Long Beach families: prepare to get stoked this weekend.
This Saturday, the Long Beach Hotel will fill with kids and families for the first ever Stoked Fest. A film festival aimed at kids and their families, the one-night event will show kid-friendly short films in an effort to bring together a community of families ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
"I bought a house here in Long Beach two weeks before the storm," said festival director Terence Mulligan, who has also worked at The Craicfest film festival. "As everyone was recovering, we thought, why don't we do something to bring people together after the storm."
The idea evolved into focusing on making the youngest residents in Long Beach feel special.
"When these kids walk into the Long Beach Hotel, they're going to get to feel like the stars," said Mulligan of the red carpet and photo ops planned for the event.
This year - the first of many, Mulligan hopes - the focus will be on Irish short films.
"...There are a lot of Irish and Irish-Americans in the Long Beach [and] Rockaway area," said Mulligan. "It makes sense the first year to do a spotlight on Irish short films that are kid-friendly."
Mulligan said Stoked Fest already has the sponsorship and support to hold another festival next year.
Zico coconut water and munchies for the kids will be provided free of charge to all who attend.
Kids won't be the only ones having fun, as Jet Blue tickets and surf packages from Moku Surf Shop and Skudin Suft Camp will be raffled off during the festival.
"Between the films we show and the prizes, there's something for kids and adults to enjoy," he said.