May 22, 2023 By Gabriele Holtermann
Despite the dreary weather, about 4,000 visitors showed up for the 10th anniversary of the Long Island City Partnership “LIC Springs!” street festival stretching from 46th Avenue to 50th Avenue along Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City on Saturday, May 18.
More than 120 local businesses and organizations had signed up for the open and free event to showcase their products, fitness classes, art, live music, dance performances and more, helping to celebrate Long Island City’s diverse commerce.
Laura Rothrock, president of the Long Island City Partnership (LICP), shared that only a few vendors dropped out of the event due to the inclement weather and a couple of main stage performers had to cancel due to safety reasons.
“The whole purpose of “LIC Springs!” is to really showcase the small businesses and local businesses that we have on Vernon Boulevard, but also in Long Island City in general,” Rothrock explained. “So it’s really for the local community, especially the residents in the area, to support the local businesses and organizations that resonate with the residents.”
Rothrock appreciated the visitors who had braved the rain and showed their support for “LIC Springs!.”
“You know, after you stop by and visit some of the booths, you go grab a bite to eat or go check out some of the shops,” Rothrock said. “So especially now that it’s raining, people want to jump inside, get some shelter.”
Israel Martinez, of Martinez Dance Studios, brightened the gloomy day by playing new and old tunes and students of Sing LIC, McManus Irish Dance School, Tiger J Taekwondo, and the Mustangs showcased their talent.
Trecia Parsons, Tajuana Johnson,and Coach Nicole have been training the Mustangs, a dance squad with students from Community School 111Q Jacob Blackwell, for 10 years.
“We come every year. I think we’re the only school that actually comes,” Parsons said. “We love it here.”
Long Island City School of Ballet was happy to report that the school had attracted a lot of interest from the community.
“We build up like three of those signup sheets. We try and be pretty invested in the community,” one of its former students said. “We try to do as many outdoor events as possible. We’ve been here for 15 years. We try to make sure people know it.”
Laura Zapp, the assistant director for visitor engagement at MoMA PS1, said the contemporary art institution in Court Square has been participating in LIC Springs since its inception, except for the pandemic.
“It’s a really fun event, outside of torrential downpours, to be able to be part of the community in a visible way,” Zapp said.