2004-05-21 / Community

Multicultural Festival Plans in Full Swing

Contributing Editor
By Miriam Rosenberg

Multicultural Festival Plans in Full Swing


At a meeting earlier this month, the festival’s planning committee discusses ideas for the 3rd Annual Rockaway Multicultural Family Festival.At a meeting earlier this month, the festival’s planning committee discusses ideas for the 3rd Annual Rockaway Multicultural Family Festival.

By Miriam Rosenberg

Contributing Editor

For several months, planners have been working on the many details that will go into putting on the 3rd Annual Rockaway Multicultural Family Festival being held on August 7 in O’Donohue Park on Beach 17th Street in Far Rockaway.

"This is the largest event (in the Rockaways) where cops and the community work side by side to make things happen," said Police Officer Mary Craine-Bachner, coordinator for the Weed and Seed program in Far Rockaway.


Planning Committee members Michael Daly (Queens Borough Public Library) and Gladys Jennerjahn (AIDS Center of Queens County) discuss the raffle for the festival.Planning Committee members Michael Daly (Queens Borough Public Library) and Gladys Jennerjahn (AIDS Center of Queens County) discuss the raffle for the festival.

The festival is an outgrowth of the post 9/11 era when the Rockaways were still recovering from the World Trade Center Attacks and the crash of Flight 587. Organizers believed that, with the community having gone through so much tragedy, the Rockaways needed something positive to center on.

As part of the planning, next month members of the planning committee will begin reaching out to local business people in the area to encourage them to take part in the festival either by contributing money to help pay for expenses or by giving something that can be used in one of the raffles to be held at the event.

The catch phrase should be "Support the community, support your business" said Michael Daly of the Queens Borough Public Library and a member of the planning committee.

Everyone on the planning committee agreed that if "you live in the community, you have a business in the community, you should get involved." It not only helps the business, but at the same time, it helps the community.


Officer Mary Craine-Bachner, Barbara Kavanagh and Michael Daly (both from the Queens Borough Public Library) at a recent meeting of the festival’s planning committee.Officer Mary Craine-Bachner, Barbara Kavanagh and Michael Daly (both from the Queens Borough Public Library) at a recent meeting of the festival’s planning committee.

One such business is Loa’s Lovables. A home-based business that is donating a basket of homemade scented soaps for one of the raffles.

In addition local artist Leigh Walls, who has been teaching comic art to some of Far Rockaways’ talented teenagers, will be designing a mural for the festival. Some of his students will also help him work on the mural.

So far, the rain or shine event is scheduled to feature entertainment spotlighting the diversity of talent of those living in the Rockaways, informational booths to let residents know the kind of programs available in the community, raffles, face painting for the children and free food. With many things still in the planning stages, there should be something for everybody at the daylong event.

Despite inclement weather for each of the first two years of the festival, between 800 and 1000 people attended in 2002. Last year that number was up to between 1000 and 1500 people who attended.

For more information on how you can take part in the festival, you can get in touch with Officer Craine-Bachner at 646 610-7333 or Michael Daly at 718 990-0710 or 718 990-0799.


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