LIC Springs! street festival makes a strong comeback after pandemic hiatus – QNS.com
Nearly 10,000 people attended the Long Island City Partnership’s LIC Springs! street festival in Long Island City on Saturday, June 18, which featured local businesses, organizations and cultural institutions in western Queens.
It was the first time since 2019 that the event was held on Vernon Boulevard as a one-day street festival after a reinvention over the past two years in response to the pandemic. The event included live music, dancing and performances, as well as interactive lessons, art, fitness classes, al fresco dining, pop-up activities, games and more.
“LIC Springs! has been one of the most fun events for our city and district for so many years and it’s such an honor to have it back,” Councilwoman Julie Won said. “All children, all community organizations, arts institutions, schools – [it’s] everything that makes our community so incredibly wonderful.
Unique activities included a bubble party, Irish dancing lessons, puppy meet, Lego robotic coding, strength and board breaking contests, massages and costume making.
“It’s great to be back here after a break,” said Queens Borough chairman Donovan Richards. “Queens is the future and there’s a lot going on in our borough.” He noted that his office would invest at least $10 million in capital funding for Long Island City.
Former LICP President Elizabeth Lusskin took the stage during the keynote address in her new role as Executive Vice President of Small Business and Technology at Empire State Development.
“[Small businesses] ground us and will be key to recovery as we continue to move forward,” Lusskin said. “There are over 100 different organizations, cultural institutions — [LICP] did this to show them off.
The focus of the street festival was support from residents of Long Island City who were thrilled the break was over.
“It’s cool to see the whole community come out and be alive again,” said LIC resident Fahad Khan. “It was so nice to see everyone having fun and participating.”
Patricia McGuigan, the director of McManus Irish Dance, has had her troupe perform at every LIC Springs in person! since its creation in 2014.
“We’re super excited to be back – we’ve been here since the first one,” McGuigan said. “We’re happy to be back in the neighborhood doing what we love.”
The event also brought together a range of participating businesses and organizations, from community stalwarts to newcomers to the neighborhood, like Simone Houghton, cycling specialist at SPECIALIZED, a premium bicycle manufacturer and retailer who has recently opened its first store on Long Island. Town.
“We’re just trying to get people to know about our store,” Houghton said. “[LIC] is up and coming for our business. There are plenty of bike paths being built here; people will feel safe to experiment.