2013-05-10 / Columnists


By Rick Horan

Maybe Sandy had a silver lining after all. It seems that the new alliance between the National Park Service and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation is already yielding fruit. Concessionaires have recently been selected who will be providing bicycles and kayaks around Riis Park and Floyd Bennett Field. More on them in future columns. Today we will focus on Kelley Brooke of NYC Entertainment Group and former golf pro at Riis Park Pitch and Putt, who has won the concession rights for mobile food and entertainment in Riis Park and Riis Landing for the coming year (and hopefully beyond).

Here’s what is in place so far…11 different food trucks (possibly offering a delivery service) that will serve healthy sandwiches, smoothies, pizza, ice cream carts, Columbian food, Venezuelan food, dumplings, Philly Cheese Steaks, Big D’s Grubs and more.

On the entertainment side there will be a Memorial Day Kick-off party from 6-9 p.m. at the mall with food, beer, DJ or bands and a kid friendly movie at dusk. A month later is a stand-up paddle board race and party on June 29th. The EVP Pro Volleyball League will visit Riis on Aug 3 and 4th. Corn hole courts, sand volleyball courts and kid friendly movies at dusk are all part of the exciting Riis Park plans.

Boarders will sell and rent surf boards, boogie boards and stand-up paddleboards.

Talks are ongoing to firm up the rest of the calendar, but here are some of the ideas that are being considered: free monthly movies on the beach, dedicated surf beach on Beach 169th, surfing and stand-up paddleboard lessons, live performances on weekends and an end of summer festival.

Brainstorming sessions have produced some other interesting ideas including: a fundraising party for the Rockaway Wish and/or the Graybeards, an arts and music festival, a Scholars’ Academy concert, a microbrewery tasting event, a Rockaway Theater Company performance on the boardwalk, RAA art exhibition and a Memorial Day fireworks display to kick off the summer season and the rebuilding of our community.

Kelley is looking for more (mostly free to the public) community programming ideas as well as possible beachfront businesses.

Let’s put our collective heads together and see if we can come up with some more ideas for making 2013 the best summer yet! Send your ideas to Kelley Brooke at: klbrooke@mindspring.com or Rick Horan at: RickHoran@IdeasImprov.com.

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