July 22, 2013 By Bill Parry
The fourth annual summer series put on by Sunnyside Shines this year is going to be bigger and bolder than in the past as there are a greater number of sponsors pumping money into the event.
The series, called “Sunnyside Summer Strolls,” will take place on three straight Saturdays, starting July 27, and will feature arts, crafts and music on 46th Street between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue.
The series will kick off with the Children’s Arts and Crafts Fair, featuring hands-on craft making, face painting and music. There will also be two music classes for toddlers (Music for Aardvarks), as well as craft tables hosted by Bing’s Hallmark, South Pole and Four Squared Flavors – a new frozen yogurt store set to open on Greenpoint Avenue later this summer. The event will go from noon to 6pm.
“Local businesses are participating much more this year,” said Rachel Thieme, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines.
She said that this year’s series includes several sponsors, such as Associated Supermarket, TD Bank and Fresh n’ Save.
On August 3, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival will take place, which will feature crowd favorites such as Svetlana and the Delancey Five, The Sunnyside Drum Corps and the big-band sound of Paul Maringelli and the Sunnyside Wolverines. The event will take on a distinct 1920s flavor.
“The Wolverines have been doing this every summer since August 2001,” Paul Maringelli said. “It’s a collection of professional musicians who get together just for this tribute to Bix.”
Beiderbecke was an internationally renowned jazz musician who lived his final days on 46th Street in Sunnyside.
The event will also feature a 1920’s costume contest, a photo booth, Lindy Hop lessons, and vintage jazz from DJs MAC & Mike.
“We’re even renting a dance floor this year so people don’t have to dance on pavement,” Thieme said.
The August 10 event takes on an unusual twist, where there will be sod grass laid over a significant portion of 46th St. (btw. Queens Blvd and Greenpoint Ave.) to create a park feel for the first ever Arts and Performance event.
“People can bring a picnic lunch and lounge in the grass while listening to terrific performances,” Thieme said.
There will be a participatory art project with the Queens Museum of Art, a display of Sunnyside maps by La Guardia Community College, and film clips from the Queens World Film Festival.
The Sunnyside Ballet Studio will perform at the 6pm closing and free yoga classes will also take place. There will be several music acts throughout the afternoon.
The lawn will be split up and given away at the end of the event. People who volunteer to roll out the sod earlier in the day will get priority to bring some home.
“We want to encourage everyone to come out to these free events,” Thieme said. “There are so many artistic people that bring creativity and energy to Sunnyside.”