Memorial Day Weekend Celebrations
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Jacob Riis Park. To celebrate this milestone, Gateway National Recreation Area is planning a summer-long celebration that will include a parade, an old-fashioned bathing suit contest and concerts throughout the summer. The festivities kick off Memorial Day weekend, with many family-friendly activities planned.
On Friday, May 25, National Park rangers and volunteers will talk about Jacob Riis Park in a beach campfire setting. Asing-along will follow; participants are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. The campfire will be held at Jacob Riis Park's Bay 14 at Beach 169 Street at 7 p.m. On Saturday, May 26, a "Welcome to Summer" parade will start at 11 a.m. at Beach 129 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Belle Harbor and continue along the boulevard through the streets of Belle Harbor and Neponsit and finally along the Riis Park Boardwalk. The parade will feature a marching band, antique cars and floats.
For that Saturday only, Gateway will turn back the hands of time and charge 25 cents to park in the Jacob Riis Park parking lot, the same fee that was charged when the lot opened in the 1930's.
The celebration continues with a historic walking tour of Jacob Riis Park on Sunday, May 27. Meet with park rangers in front of the bathhouse at Bay 5 at 2 p.m. The tour will end at the photo gallery inside the newly-restored bathhouse.
Weekend festivities culminate with a presentation about the park's namesake, Jacob Riis, a famous photojournalist who documented the deplorable conditions of 19th Century tenement life in New York City. A display of Jacob Riis' photographs will be presented in the Bathhouse Gallery. The presentation will be held at 1 p.m. in the bathhouse.