DITMARS — Get a workout, grab some local grub and jam by the waterfront this month, as the Shore Fest returns to Astoria Park for its sixth year for three Sundays in August.
On Aug. 3, 10, and 17, the waterfront Shore Boulevard will be closed to cars along the length of Astoria Park, between Ditmars Boulevard and Astoria Park South, for free events that center around a different theme each week.
"This year we've got some really interesting things," said Martha Lopez-Gilpin of the Astoria Park Alliance, who said Shore Fest is meant to encourage residents to "come down and use the street in any way they've always wanted to."
The first day of Shore Fest will take place Sunday and be fitness-themed, with local gyms and health organizations offering free services to festival goers like CrossFit demonstrations as well as mini-massages and reiki healing sessions, Lopez-Gilpin said.
A Zumba marathon will start at 2 p.m. at the bottom of the park's big lawn, where a DJ will provide music for a dance-infused exercise with instructors from local gyms The Rock Health and Fitness, The Matrix and Simply Fit, who will take turns leading the two-hour workout.
The "Tastes of Astoria" will take place Aug. 10, where local eateries like Victory Garden Cafe, Thai Elephant and Namaste will be giving out free samples of their food. There will also be a watermelon-eating contest to see who can finish a wedge of the fruit the fastest.
The final Shore Fest will take place Aug. 17 and focus on art and music, with a lineup of live bands and a dance performance, plus art activities from organizations like Art House Astoria and Noguchi Museum.
All Shore Fest events will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Astoria Park Alliance's website.