WILLIAMSBURG — Anxious to get the first glimpse of McCarren Pool?
Visitors can get a sneak peek the night before its official opening if they're willing to pay a price. A $150 ticket to the June 27 pre-party includes cocktails, dinner, entertainment and a silent auction on the pool's grounds. McCarren and all other city pools open for swimmers June 28.
"For example, right now we have eight people assisting the Parks Department in keeping McCarren clean. We've planted six additional gardens in McCarren," she said of the Open Space Alliance, a group dedicated to improving and helping create North Brooklyn parks. "We also produce or support about 60 free events every year in North Brooklyn parks: films, plays, children's programming, athletic recreation and more."
Local residents met the fundraiser announcement with mixed reactions.
"It's not fair to make the first opening night private," said Alex Urena, 36, as he played with his five children in McCarren Park last week. "I couldn't afford that," said Urena, a Dominican native who has lived in Williamsburg 14 years.
And Ann-Marie Thornhill, 52, a caregiver for two young children in Williamsburg, said she felt a fundraiser should be reserved for a later night in the pool's open season.
"If it's for the people, the people should enjoy it the first night," said Thornhill, noting that she frequently contributed to the Prospect Park Conservancy with a few dollars since she had little money but wanted to support parks. "Most things now depend on donations."
But a woman strolling in Williamsburg last week from Gramercy in Manhattan said a fundraiser for the pool might help draw more attention to the new attraction.
"The more buzz there is the more people they'll get over here," said the woman, Ally (who declined to give her last name), noting that the extra money could only help the facility. "If it's a really nice pool with recreational facilities I'd come over here with my kids."
Tickets to the fundraiser, June 27 from 7:30 to 10 p.m., can be bought online.