2009-05-29 / Community

Amid Fanfare Rockaway Beach Opens For Season

By Miriam Rosenberg

On your mark, get set, go! Youngsters from P.S. 183, Lewandowski, Kavanagh, Ulrich, Gaska, Pheffer, the Reverend James Spengler of St. Rose of Lima Church, and National Grid's Lillie Manjarrez play a friendly game of tug-of-war following the opening ceremonies. On your mark, get set, go! Youngsters from P.S. 183, Lewandowski, Kavanagh, Ulrich, Gaska, Pheffer, the Reverend James Spengler of St. Rose of Lima Church, and National Grid's Lillie Manjarrez play a friendly game of tug-of-war following the opening ceremonies. Rockaway Beach officially opened for the 2009 season last Friday as the Department of Parks and Recreation hosted a day of fun in the sun, including food and entertainment, for area residents.

First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Councilman Eric Ulrich, and Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska were among those who took part in the opening ceremony.

National Grid co-sponsored the event.

While it was a day for celebrating, Kavanagh told those present to "stay safe while swimming" by not swimming alone, swimming only where there are lifeguards present, keeping a close eye on children and remembering that alcohol and swimming do not mix.

Beaches will be open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. through Labor Day.

Youngsters lead First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Community Board 14's District Manager Jonathan Gaska and others in the Pledge of Allegiance. Youngsters lead First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Community Board 14's District Manager Jonathan Gaska and others in the Pledge of Allegiance. While Pheffer expressed pride in Rockaway's beaches, which "give us the opportunity to enjoy the summer months," she warned swimmers to "remember that the water has its own mind" and to swim with caution. While Pheffer expressed pride in Rockaway's beaches, which "give us the opportunity to enjoy the summer months," she warned swimmers to "remember that the water has its own mind" and to swim with caution. "Today we celebrate all the best Rockaway has to offer," said freshman councilman Eric Ulrich. "Today we celebrate all the best Rockaway has to offer," said freshman councilman Eric Ulrich. Country comes to Rockaway as the Minetta Creek Bluegrass Band entertains during the beach opening. Country comes to Rockaway as the Minetta Creek Bluegrass Band entertains during the beach opening. After a long winter, children take to the sand for some fun. After a long winter, children take to the sand for some fun. Left, it's fun in the sun for some of the first sunbathers who hit the beach last Friday. Left, it's fun in the sun for some of the first sunbathers who hit the beach last Friday. Right, those who came to the beach opening chow down, while in the background children make use of the playground. Right, those who came to the beach opening chow down, while in the background children make use of the playground.

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