FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG FLIPS SWITCH ON PROSPECT PARK IN LIGHTS DISPLAY
Special Holiday Lighting Installation in Prospect Park
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg tonight flipped the switch on Prospect Park in Lights, a large-scale lighting installation in New York's Prospect Park. The eye-catching illuminations will be featured at four of the Park's entrances, viewable every evening through January 7, 2007. This temporary public display, consisting of more than 600,000 lights, is being sponsored by the New York Daily News. The generous gift was granted to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City to provide holiday cheer and to bring New Yorkers and visitors into one of our landmark parks during the winter season. Entertainment for the ceremony was provided by the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and students from PS/IS 206 and PS 115. Mayor Bloomberg turned on the lights with students from PS 154; New York Daily News Chairman & Publisher Mort Zuckerman and his daughter Abigail; New York Daily News Chief Executive Officer Marc Kramer; and Brooklyn Deputy Borough President Yvonne Graham.
"This project reflects the spirit of the holiday season in a uniquely New York way," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New Yorkers and visitors have one more reason to experience our treasured public parks and to explore magnificent Prospect Park. We are grateful to the Daily News and Mort Zuckerman for this generous and creative gift to the City."
The illuminated displays, which were created by noted Brooklyn-based lighting designer Jim Conti, decorate the major gateways to the Park: Grand Army Plaza, including the historic Soldier's and Sailor's Memorial Arch and the Bailey Fountain; Bartel-Pritchard Circle; Park Circle; and the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance. Light emitting diodes (LEDs), energy efficient and long-lasting lights, are being used to transform some of Prospect Park's most historic architectural elements into a wonderful holiday spectacle. These will include a wave-shaped structure built and covered in lights to create the effect of flowing water at Bailey Fountain and colored lights placed on the Pergola at the Parkside and Ocean entrance, giving the appearance of blooming vines. Many of the lights will change colors and are synchronized with wireless animated controllers.
A series of community celebrations will also take place at different Park entrances in December to enhance the enjoyment of Prospect Park in Lights, organized by the Prospect Park Alliance. On Saturday and Sunday evenings there will be free trolley bus service around the Park for viewing the lights. On New Year's Eve Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will sponsor a fireworks display over the Park and entertainment at Grand Army Plaza.
"The Daily News is delighted to bring a special quality to the celebration of the holiday season to the heart of Brooklyn and to Prospect Park," said Mortimer Zuckerman, Chairman and Publisher of the Daily News.
"This project shines a well-deserved light on Prospect Park, where designers Olmsted and Vaux got it right, and attract will visitors from all around to one of America's most beautiful urban parks," said Borough President Markowitz. "With the Coney Island Parachute Jump and Borough Hall also festively illuminated, Brooklyn is on its way to becoming America's answer to the City of Lights!"
"This imaginative project highlights the value of public-private partnerships," said Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City President Megan Sheekey. "Prospect Park in Lights celebrates one of our City's great public parks and this wonderful gift will brighten the season for all New Yorkers."
The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening public programs serving New Yorkers. The Mayor's Fund works closely with City agencies, including Parks & Recreation, Education, Cultural Affairs, and Health & Mental Hygiene, to support innovative initiatives through private sector partners.
The famed design team of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux - who also designed Central Park - created the plan for Prospect Park in 1866. Visits to Prospect Park have increased from a low of 2 million in 1979 to over 8 million visits today. For more information on park events, programs and volunteer opportunities, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/parks.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Parks)
Watch the video in 56k or 300k