The ceremony took place against the backdrop of Rockaway’s beach and the Atlantic Ocean. The sky may have been gray, but the mood was anything but as the commissioner of Parks and Recreation hosted schoolchildren, elected officials and other guests on May 25 to declare Rockaway’s beaches open for the 2012 season.
During a ceremony, which took place near the new skate board park on Beach 11 Street, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe was joined by a gathering that included Captain Scott Olexa of the 100 Precinct, Monsignor James Spengler from St. Rose of Lima Church and students from PS 183 and PS 197.
“This is better than anything they have at Jones Beach,” said Benepe. “You now have here in Rockaway better recreation facilities with this new field we’re building down here and these new playgrounds and play areas, the skate park, [and] the climbing zones.”
Wearing their customary orange shirts, New York City lifeguards flank the commissioner as he reminds everybody not to swim when lifeguards are not on duty. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg. He added, “I always thought we could do a better job in this part of Far Rockaway. This is like a dream come true for the community and for us in the Parks Department.”
Benepe takes his own photos of Rockaway’s beach as Councilman Eric Ulrich, of the west end’s 32nd District, welcomes the new beach season.
Rockaway’s State Assembly representatives Michele Titus and Phillip Goldfeder help celebrate the opening.
Concessioners from the west end served everything from sandwiches to ice cream.
The Parks Department hosted several activities, including arts and crafts, for the students who attended.
The new commander of the 101 Precinct, Captain Kevin Maloney; Councilman James Sanders Jr.; Mike Ruiz of National Grid; and the district manager of Community Board 14, Jonathan Gaska, were among the guests.
School children help Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe lead the Pledge of Allegiance.