 p.m. next to the New York State Pavilion and includes performances by Queens-based indie-rock band Hollis Brown, world-renowned violinist Damien Escobar from Jamaica, and soul/funk artist Charles Bradley.
“We’re thrilled to bring SummerStage for the first time ever to this year’s festival,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “Each SummerStage concert brings the community closer, and there could be no better stage than on the World’s Fair anniversary right next to the Pavilion, a national treasure and iconic, architectural marvel which we will save and restore for generations of families and visitors to enjoy.”
Katz has made the restoration of the Pavilion a priority in her administration, securing $5.8 million in city funds for Fiscal Year 2016. The pavilion has undergone several lighting tests and will be getting a new coat of its original “American Cheese Yellow” paint, thanks to a partnership between the City Parks Department, Painters District Council #9 and the New York Structural Steel Painting Contractors Union.
State Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth), co-chairwoman with Katz on the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee said, “I look forward to an exciting day on June 7 as we begin the second year of our commemoration. We are reminded of the historic impact that the two World’s Fairs had on Queens as we celebrate the 2015 Anniversary Festival.”
The festival runs from 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and features family activities, displays of memorabilia, tours of the pavilion and many other attractions. Last year’s festival drew an estimated 60,000 visitors to the park for the celebrations that marked the 75th and the 50th anniversaries of the two World’s Fairs that were held at the site.
The free concert, arranged by the non-profit City Parks Foundation, will follow. SummerStage is the largest free performing arts festival in New York City, now in its 30th year, showcasing nearly 200 artists in 20 shows in Central Park as well as 16 neighborhoods across the city.
“We are thrilled to bring a big SummerStage show to one of the most actively used parks in Queens,” City Parks Foundation Executive Director Heather Lubov said. “Our expansion into Flushing Meadows Corona Park is an incredibly important way for us to build new and diverse audiences and foster a broader interest in the arts here in Queens.”
Meanwhile, the 110th Precinct moved against unwanted loud music in Flushing Meadows Corona Park early Sunday morning. Officers swept into the park at 1:30 a.m. and issued 39 summonses to people who were trespassing and blasting music.
“The operation was conducted in response to community complaints of loud music in the park at night,” Capt. Christopher Manson said. “More operations will be conducted.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr