The acrobatics of the Malaysian Lion Dancers were great, while the Franklin K. Lane High School ROTC cadets outdid themselves this year under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Gracia and Master Sergeant Eddie Carr.
There was the added "spice" of the Indian Chutney Dancers, and the Imperial Dragon Hombu Dojo under the leadership of Kyoshi Myron were present for the 36th year.
The musical groups along Jamaica Avenue were just fantastic. Solid State Band, Plastic Soul and Minefield Playground really rocked, and country-western group The Mary Lamont Band really got our toes tapping us dancing in the street.
The theme again this year was “Patriotic Red, White and Blue,” and American flags were again flying proudly along Jamaica Avenue, and the GWDC Booth distributed over 300 small American flags to the patriotic community, flag lapel pins, red, white and blue keychains, and “I Love Woodhaven” and Woodhaven Fire Department decals.
Also represented was the 102nd Precinct Auxiliary Police and many nonprofit groups, as well as the NYPD and FDNY recruiting future officers and firefighters and our Jamaica Avenue restaurants.
Our formal ceremony for the day included kind words from Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblyman Michael Miller, Pescha Osina from Comptroller Scott Stringer's office, council members Elizabeth Crowley and Eric Ulrich, and Deputy Inspector Deodat Urprasad of the 102nd Precinct.
Each spoke glowingly of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and Woodhaven.
The GWDC then honored Crowley for her assistance and investment in Woodhaven, especially Mary Whalen Playground and the painting of the J train, and Ulrich for the new garbage receptacles on Jamaica Avenue, as well as the new LED lights he and Borough President Melinda Katz funded for the WBID.
The GWDC presented them with plaques from Capo's Trophies on Jamaica Avenue.
To all of our Woodhaven stores and businesses, local organizations, unique vendors, our ride guy George, and most of all the homeowners and residents in attendance, a big “thank you.”
Also thank you to our sponsors, including our elected officials, Resorts World, P.C. Richard, Illuminations by Arnold, Logan Bus Company, Queens County Savings Bank, Ohlert-Ruggiere, our excellent local newspapers, New York Mets, Health First, Scaturros Supermarket, Star Nissan, Green Life Real Estate, Maracas Restaurant and Win Carlshean.
For the 36th year, our Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival was again a safe family day.
Thank you to our hardworking part-time staff, Maureen, Lisa, Krys, Megan, Lina and John, who did a great job coordinating this year, and all the fine young people of Woodhaven who helped us that day. It was a labor of love.
A big thank you to Deputy Inspector Urprasad and the great 102nd Precinct officers who kept us safe that day. And a big thank you to GWDC President Stephen Esposito, the GWDC board and staff for my beautiful bouquet of stunning flowers from Woodhaven's Park Place Florist. It was so thoughtful of you all.
Most of all, though, we thank the residents of Woodhaven, for you made this day the success it was, proving once again that Woodhaven is strong, stable and safe.
So shop Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven: A Small Town Haven in the City. We were truly blessed on this day and every day.
May God bless our armed forces, may God bless our disabled veterans, may God bless our NYPD and all police officers everywhere, and may God bless our America.