March 10, 2016 By Michael Florio
Sunnyside Shines has announced its plans for the rest of the year including the 2016 Taste of Sunnyside and new outdoor public events.
Sunnyside Shines is a Business Improvement District dedicated to promoting commercial interests along Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue. The BID outlined its 2016 agenda at its Annual Meeting Wednesday night.
One of Sunnyside Shines’ most popular events, the Taste of Sunnyside, will return on May 24. Tickets are slated to go on sale next month.
Each year, the Taste of Sunnyside gathers local restaurants to offer samples of their food under the 7 train tracks. Last year, more than 30 local restaurants participated and more than 600 people attended, according to the BID.
“Surveyed attendees showed how important this event is,” Sunnyside Shines director Rachel Thieme said. “95 percent of those who filled out the survey said they plan to return to a restaurant that they tried for the first time [at Taste of Sunnyside].”
Sunnyside Restaurant Week will also return for a fourth year this October. Nearly 30 local restaurants participated in the event last year. According to Thieme, this event has also been a boost for local restaurants.
“85 percent of business owners said that the event helped bring them new customers and increase business,” Thieme said.
Sunnyside Shines will continue hosting events at Bliss and Lowery Plazas, located at 46th Street and 40th Street under the 7 train, respectively.
One new event this year will be “Spring into the Plaza,” every Friday from March until June.
The BID will set up life-size board games at the plazas, such as Connect 4, chess and beanbag toss. Performances, pop-up libraries and art programming are intended to accompany these events.
The “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plazas” concert series will continue every third Thursday of the month from June through October. Musicians interested in participating should reach out to ReCreate QNS before March 18.
Alongside its event programming, Sunnyside Shines will also work on beautification efforts throughout the district.
The BID will install 31 new tree guards this spring at a cost of $20,000. Eighteen will be placed along Queens Boulevard and 13 along Greenpoint Avenue.
A full list planned tree guard locations is below.
“This will finish off the trees along Queens Boulevard,” Thieme said. “Our goal is for every tree in the BID to have a guard.”
The district will also see new trees planted through $71,550 in funding from Borough President Melinda Katz. These new trees will come with tree guards.
Thieme expects these to be planted sometime this spring.
Thousands of “Shop Sunnyside” cards will be distributed throughout the year to promote the businesses within the district. Sunnyside Shines will also promote one deal per week across their social media accounts.
“We look forward to sharing everything our shops have to offer,” Thieme said.