Volume 17, Number 49 | April 29 — May 05, 2005


Downtown Express file photo by Elisabeth Robert

Potato sack race at Battery Park City’s Springfest in 2003.

Dances, cooking and races for this year’s Springfest

By Aman Singh

The Battery Park City Neighbors Association is hosting its annual Springfest this year at the south lawn of the Rockefeller Park on Sunday, May 1st. Organizers expect another fun-filled afternoon with numerous activities planned for children from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The fest has been an annual event for Battery Park City for the past seven years, organized by the B.P.C.N.A., previously known as the Battery Park City Parents and Neighbors Association. With last year’s Springfest attracting more than 600 children, according to association co-president Martha Gallo, the association hopes for a bigger turnout this year.

However, what marks the fest as unusual this year is the impressive line-up of sponsors the association has managed to invite, a factor Gallo attributed to Amisha Mehta, a recent member of the organization.

The fest is free, carrying a suggested donation of $5 per child for non-members of the association. “It is basically an afternoon of fun for families, especially kids with many different kinds of activities lined up,” Mehta said.

The arts and crafts section of the fest includes sponsors like Tribeca Clay Works, who will have short pottery classes for the kids, Painting and Clay classes from the Wet Paint! Art Studio located on Reade St., which will concentrate on painting with sticks and clay and ColorMe Art Spa, who will conduct classes titled Art in the Park, in which they are expected to introduce environmental scenes into art forms.

In the Movement Activities category, the New American Youth Ballet, which recently received permanent space in the neighborhood, will be doing a ten-minute performance and demonstration. They will be joined by the surprise content of the fest, the Soho Dance Studio, who will conduct free classes in these free styles of dancing along with doing a performance at the end of the fest.

Another surprise element in this year’s fest, are the instructors from Naga Yoga, who recently opened on Chambers St. and will be conducting free classes for kids and adults at the fest. There will also be a Photo Doctor, representing Angelface Photography, who will direct families to pose for pictures, teach them elementary photography skills and answer technical questions about cameras and how to get best results.

The Battery Park City Parks Conservatory will also be there, with their Plant-a-seed program where children will be encouraged to plant seeds and take care of their parks. Music Together will add to the zing created by the Soho Dance Studio by teaching kids new songs, adding a musical thrill to the fest and encouraging children to learn music.

There will also be cooking classes, called Fun with Food, that will be conducted by the Miette Culinary School, located in the Village. “They will be bringing 5” cookies, which the kids will decorate with icing, cream, etc and take home for their families,” Mehta informed.

Additionally, the Battery Park City Youth Committee, which was formed in response to the tsunami disaster to raise funds for the victims, will be present at the Park to register any donated bikes, a donation they are carrying out for the fishermen in India and South Asia, who have lost their modes of transport in the disaster.

Other activities include tattoos, hair decorating, rubber-stamping and various types of races for the athletically inclined kids towards the end of the fest. There will also be chances to win raffles donated by the various sponsors and include goodies like two free photo sessions for the family and coupons to kids’ stores.

Greeting kids at the entrance of the fest, will be goody-bags, full of coupons, sidewalk chalk, crayons, pens, stamps, clays and candy. Patricia Olivares Photography will be photographing the event, pictures of which will be available on the B.P.C.N.A. Web site, where they can be ordered for a minimal fee.

Any volunteers can contact Amisha Mehta at 212-945-1030.

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