As Long Beach continued to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy in 2013, the city was host to many events and activities. Here are just a few:
Billy Crystal Donates $1M to City
Actor/comedian Billy Crystal returned to his native Long Beach in June to present the city with a $1 million check for its post-Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts during a ceremony on the boardwalk. Some of the funds went to rebuilding the basketball courts at the Recreation Center, in which Crystal, his wife Janice, and former WNBA star Nancy Lieberman participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new DreamCourts in November.
Magnolia Playground Rebuilt
Some 200 volunteers pitched in to rebuild the Hurricane Sandy-battered Magnolia Playground in May. Kaboom, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, and JetBlue Airways funded the bulk of the project. Surf 4All, a local nonprofit, also helped spearhead the project that sparked a local committee and a Facebook page devoted to the playground’s redevelopment.Crossfit Competition Kicks Off
The Foundation Block and Riverside Beach in September were transformed into crossfit gyms for a first-of-its-kind competition in Long Beach. Spearheaded by Dr. Sean Pastuch and Mike Abgarian, owners of CrossFit King of Island Park, “Flex on the Beach” included 200 crossfit teams of men and women from gyms across Long Island that competed in various exercise events, including barbell clean and jerks, sprints, and burpees.
Lanterns Light Up Sandy Anniversary Ceremony
An estimated 2,000 people attended a “light the way home” lantern vigil at Kennedy Plaza on Oct. 29, marking the one-year anniversary of when Hurricane Sandy battered the city.
Polar Bear Splash Continues
In the months after Hurricane Sandy, the Polar Bear Splash
in Long Beach continued on Super Bowl Sunday in February, but the
annual event moved from Riverside Boulevard to Grand Boulevard, where
demolition of the closed boardwalk had already been completed.
Film Festival Draws Thousands
An estimated 3,000 people sat on National beach and boardwalk for the second annual staging of the Long Beach International Film Festival in August.
Full Boardwalk Opens
Long Beach in December launch of a promotional initiative, “Boardwalk Lights,” in which seasonal- and nautical-themed lights will remain on display through mid-January. The sponsored initiative is part of the City of Long Beach’s continued efforts to attract visitors to the beachtown after Hurricane Sandy.