Gateway Gears Up For Busy Post Labor Day Weekend
The weekend of September 8 and 9 will be a busy one for Gateway National Park, with three of its major venues- Riis Park, Fort Tilden and Floyd Bennett Field - slated for some of Rockaway's most exciting events, officials for the National Park Service say.
The annual events, traditionally run on separate weekends during the summer months, have been consolidated this year into a single weekend that, officials say, will provide something for everyone.
Those events, the Rockaway Music and Arts Council's Fall Festival, the New York Kite Festival and the Aviation History Fly-In, will all be held that weekend at various park venues. In addition, the Rockaway Artists Alliance will host the opening reception for two upcoming exhibits at sTudio 6 at Fort Tilden, adjacent to Riis Park.
The RMAC's Fall Festival, which is traditionally one of the most-attended events of the year, will be held at the Riis Park Mall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 8 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 9.
As always, there will be lots of fine art and crafts, as well as food, for sale.
At the same time as the RMAC Fall Festival runs at the mall, the New York Kite Festival will take up Riis Park beach and boardwalk near the flagpole at Bay 9.
The Kite Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both of the weekend days.
The festival will feature a free Kid's Kite Camp that will teach children how to make and fly their own kites. In addition, the festival will include aerial ballets, sport kite demonstrations, fighter kites, giant kites, live music and entertainment.
The Kite Festival is co-sponsored by the RMAC, the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, Arverne By The Sea, Keyspan Energy and the National Park Service.
The first is "ArtSplash 2007," the organization's annual, juried multi-media event. This is a major showcase for a full spectrum of visual, literary and performance art, an RAA spokesperson says.
The second exhibit is the Queens Council On The Arts' "Town and Country: Urban, Suburban and Rural Communities," exhibit, which "showcases the dynamic multicultural style of [Queens]," according to a QCA spokesperson.
While Riis Park is being filled with kites and fine art, across Jamaica Bay the air will be filled with vintage aircraft.
On both Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. until dark, Floyd Bennett Field will host the Aviation History Fly-In.
The program will celebrate the contributions to military and civilian aviation made by the men and women who flew from the historic airfield from 1931, when it became the first New York City Municipal Airport, to 1971, when it was finally closed as Naval Air Station, New York.
There will be a wide variety of both military and civilian aircraft on view for visitors.
All three events are free and ample free parking is available.