While the weather forecast for the unofficial start of summer isn’t particularly promising this Memorial Day weekend, there will be plenty for Westchester County residents to look forward to when Mother Nature does cooperate.
County officials announced Thursday a list of expanded summer activities, including eight drive-in movies at three locations and four live concerts to go along with the previously planned openings of Westchester beaches at Playland and Croton Point Park this weekend and pools and Playland amusement park the last weekend in June.
One of two key restrictions will be the continued closure of Glen Island Beach, which remains a COVID-19 testing center, although the park is accessible to the public for walking and biking. Playland Pool will again be closed this summer as it continues to undergo construction.
A year after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled or curtailed most activities, the plunging active caseload and increased vaccinations have given residents of all ages hope that 2021 will be a far better summer than last year.
“We look forward to a really happy and healthy 2021 season,” said county Parks Commissioner Kathy O’Connor at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla.
Starting on Friday, June 11 and continuing on alternating Friday nights through September, Screenings Under the Stars returns drive-in style, with five family-friendly movies at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, two at Croton Point Park and one at Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers.
Each car will be charged $25 through online admission sales in advance only at https://www.showclix.com/event/screenings-2021.
Additionally, there will be four evening weekday concerts at Croton Point Park and Kensico Dam Plaza between June 29 and July 20 starting at 7 p.m. O’Connor said the county will be selling spaces for pods that can hold up to eight people each for $10 a person.
Attendees must maintain six feet of space on all sides during the concerts. They will not be allowed to combine designated areas or bring pets. Limited tickets are available now at https://www.showclix.com/event/wcp-scs21.
All attendees must show proof of purchase upon entry. For more information, call 914-231-4564.
County Executive George Latimer said when the Parks Department and Parks Foundation scheduled two drive-in movies last summer, there was enthusiastic public response. He said he expects demand to be just as high this summer.
“I think that’s reading the marketplace, and there is a clamor for it because people talked to me over the course of the year, and said we loved the drive-in movies, can you do more,” Latimer said of the decision to expand programming this summer.
While life and activities have been slowly returning to normal, Latimer mentioned that two other popular happenings haven’t been scheduled for a second straight summer – the July 3 fireworks display and the weekend ethnic festivals, both at Kensico Dam Plaza.
The following is the Screenings Under the Stars schedule for this summer:
June 11: “Pixar’s Onward,” Kensico Dam Plaza.
June 25: “Trolls World Tour,” Kensico Dam Plaza
July 9: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Kensico Dam Plaza
July 23: “Tom & Jerry,” Croton Point Park
Aug. 6: “Godzilla vs. Kong,” Kensico Dam Plaza
Aug. 20: “Forrest Gump,” Kensico Dam Plaza
Sept. 10: “Pixar’s Soul,” Croton Point Park
Sept. 24: “Disney’s Mulan,” Tibbetts Brook
The schedule of concerts are:
Tuesday, June 29: High Noon, Croton Point Park
Thursday, July 1: Songs in the Attic, a Billy Joel tribute band, Kensico Dam Plaza
Tuesday, July 13: Back to the Garden
Tuesday, July 20: The Nerds, Kensico Dam Plaza
The county has also scheduled the Naturally Essential Challenge, which encourages residents to visit all Westchester parks through October. To enter the challenge, park-goers will log visits by scanning QR codes on posters at each facility to be entered for a chance to win a $50 Westchester County Parks gift card.
The challenge is accessible at all Westchester County Parks facilities that are open to the public. At this time, it does not include the County Center in White Plains, which is currently a COVID-19 vaccination site, and the Miller House in North White Plains. The Miller House is closed to the public for safety purposes.
For more information about the Naturally Essential Challenge, visit https://parks.westchestergov.com/203-highlights/3024-take-the-naturally-essential-challenge