Man Youth center party

The wait is almost over for Manhattan Youth’s Downtown Community Center.

The center’s opening celebration will start at 6 p.m. April 10 with a street fair, which will offer free hot dogs and lemonade, carnival rides and a 20-piece band.

The speeches and ribbon cutting start at 7 p.m. and then attendees will tour the facility at 120 Warren St., enjoying live music, dancing and food prepared by celebrity chef David Bouley.

“It’ll be joyous outside and joyous inside,” said Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, at a recent community board meeting.

The ceremony will honor Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, City Councilmember Alan Gerson and Community Board 1 chairperson Julie Menin, along with several other officials.

“Some said it couldn’t be done,” Townley said. After 9/11, there were a lot of project ideas floating around Lower Manhattan, and many of them didn’t make it, he said.

At the C.B. 1 Youth and Education Committee meeting March 18, people asked which programs Townley would introduce at the community center after the grand opening.

Townley replied that he wouldn’t be around to work out the details. “I’m going to Jamaica for six months,” he joked.

More seriously, he said the center would phase in three programs: senioxr, teen and parent-child. The swimming pool will be open almost immediately for teens and seniors. Over the summer, the center will host Manhattan Youth’s summer camp and “whatever else we can get together,” Townley said. By September, the center will roll out a full range of activities.

On the sooner end, C.B. 1 is already planning to hold its May meeting inside the new community center.

— Julie Shapiro