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Tribeca Film Festival Family Street Fair

Families Flip for Tribeca Film Festival Street Fair

Tribeca Film Festival Family Street Fair
Kids were king of the (cardboard) castle at the TFF street fair.

Temperatures approaching 90 degrees couldn’t keep kids and parents from flocking to yesterday’s Tribeca Film Festival Family Street Fair. Thousands turned out to enjoy the festivities, which ranged from the universally fun zeppole-eating and BMX-stunt-watching to kid-centric activities such as storming a gargantuan cardboard castle, making kites and cavorting on a bouncy Coca-Cola polar bear (kind of like a bouncy castle, only shaped like the aforementioned beast instead).

The event, which took over Greenwich Street between Chambers and Harrison (as well as all the side streets) from 10 AM to 6 PM, capped 10 days of movies and free events that comprised the ninth annual Tribeca Film Fest.

ESPN Sports Day
Can I try that, Mommy?

The extravaganza kicked off with a live performance by the cast of the Broadway musical Wicked at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and only got wicked better from there. As part of ESPN Sports Day, BMX daredevil Dave Voelker was on hand with his crew of bike-riding pros to put on an aerial stunt display the likes of which had never been seen in Lower Manhattan. “Oohs” were followed by “aahs” … and questions along the lines of, “Mommy, can Daddy show me how to do that on my Schwinn?” Let’s hope he didn’t try.

Children also lined up to grab some air of their own on the numerous bouncy castles strategically positioned on just about ever side street. One was a regular old castle, another was ESPN-themed, and still another took the shape of the iconic(?) Coca-Cola polar bear.

As if that weren’t enough, there was also a Chinese parade, ESPN-sponsored games such as free-throw shooting and tee-ball, face-painting, a puppet show, and enough junk food being consumed to make all the dentists in the area smile wide. Heck, Mr. Met and his entourage were even wandering around, much to the delight of children and female Mets fanatics.

As a nice reward for parents, the festival got an adult-friendly boost at 3 PM, when Mike D of the Beastie Boys led an epic guitar jam at the Church Street School for Music and Art. All in all, it was a beast of a time.

Shrek Forever After

Tribeca Film Festival: Flicks and Free Events

Shrek Forever After
TFF goes green for 'Shrek Forever After' premiere.

What do Shrek, Robert De Niro and Beastie Boys band member Mike D have in common? They’re all descending upon Lower Manhattan this week to celebrate the ninth birthday of the Tribeca Film Festival, running April 21 to May 2.

The 2010 fest, which kicks off tonight at the Ziegfeld Theater with the star-studded red-carpet premiere of Shrek Forever After, has come a long way since its inaugural run in 2002. Back then, with Tribeca still trying to shake off the sorrow and dust of the unimaginable tragedy of Sept. 11, acting legend and Tribeca resident Bobby De Niro, his producing partner Jane Rosenthal and her husband Craig Hatkoff banded together to found the annual celebration of film, music and culture with one ambitious goal in mind: rejuvenate the neighborhood economically, culturally, spiritually.

Their gambit seems to have succeeded. What began as a modest forum for the work of indie filmmakers and documentarians has blossomed into one of the premier film fests in America, attracting tiny independent movies and gargantuan blockbusters alike. But, more importantly, the festival coaxes visitors to Tribeca, once again a vibrant community bursting with beautiful parks, exceptional restaurants and a bounty of things to do.

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