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Freeport, Long Beach hope for a busy summer - and good weather

The Nautical Mile in Freeport is a big

The Nautical Mile in Freeport is a big tourist draw over the summer. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Freeport and Long Beach officials are getting set to kick off their busy season, hoping crowds — and their wallets — will visit on Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer.

Freeport Village officials announced the start to their summer season Thursday on the Nautical Mile off Woodcleft Avenue, where Mayor Robert Kennedy urged Long Islanders to visit restaurants on the harbor.

Though many businesses are open year-round, Freeport’s prime business district counts on a strong opening on the holiday weekend and a street festival on June 1.

Officials will close the Nautical Mile to car traffic from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 1 for carnival rides and events featuring local restaurants.

Freeport police said they will work with Nassau County mounted patrols and K-9 units to patrol the Mile.

Long Beach officials have will officially open the boardwalk Friday to signify the start of the beach season and the near-completion of the $130 million Army Corps of Engineers reconstruction of dunes.

Long Beach is counting on a $50,000 marketing campaign, including television ads, next month to draw more visitors to the city.

The city plans to highlight its Memorial Day parade, the June Pride on the Beach festival with singer Macy Gray, July fireworks, the Long Beach Film Festival in August and the World Surfing Competition in September.

The Corps has worked for three years to transform the city’s shoreline with dunes abutting the boardwalk.

Engineers have nearly completed all walkways from the boardwalk to the beach. Some walkovers will continue to be built up until July, but the beaches will be open.

Both Long Beach and Freeport are banking on good weather to draw tourism to the water and local businesses.

“When we have good weather, people come from all parts of the Island,” Kennedy said.

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