Film festival spills into the streets


By Lawrence Everett Forbes

The Tribeca Family Festival, a fan favorite that drew crowds of more than 300,000 people last year, promises to live up to expectations this year with a lineup of fun and lively entertainment featuring talented performers, dancers, stilt-walkers, Broadway performances, arts and crafts, and face painters. Families can even find a quiet corner to have a story told to them by a master storyteller. Students from local schools are also going to be at the fair with creative fundraising activities and vibrant student artwork. The street fair will host more than 30 neighborhood restaurants, merchants and organizations.

The main stage offers special shows from the Broadway musicals “Legally Blonde” and “Xanadu,” New American Youth Ballet performing excerpts from “Don Quixote’s Impossible Dream” ballet. The Studio New York Chinese Cultural Dance Center enact their Sword Dance, and The Children’s Acting Space Tribeca, make a “Street Scene,” which involves costumes and characters made up from workshop improv.

With a live DJ, dancing, free stroller parking and scheduled performance acts, the Star Struck tent presents continuous entertainment for younger children. Kites will be available to fly high throughout the day while kids of all ages can create gigantic bubbles in our Bubble Garden courtesy of the off-Broadway hit, Gazillion Bubble Show. Dedicated to stimulating and enhancing children’s learning skills, the Chess in the Schools organization plans to bring chess games for kids and adults to play one another.

Families with children of all ages to create and star in their very own movie scene and partake in other exciting, interactive activities, like using green-screen technology and adorable movie props. Kids have the opportunity to choose from a list of film scenes and make their big acting debut. Parents and kids can then view their movies either on a wireless phone or online. The Scholastic Reading Tent features Clifford the Big Red Dog and a new character, WordGirl—who fights crime using words, dynamic storytelling and will have best-selling children’s books for sale.

The Tribeca Film Center’s screening room will be set up to screen family films and student films from the Downtown Youth Behind the Camera program throughout the day. The Tribeca Film Center is located at 375 Greenwich Street. All screenings are non-ticketed and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Together with the Family Festival Street Fair, ESPN Sports Day gives fans of all ages the opportunity to participate in a variety of interactive sports related games and demonstrations. 

 The U.S. Tennis Association will be setting up two short courts and a quick serve cage for young players to hone their skills. While ESPN’s Play Your Way youth fitness outreach program will take to the court to inspire kids to be physically active by teaching them to make up their own games and encourage creative recreational play.

 Not to be left out, the Rangers Road Tour plans to offer fans a chance to test the speed of their slap shot, get their picture taken in a life-sized player cutout and features a video-game system. The Knicks Groove Truck also plans to be on hand to challenge fans to three-point shooting contests, video gaming and give away cool prizes. The WNBA’s New York Liberty will join the party to meet and greet fans as well with a few surprise guest appearances. 

 The “Generation Jets Fest” will take place along N. Moore Street, where fans can participate in a football theme park filled with obstacles and tests of skill such as the quarterback challenge and touchdown run. The team’s Flight Crew is also set to perform on the Main Stage and mingle with festival attendees.