June 8, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The LIC Springs! community block festival is returning to Vernon Boulevard later this month and thousands of people are expected to attend.
The popular street festival will take place on June 18 and will be chock full of activities for all ages, including live music, theater performances and dance. The festival will also feature fitness classes, pop-up activities, games, and outdoor dining.
The free event is being held on Vernon Boulevard between 46th Avenue and 50th Avenue, from noon until 5 p.m.—and the street will be closed off to road traffic. The brick-and-mortar establishments along Vernon Boulevard, including the bars and restaurants, will be open and part of the festivities.
The festival is organized by the LIC Partnership, the economic development organization that promotes business in the area. Dozens of local small businesses will have stands at the event to showcase their products and services.
In total, organizers say that more than 100 small businesses, performance groups and organizations will take part in the festival.
The event is separate from the Court Square Block Party, which takes place the following day, June 19 and is organized by the Court Square Civic Association.
LIC Springs! was first established in 2014 and has grown to be a major community event with around 10,000 spectators, on average, attending the event annually, organizers said. The festival returns this year for the first time since 2019 having been canceled due to the pandemic.
Patricia Dunphy, board chair of LIC Partnership, said the organization is thrilled to be bringing back the festival. She said the event is crucial for showcasing Long Island City as a great place to live, work, visit and operate a small business.
“It’s a testament to the endurance of our great community and I encourage everyone to show their support by joining us for what is sure to be a fun-filled day out,” Dunphy said.
Organizers plan to set up a stage area on the corner of 48th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard where performances will be hosted throughout the day.
There will be an array of activities on offer on the street such as a bubble party, Irish dance lessons, a puppy meet and greet, LEGO robotic coding, strength and board breaking contests, massages and costume making.
There will also be art displays and music hosted by Culture Lab LIC, organizers said.
An important component of the event is the promotion of small businesses at pre-assigned stands, organizers say.
For instance, Leon Dubov, who owns a new indoor beach volleyball facility called QBK, said that the event will provide him with an opportunity to meet new customers and develop brand awareness, particularly since his business is not in a prominent location. QBK is located on the LIC/Sunnyside border at 41-20 39th St.
“As a business that opened just a few months ago… I was really pleased to learn about LIC Springs! as an opportunity to help residents discover venues like ours that are slightly off the beaten path,” Dubov said.
Other businesses taking part in the festival include Manducatis Rustica restaurant, Bareburger restaurant and Madera Cuban Grill.
Representatives from the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, the Long Island City School of Ballet, MoMA PS1, The Chocolate Factory Theater and The Noguchi Museum will also be in attendance.
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