Park activist says no to Brookville party

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Last year a family day at Brookville Park turned into an out-of-control bash where liquor was sold and liter was spread all over the southeast Queens greenspace.

An advocate for the park is calling on the city to not let that happen again this year.

Fred Kress, president of the Queens Coalition for Parks, sent a letter to the city Parks Department asking it not to allow party promoter June ´╗┐Balloon to hold his fourth-annual family day´╗┐ at the park this Saturday. Last year’s celebration, which was co-hosted by state Assemblywoman Michelle Titus (D-Far Rockaway) and Jacques Leandre, who was running for City Council last year, left the park in a state of disarray with crews picking up trash for hours the day afterward.

“I expect Parks to protect our parks from animals — both two- and four-legged,” Kress wrote in his letter.

This year’s celebration, which is not sponsored by Titus and Leandre, was advertised on the social networking website Facebook and had dozens of people invited. The flier included on the Facebook page said there would be musical performances, food, games and face painting for children.

This was not the fun that took place during last year’s picnic Aug. 22.

Someone set up a table that advertised “open bar, ladies only” and sold alcohol to parkgoers. The party went on long after its 7 p.m. closing time, and when the parks manager went to the greenspace the next morning, it was filled with empty bottles, discarded food and sexually explicit pamphlets.

Kress and other advocates arrived at the park to see the damage firsthand and saw Balloon and Titus’ husband, Eric DeBerry, arguing with the parks manager, saying they did nothing wrong.

Leandre said he is not involved with this year’s picnic and will not be attending it because he will be out of town with his youth football group, the Rosedale Jets. Titus’ office did not return phone calls for comment and June Balloon could not be reached for comment.

Although the Parks Department refused to grant a permit for the party as of press time Tuesday, fliers were still going up in the neighborhood, according to Kress.

“They broke almost every rule in the book last year and they haven’t learned that they have to play by the rules,” he said.

The president suggested that Balloon move his party to another spot, such as the city Department of Transportation municipal lot at Francis Lewis and Brookville boulevards instead of park space.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 6:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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