West Farms Rapids
Golden Ball Festival Rolls On Along The Bronx River
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Congress Member Jose Serrano, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Bronx River Alliance Chair Dart Westphal, Bronx River Alliance Executive Director Linda Cox and members of the community at the 9th annual Golden Ball Festival, celebrating the revitalization of the Bronx River. The festival site was at the Mitsubishi Riverwalk at the Bronx Zoo.
"Follow the golden ball as it floats its way down the Bronx River for the 9th annual Golden Ball Festival," said Commissioner Benepe. "The golden ball has become a symbol of the Bronx River's improving quality and vitality. With a new waterfront park at Hunts Point Riverside Park, the developing Bronx River Greenway, and efforts to protect the river's native flora and fauna, the Bronx River is returning to greatness. I am thankful to the Bronx River Alliance and all the community leaders who are committed to this renaissance."
The Golden Ball Festival takes place each fall to celebrate the spirit and energy of the river and the communities surrounding it. The ball's historic 7-mile journey unites art, community, and the environment to inspire people to connect with the river through celebration and stewardship.
Participants canoed the river, listened to live music, and welcomed the Golden Ball at the Festival site. The crowd was entertained by Flamenco Vivo's Carlota Santana, the Harlem Wizards, Hip Hop dance troupe the Untouchable Shorties, R&B singer Chester Gregory, and a Jose the Beaver mascot.
The Bronx River is an ecological treasure. It is the only freshwater river in New York City and is home to the first beaver sighted within the five boroughs in about 200 years. Parks & Recreation is currently working creating the Bronx River Greenway, a pedestrian and bike path linked by a set of linear parks which will span eight miles. The latest waterfront park along the Bronx River to open is Hunts Point Riverside Park. This 1.4 acre park features a luscious central lawn, a recreational pier, an amphitheater, a picnic area, and a garden and play area with a fishing village theme.