Rockstock and Barrels Kicks Off Summer on Saturday

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Summer is officially here and this weekend is the perfect time to celebrate everything great about Rockaway—surfing, shopping, skating, music and the boardwalk. You’ll find it all at the 12th Annual Rockstock and Barrels Surf, Skate and Music Festival on Saturday, June 23.

Head down to the Beach 90th Street boardwalk from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday for an all-day fun fest brought to you by St. James Clothing, Boarders and Into the Whip Records. From surfing and skateboarding contests to dozens of local vendors selling their goods to a full lineup of local and national bands, this summer kickoff event is one you won’t want to miss.

Starting at 8 a.m., surfers are welcome to compete in the Eastern Surfing Association’s surf contest between the Beach 88th jetty and Beach 90th Street. The deadline to enter was June 19, but late entries are still welcome to enter. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

At around 2 p.m., all skateboarders are welcome to show off their best tricks in the skate park near Beach 91st Street. There will be kids and adults contests. The contest is hosted by NYC Skate Camp, which will be giving away $500 worth of cash and prizes to the winners.

Bring your wallet as there will be plenty of opportunities to shop from local vendors. About 30 to 40 vendors are expected to be on the boardwalk, including St. James Clothing, Boarders, Rockaway Militia, Zingara Vintage and many more. If you get hungry, local concessionaires, Breezy BBQ, King David Tacos, Fat Cardinal Bakery, Beach Bistro 96, Cocos by the Beach and others will be on site to satisfy your cravings. If you need to cool off on Saturday, Red Bull will have island bar areas with umbrellas to keep people cool. The Queens Library bus will also be on site for those who want to take a break from the crowds and just relax with a good book.

While surf, skate and shopping are a big aspect of Rockstock, one of the main attractions is the amazing lineup of live music that’s planned for the day, from local favorites to national acts. The music is coordinated by Walker Hornung of Into the Whip Records, who will be opening up the festival with an acoustic set starting at 10 a.m., Walker will be followed by local band, Ecstatic Madmen at 11 a.m., Baked Shrimp at noon, Grits at 1 p.m., Trick Candles at 2 p.m., Phil and The Family Band at 3 p.m., Indaculture at 4 p.m. and The Skells close out the show at 5 p.m. However, the show won’t be over at 6 p.m. Keep the party going at Epsteins Beach, which will be hosting the after-party featuring Exit Verona starting at 6 p.m. Both Rockstock and the after-party are free.

Although the beaches may be closed right near Rockstock this year, organizer Jimmy Dowd isn’t worried about low attendance. In fact, Rockstock may be just what the area needs as the event itself will draw crowds, especially surfers. “I think Rockstock will definitely bring people out and the beaches are still open to surfing and this features a surf contest, so I think we’ll be just fine.  If people can’t hang out on the beach, they can just come hang out with us on the boardwalk and enjoy the day,” Dowd said.

A lot of work goes into making Rockstock a success. The organizers start working eight months in advance to prepare for the event. “We’ve created something really nice for local businesses and vendors to sell their crafts and to promote surfing and skating among the youth, and to have live music during the day in Rockaway is an honor. We’re the only event that’s allowed to have live music on the boardwalk during the daytime. We work with the NYC Parks Department and they plug this event and it allows us to have an event of this magnitude each year. It’s all about being able to rock and roll and skate and surf and each year we do it bigger and better,” Dowd said. Rockstock is a family-friendly event and free to all. The event goes on rain or shine, but fingers are crossed for sunny skies on Saturday. For more information, head to rockstocknyc.net.

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