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Governors Ball Music Festival opens at Flushing Meadows Corona Park as smoke dissipates

Jun. 9, 2023 By Bill Parry

With the smoke from the Canadian wildfires rapidly diminishing over Queens and after consulting weather experts and city officials, Founders Entertainment decided to proceed with the Governors Ball at Flushing Meadows Corona Park this weekend.

The gates opened at 11:45 a.m. Friday and Lizzo will take the stage later in the evening, with more than 100,000 concert-goers expected to attend the three-day music festival featuring more than 60 acts including Kendrick Lamar, Lil Nas X and Odesza.

More than 100,000 concertgoers will attend Governors Ball which is staged inside the park for the first time after two years on the parking lot at Citi Field.Photo by Roger Ho

This is the first time Governors Ball is being staged inside the park after two years on the parking lot at Citi Field, with its main stage near the New York State Pavilion and the Unisphere. But it is not the only event taking place inside the park for the first time this weekend.

Just a short walk from the festival grounds Row New York is hosting the first-ever Meadow Lake Masters Regatta on Saturday, the first masters rowing race in Meadow Lake’s 84-year history.

Meadow Lake, the home of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival for more than 30 years, will be hosting a different kind of rowing event on Saturday.File photo by Dean Moses

Rowing teams or singles will compete in a 1,000-meter sprint across the lake that is home to the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival for more than three decades.

The Dragon Boat race will be held later in the summer in Flushing Meadow Corona Park but on Saturday the inaugural Meadow Lake Masters Regatta will be held.File photo by Dean Moses

Currently, there are limited opportunities for Master rowers to participate in regattas without holding a rowing club membership. The inaugural Row New York event will allow dozens of individuals and groups from throughout the Tri-state area, with or without a club affiliation, to row competitively in the USRowing-sanctioned regatta and win very cool medals featuring the New York State Pavilion and the world-famous Unisphere.

“The Meadow Lake Masters Regatta is a unique opportunity for New York City masters to compete for as well as a rare chance for New Yorkers to see a rowing race,” Row New York Executive Director Rachel Cytron said. “We hope this inaugural regatta will usher in a new tradition for Meadow Lake and Row New York.”

Master rowers will compete to win one of these medals featuring the New York State Pavilion and the Unisphere.Courtesy of Row New York

In addition to providing competitive access for Master rowers from the tri-state, the regatta also raises vital funds to support Row New York’s youth, Adaptive (for people with disabilities), Veterans, and academic programs. Races begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and teams may trailer their own boats to the site or rent a boat from Row New York.

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