MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES RINGLING BROS. AND BARNUM AND BAILEY CIRCUS IS COMING TO CONEY ISLAND AS PART OF 2009 SUMMER SEASON
“The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring!” Show Will Join an Array of Iconic Attractions and Events Set for Summer 2009 with Deals for Kids and Families
New York City (April 17, 2009) Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and CEO of Feld Entertainment, Inc. Kenneth Feld today announced that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will bring a special installation of The Greatest Show On Earth – “The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring!” – to Coney Island this summer. The circus will be part of an array of both new programs and existing iconic attractions that will be open to residents and visitors of Coney Island this summer. Mayor Bloomberg visited Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs on Surf Avenue in Coney Island to kick off the 2009 summer season.
“For the first time in its 139-year history, The Greatest Show On Earth will make its way to one of the greatest neighborhoods in New York City – Coney Island,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Joining the mermaids, Cyclones and beachgoers this summer will be Bengal tigers, Asian elephants and acrobats from around the world for what will be a fantastic season for kids and families. Together with community partners, the City is taking steps to expand and make permanent Coney Island’s famous amusement district, and, like summers past, this one will showcase why Coney Island is such a one-of-a-kind asset for New York City. Together with a host of attractions, the circus offers yet one more reason to visit a neighborhood that offers exciting events, great food and 2.3 miles of boardwalk enjoyment for New Yorkers and visitors.”
“With the circus coming to town, Coney Island is poised for a fantastic summer season,” said Deputy Mayor Lieber. “Coney Island is one of the world’s most recognized neighborhoods, and we’re committed to preserving its storied character and revitalizing the entire area. Our plan will create a permanent and enhanced 27-acre amusement and entertainment district, 4,500 new housing units and more than 6,000 permanent jobs and 25,000 construction jobs. And as we pursue it, we will continue to take steps to ensure that the Coney Island’s vibrancy continues to thrive. I want to thank Feld Entertainment, Taconic Investment Partners and NYC & Company for their enormous contribution to Coney Island.”
“We know that Coney Island – with its storied rides, bustling boardwalk and beach, delicious food, and genuinely unique sense of freakishness and fun – has the creative energy of a three-ring-circus every single day,” said Borough President Markowitz. “I thank the Mayor for his commitment to Coney, and commend all the partners who have come together to bring The Greatest Show On Earth to America's Favorite Playground. This summer the circus is indeed in town, and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey’s 'The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring' will be a thrilling must-see for fun-seekers and families of New York City and beyond.”
“I am truly excited that the Bloomberg Administration is working with the community to bring great things to Coney Island this summer,” said Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. “We are thrilled about the circus coming to town and look forward to working collaboratively on the redevelopment of Coney Island. This proves that together we can accomplish great things.”
“The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring” presented by Ringling Bros. will open on June 18, 2009, with a special performance saluting Coney Island. The show will include Vincenta Pages and her seven white Bengal tigers; the Urias family, known as The First Family of the Motorcycle Globe; the New York debut of The Negrey Troupe, a world-renowned retinue of Russian acrobats; “Eccentric Personality Extraordinaire” Justin Case; and a trio of Asian elephants. The show will run on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 18th through September 7th. Tickets, which start at $10, go on sale Thursday, April 30th. Additional information is available at ringling.com.
“The Greatest Show On Earth and Coney Island are American entertainment icons,” said Kenneth Feld, Ringling Bros. Producer and Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, Inc. "New York City plays a big role in our circus history and we are thrilled to be a part of this incredible summer for Brooklynites and New Yorkers. Our international community of performers is looking forward to entertaining the international community of Brooklyn families and bringing smiles to the faces of Children of All Ages.”
The circus tent will be located on Surf Ave and West 21st Street on property owned by Taconic Investment Partners. To bring the circus to Coney Island, NYC & Company, New York City Economic Development Corporation and Feld Entertainment, which produces Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, teamed with Taconic to secure a location for the circus. Taconic is providing its land at no cost. NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in more than 60 countries on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.
“Attracting New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to Coney Island is a top priority this summer,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “Working with our public and private partners, we’ve created a season of events that offer something for everyone at an incredible value. There is no better time to go to Coney Island, and we invite everyone to come and experience one of New York City’s great gems.”
“With the arrival of the Ringling Brothers circus, this summer will serve as a preview of what Coney Island could be in coming years if the City’s plan for the area’s preservation and redevelopment is approved,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “We are incredibly grateful to Taconic Investment Partners for their help in making this preview a reality. And we look forward to working this summer with our partners in the City Council to help ensure the future of Coney Island as a unique and iconic entertainment destination, while creating thousands of jobs, thousands of units of housing, and much-needed infrastructure and retail amenities in this great Brooklyn neighborhood.”
“The Circus captures and expands on Coney Island's iconic legacy of fun while bringing new economic activity to the area, much as the City's rezoning that is in public review aims to do,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden.
In addition to The Greatest Show On Earth, there will be a variety of events taking place at Coney Island throughout the summer, including the AVP Professional Beach Volleyball Tour July 3 to July 5, Friday Night fireworks every Friday night at 9:30PM from June 19 to September 4, Seaside Summer Concert Series Thursday nights in Asser Levy Park, the Village Voice Siren Music Festival and a variety of other events created in partnership with the Parks Department and Coney Island businesses that are free and open to the public.
Also returning this summer are the many attractions that have made Coney Island an iconic destination. The Cyclone, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, the New York Aquarium and the Coney Island Sideshow will all be open this summer as well as the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, the Mermaid Parade, and Brooklyn Cyclones baseball season. In addition several signature concessions will return, including Ruby’s, Cha-Cha’s, Gargiulo's, Lola Staar Boutique, Coney Island Beach Shop, Ragazzi Pizza, William's Candy, Totonno’s, Denny's Ice Cream, and Pete's Clam Shop and many others.
The Coney Island Development Corporation is also re-launching its website, ConeyIslandFunGuide.com, which provides residents and visitors with a complete overview of what to see and do in Coney Island, including a full up-to-the-minute calendar of events and programming, as well as details on how to get there. Visit the website or call 311 for a list of event highlights.
The City is implementing a comprehensive revitalization plan in Coney Island. The plan includes a rezoning proposal that will create a 27-acre, permanent, 21st Century amusement and entertainment destination in the historic amusement district. The City's plan will also support Coney Island's diverse neighborhood outside the amusement district with the creation of 4,500 new housing units – including 900 targeted to low- and middle-income New Yorkers – and a new neighborhood park. In total the plan will create more than 6,000 permanent and 25,000 construction jobs and generate more than $14 billion in economic activity. Last month, the local community board voted to approve the plan, and it now goes before the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council.
CONEY ISLAND SUMMER 2009 EVENT HIGHLIGHTS:
May 21 – Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk Opening
More than 100 acres of beachfront and more than two miles of boardwalk. Celebrate the opening on Memorial Day Weekend with the annual beach opening ceremony on the Boardwalk.
May 29 - September 27 – Coney Island Circus Sideshow at Surf Avenue & West 12th Street.
Established by Coney Island USA in 1985, Sideshow by the Seashore is the last place in the USA where you can experience the thrill of a traditional ten-in-one circus sideshow. Both the inside and the outside of the historic 1917 building are decorated in canvas sideshow banners painted by Valerie Haller or Marie Roberts.
June 17 - August 30 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey’s “Coney Island Boom-A-Ring” at Surf Ave and West 21st Street.
June 19 - Sept 4 – Evening Fireworks
Every Friday night during the season at 9:30pm, a brilliant fireworks display will light up the Coney Island sky, offering spectator views all along the beach and boardwalk.
June 19 - September 6 – The Brooklyn Cyclones at Keyspan Park
Brooklyn's single-A baseball team, the Brooklyn Cyclones have been proudly representing the borough since June 2001. Enjoy one of the many family-friendly home games this summer, while taking in breathtaking views of the ocean from your seats in this beachfront stadium. Opening night is Friday, June 19th at 7:00pm.
June 20 – The 27th–Annual Mermaid Parade at Surf Avenue between West 10th and 15th Streets and along the Boardwalk.
Hosted by Coney Island USA and a Coney Island tradition since 1983, the Mermaid Parade is the nation’s largest art parade down historic Surf Avenue. Don’t miss the biggest mermaid (and mermen) convention of the year.
June 25 – Annual Sand Sculpting Contest and Unity Day
Professionals and amateurs alike compete to create towering edifices and sculptures out of Coney Island’s sandy beach. A full day of community events, sponsored by Astella Development Corporation, accompanies the competition.
Thursdays, July 2 – August 27 – 31th Annual Seaside Summer Concert Series at Asser Levy/Seaside Park (West 5th Avenue and Surf Avenue).
On Thursday nights, Borough President Marty Markowitz will play host to the live performances with top-name artists in classic rock, pop, oldies, contemporary and Latin music. This long-celebrated series has entertained hundreds of thousands of residents for more than 30 years, making it the longest-running free Concert Series in the New York Metropolitan area.
July 4 – Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at the corner of Surf Avenue and Stillwell.
On July 4, champion athletes from the International League of Competitive Eating compete for the top honor of the Mustard Belt at Nathan’s Annual International Hot Dog Eating Contest, broadcast live on ESPN. Come see American competitor Joey Chestnut defend his title.
July 3-5 – AVP Crocs Tour Coney Island Open
Back for their fourth year in Coney Island is the AVP Crocs Tour Coney Island Open. With live television coverage at the elaborate on-beach stadium, the AVP Crocs Series Brooklyn Open brings Olympic athletes to Coney’s sandy beach and is fast becoming an annual tradition.
July 18 – 9 Annual Siren Festival
In its ninth year, the Siren Festival, sponsored by the Village Voice, brings top acts in the indie-rock circuit to two stages in Coney Island’s amusement district, free to the public.
Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park on the Boardwalk at Denos Vourderis Place.
Built in 1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company, the landmarked Wonder Wheel has provided thrills to generations of Brooklynites. Today, it stands strong among the many amusement rides open to people of all ages at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. With a kiddie park containing 17 rides and a separate section just for adults and older kids, Deno’s offers fun for the whole Family.
The Cyclone Rollercoaster at the corner of Surf Avenue and W 10th Street.
One of the most famous attractions in all of Coney Island and one of the most famous roller coasters in the world, the landmarked Cyclone Rollercoaster remains the cornerstone of a trip to Coney Island for most visitors, and has been going strong for over 150 years.
New York Aquarium at Surf Avenue & West 8th Street.
New York Aquarium gives visitors young and old the opportunity to learn about the undersea world. With sea lions, sea turtles, penguins, and walruses, as well as dozens of interactive demonstrations and education workshops, the Aquarium brings together the largest offering of aquatic entertainment in all of New York City.