Sept. 8, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
Community service combined with family fun is headed to Astoria Park for the 9th annual Shorefest that takes place on two Sundays this month.
Shorefest, hosted by the Astoria Park Alliance, will shut down Shore Boulevard on September 11 and 25, offering attendees the opportunity to experience the street without cars as summer winds down.
The festival kicks off on September 11 from 1 to 5 p.m., offering a day for reflection and service. “We wanted to think of quieter programming on the Boulevard and have people enjoy some more reflective time because of the nature of day, and offer the healing art of reflective experience,” said APA chair Martha Lopez-Gilpin.
The service programming includes planting 1,100 daffodils in memory of those lost on September 11, 2001, and a shore cleanup. There will also be sunset yoga, Pilates and a brain gym movement class, as well as a sculpture creation station and a historical walking tour of the area.
The second date of Shorefest will be a celebratory Family Fiesta, bringing music and family activities to Shore Boulevard. “It’s going to be a party on the shore with a totally different tone, which is one of the great things about the versatility of the public space, it can be anything you imagine,” Lopez-Gilpin said.
Shorefest on September 25 will run from 1 to 5 p.m. and will include live music by Saving Grace, East River Blues and Cat Gut, along with a puppet show, zumba and Pilates classes, a screening of Big Hero 6, and many more activities and games.
Shorefest began as a way to allow people to experience the shoreline and park without cars, and to get people out to enjoy the area. “It’s an eclectic event, and we always try to give people a different experience, something they may not have experienced in the park or experienced in Queens,” Lopez-Gilpin explained.
Gilpin-Lopez said that the APA expects that between 500 and 1,000 people will attend Shorefest each Sunday.
She also added that the APA is still looking for street performers or entertainers for the event. While no vending is allowed, it is a way for performers and businesses to get their name out in the community and get some free advertising.
Anyone interested in participating can contact the APA at [email protected].