2009-07-17 / Community

More Than 1,500 Free City Events

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the return and expansion of the Summer Streets program and more than 1,500 free summer events throughout New York City. Summer Streets will again bring temporary carfree streets, healthy activities and free weekend summer recreation - now to a total of 14 locations throughout the five boroughs - through September. The free events available to New Yorkers this summer can be easily viewed on calendars on www.nyc.gov or on NYC & Company's website www.nycgo. com. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, Def Jam record label co-founder and impresario Russell Simmons, and award winning actor and "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" co-star Luis Guzmán.

The announcement took place in McCarren Park along Bedford Avenue, where a Summer Streets event, Williamsburg Walks, is currently taking place and where free summer movies are screened at the ball fields in the park.

"Today, we want to let New Yorkers from across the City know about some of the great things you can do in the City this summer without spending a dime," said Bloomberg. "The Summer Streets initiative was such a success - for both businesses and the public with 50,000 visitors - that today I'm proud to announce that we are bringing it back. This year, we've expanded the Summer Streets program to bring the fun to all five boroughs. And we've put together a comprehensive list of more than 1,500 free summer events and activities throughout the City, so families can still enjoy what New York City has to offer during these difficult economic times."

"This is only its second year, but Summer Streets is already a New York tradition," said Sadik-Khan. "Last year, some 50,000 people enjoyed all the free fun that the original Summer Streets route had to offer and this year we're bringing that open invitation for everyone across all five boroughs to enjoy the streets in their own neighborhoods in a brand-new way."

"New York City's public parks have long been synonymous with free summertime fun and, thanks to our many partnerships, this year is no different," said Benepe. "Whether you are attending a performance or sports clinic organized by the City Parks Foundation, enjoying world-class concerts from the New York Philharmonic or Metropolitan Opera, attending a film screening under the stars, kayaking the NYC Water Trail, or playing in the citywide volleyball tournament at Coney Island, the abundance of events and activities in our parks make New York City a great stay-cation destination."

The largest Summer Streets location will be a reprise of last year's Manhattan event where 50,000 people enjoyed the traffic-free environment.

On Saturday, August 8, 15 and 22 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Manhattan route will run for 6.9 miles from the Brooklyn Bridge via Lafayette/Centre Streets, 4th Avenue and Park Avenue up to 72 Street, while key cross-town streets will remain open to vehicles crossing the route. The City has partnered with local community organizations to bring similar, car-free street events to 13 additional neighborhoods in all five boroughs, ranging from one to seven blocks long. Some of the events have already begun. Summer Streets is made possible in part through the generous support of Crunch Fitness - providing fitness classes ranging from pilates to cardio kick-boxing to yoga - and from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. This spring LVMH sponsored the "Bike in Style Challenge," which asked student designers from the Fashion Institute of Technology to create stylish, practical and affordable bike clothing and gear in support of the Mayor's bicycling promotion initiatives. The winning prototypes will be presented in conjunction with the launch of this year's Summer Streets.

The more than 1,500 free events, ranging from free concerts and outdoor movie screenings to sandcastle building contests and free ballroom dancing lessons, are available in locations throughout the five boroughs. Free summer events can be easily located and reviewed on an event calendar on www.nyc.gov or to view an edited list with the top free events picks of NYC

& Company go to www.nycgo.com/free. Some of the Queens Events include: Pregnant? Outdoor Cinema 2009 at Socrates Sculpture Park

Come for a sunset picnic on the grass while enjoying performances from local artists. After dusk, view exceptional international films on a largeformat screen - all set against the spectacular backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. Free Performances at Queens Theater in the Park with the Chase Latino Cultural Festival

Poetry readings, documentary films, and theatrical dance performances. The Rockaways' Annual Sandcastle Contest

Kids and adults can build sandcastles on Rockaway beach during this 14th annual contest with prizes. Ballroom Dancing with Jing Chen

Lessons in ballroom basics for beginners and training for more advanced students. Flushing Town Hall's Free Summer Concerts Series

A summer concert series featuring a wide variety of performers, from classical to jazz.

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