Sept. 29, 2020 By Allie Griffin
An annual festival celebrating small businesses in Long Island City returns this weekend when supporting local shops is more important than ever.
“LIC Springs Back!’ will offer a series of virtual and small in-person programs showcasing local businesses’ goods and services from Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 4.
The sixth annual festival organized by LIC Partnership was originally scheduled for May as its typical “LIC Springs” community block party, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
This year’s festival will not shut down Vernon Boulevard to host a block party. Instead, it will feature live music for outdoor diners, a walking tour with stops at several local businesses and virtual fitness and arts and crafts lessons led by favorite LIC studios.
The events are designed to allow residents to safely support local organizations in observation of COVID-19 guidelines.
All event programming and information will be available via LIC Local, a free mobile site that utilizes QR codes posted throughout Long Island City. People can scan the codes with their phones to see a rundown of everything going on in their immediate area.
On Friday, Neuman’s Kitchen will offer a walking tour of Long Island City to visit and experience what local businesses offer, from tastings to samples to special features as part of the festival.
Saturday will feature an Instagram live dance performance and dance lesson and both Saturday and Sunday will offer a long line-up of performances, classes and pop-up activities.
As mom-and-pop shops have struggled to keeping their businesses going during the pandemic shutdown, the festival’s mission to highlight these businesses, nonprofits and cultural organizations is more crucial than ever.
“At a time when many store owners, restaurants and shop fronts are struggling, our community must come together and celebrate the unique organizations that help make our neighborhood one of the most vibrant places in all of New York day in and day out,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, President of Long Island City Partnership and Executive Director of the LIC Business Improvement District.
“LIC Springs is more than just a weekend; it is a commitment to the small businesses that serve us year-round and need our help now more than ever,” Lusskin added.
There are 530 local businesses currently open in Long Island City, including seven new establishments that have opened since March, according to survey by LIC Partnership.