Orchard beach celebrates opening day

Bring on the beach!

As the unofficial start to summer kicks off this weekend with Memorial Day parades and barbecues, beach goers will be welcomed into the 2012 summer season with an opening day ceremony at Orchard Beach.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Borough Commissioner Hector Aponte will officially open the beach on Friday, May 25 on the promenade at Section 9 at 1 p.m.

Along with the commissioners, elected officials and Park Administrator Marianne Anderson will be on hand to talk about how patrons can ensure a fun and safe summer at the beach.

During Friday’s opening ceremony, attendees will also be treated to a air and ground helicopter demonstration conducted by U.S. Marines.

Anderson said new this year are concession stands that will be run by Havana Cafe.

“Havana Cafe, which is located on E. Tremont has been awarded concession this year,” Anderson said. “I believe they opened about a week ago and they will have three different food stations at the beach. I think people will be excited about that.”

Also this year, NYC Parks Department will continue its partnership with the City Island and Castle Hill libraries to bring back “Stories in the Shade” on Thursday afternoons.

“We had someone come and read stories to children last year, so we will continue that this year,” Anderson said. “We also had some summer concerts with Latin bands on Sundays, so we are hoping to lock that in for this year again.”

Beach parking with begin on Saturday, May 26 and will cost $7 for cars during the week and $9 on weekends.

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