On Sunday, June 3rd, live rock music echoed through the Williamsburg waterfront. It wasn’t hipsters or indie-rock fans, however, but “Family Fun on the Williamsburg Pier,” an outdoor festival and free concert presented by Elaine and Norm Brodsky of CitiStorage. Despite an interruption by the rain, the day was enjoyed by many families.
The event featured everything a kid could hope for on a summer day: an inflatable slide, bouncy castles, a carousel, and tattoo and face painting booths. Kids chowed down on barbecue and cotton candy, while parents enjoyed beers courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery. But the festival’s biggest component was a “rockin’” concert courtesy of Frolic!, a Williamsburg-based play space offering rock ‘n’ roll classes and activities for youngsters.
“We’re happy to curate such an amazing lineup of the area’s top kiddie rock bands,” said Carey Balogh, who co-founded Frolic! with fellow Williamsburg parent Julia Dawson. “There are so many parents here with creative lifestyles, so we want to contribute to that,” Dawson added.
Two Williamsburg parents, Heather and Tome Tamasobski, took part in the creative atmosphere as their daughter painted a lively picture at the coloring booth sponsored by aptsandloft.com. “She’s had a lot of fun,” Tome said. Heather added that they’d enjoyed Italian ices (courtesy of Paulie G’s), rode the carousel, and got to meet kiddie rock star AudraRox.
Many popular kiddie rock bands, in addition to AudraRox, were part of the festival, including Suzi Shelton, Larry G(ee), Maracatu NY, and Frolic!’s house band, the Little Rock-its, which stars Tim Kubart of Tim and the Space Cadets.
Dawson said the concert was intended to create a rock ‘n’ roll experience for parents to enjoy with their children, a mission shared by Frolic. “We want to bridge the gap for parents between their old lives—going to rock concerts—to their new lives, raising children. And now the kids can enjoy a Coachella [music festival] the way their parents have,” Dawson said.
At times it was hard to tell who was having more fun, as parents shimmied beside their kids in front of the main stage, and helped them get decked out in rock-star inspired face paint. “And not only is the festival fun, it enriches kids’ lives for a good cause!” said Balogh. Proceeds from the event benefited Camp Brooklyn Fund, a non-profit that gives children from low-income Brooklyn families the camp experience during the summer.
“This is the first [festival], so we’d love to have this become an annual event,” said Debra Garcia, Executive Director of Camp Brooklyn. “We’re so grateful for this chance to raise the money, and of course the kids are the most grateful!”
Garcia added that she’s also thankful for the hard work from the event’s sponsors. “We couldn’t have done this without them,” she declared. “Like Brooklyn Bowl, Broadway Stages, and Julia and Carey of Frolic!”
Frolic!, for their part, were honored to assist Camp Brooklyn’s mission. “Camp Brooklyn gives kids a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Balogh. “We’re finally able to do what we’ve always wanted—help to support the community, and now we’re part of a festival that enriches children’s lives by allowing them to experience camp.”
For those who may not have little ones, the festival and sponsors such as Frolic! might have inspired them to parenthood. It did (however briefly) for Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Frolic!—every time I go there, I almost wish I had a child,” he quipped in a speech during the event. “Almost is a big word […] but for that moment I wish I had one!”
Camp Brooklyn is supported through fundraisers, sponsorships, and donations. Those interesting in learning more can visit campbrooklyn.org. For more information on the play space Frolic! and how to join, please visit frolicplayspace.com.