Block Festival Showcases LIC Food And Culture

BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
Staff Writer

Vernon Boulevard will buzz this Saturday during LIC Springs!, a community block festival organized by the Long Island City Partnership.

The Long Island City Partnership advocates for the economic development of Long Island City. Its focus is on the area as a mixed-used community, meaning it promotes development in a variety of sectors, from commercial and industrial to residential to cultural.

LIC Springs! will feature a wide range of activities. Kids can look forward to face-painting and glitter tattoos, balloon animals, puppet performances and a gymnastics demonstration.

Modern Spaces Real Estate will sponsor a Lego extravaganza held by Brick Builders and NYC Lego Users Group, including workshops, contests, giveaways and the construction of a giant Lego model of an as-yet unnamed New York City landmark.

Adults who need a relaxing Saturday will find free public yoga, massage chairs and sculpture classes. Visitors can also enjoy wine and craft beer tastings and free hot dogs and hamburgers.

“[LIC Springs!] is really meant to be a showcase of all the businesses and organizations in the neighborhood,” said Jenna Petok, senior manager of marketing and events. “That’s why, even though it’s on Vernon, we made it available to any of the other businesses and organizations in Long Island City.”

LIC Springs! is made possible by the DOT Weekend Walks program, which allows for restaurants to offer outdoor café service without additional permits during the festival, among other advantages.

The partnership chose Vernon Boulevard as a venue for a number of reasons, according to Petok. Vernon Boulevard is a central retail corridor, with easy access to the 7 train, in walkable distance of the ferry and bikeable from most areas of Long Island City.

“This part of the neighborhood also has a very unique character,” Petok added. “It’s a great long stretch that could be a good showcase for all of these [businesses].”

The partnership deliberately planned LIC Springs! to coincide with several other cultural events in Long Island City. From the festival, visitors can head to the LIC Arts Open and to LIC Flea and Food.

LIC Springs! will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, rain or shine.

Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, jstrawbridge@queenstribune.com or @JNStrawbridge.