Aquarius, photo by BARRY DALEY (1)

To close out January 2020, Secret Summer continued their efforts as the nation’s only sustainable seafood festival with their 3rd annual Aquarius Festival at The Foundry in Long Island City.

Tyler Hollinger of HighLife Productions, Andrew Maturana of RAPT and Allison du Val of The Foundry, were all on board to produce the festivities.

Aquarius, photo by BARRY DALEY (6)

This year Aquarius partnered with Oceanic Global, a non-profit that engages new audiences in ocean conservation. The team worked diligently to ensure a plastic-free event and Cup Zero provided $2 cups and guests received their deposit back when they returned their cups at the end of the night. They also partnered with Loliware, with straws made out of seaweed, completely committing to the no plastic event.

Aquarius, photo by Socially Superlative (10)

The historic 3,000 square foot fully-restored 19th century Foundry building was completely transformed by floral and tree arrangements by Brenton Wolf Design, an art installation by Jimmy Carillo, and outdoor fire pits to boot. And who doesn’t love a 4Five Photo Booth stop to commemorate the experience?!

Aquarius, photo by Socially Superlative (9) Aquarius, photo by Socially Superlative (1)

Haunting dancers choreographed by Nika Antuanette and decorated by Luis Cortes floated through the space and interacted with guests, creating more of an immersive experience. Music by  DJ Ryan Vandal and DJ Samantha Michelle pulsated throughout the space and Brass Queens put on inspiring performances outside in the courtyard and shutting down the space inside by completely taking over inside.

Aquarius, photo by BARRY DALEY (2)

For food, Ca’Pisci blew everyone away with their stuffed calamari. MF Events also had a very hearty and memorable New England Clam Chowder, while Matitaco served up tacos outside, including one of the Shrimp Po’Boy variety. Monterey Bay Aquarium prepared a Smoked Trout Mouse with Red Onion Jam, Mustard and Caviar on a crostini and Salsa Pistolero had salsas for everyone to try.

Aquarius, photo by BARRY DALEY (4)

As always though, the star of the show is always the cocktails. Some of our favorite cocktails from the event included spirits from Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea And Botanicals, Nolet’s Gin’s Peach Lemonade, Coca Pura Tequila smoky libations and returning favorite, Chinola’s sangria, complete with a bevi fountain!

Aquarius, photo by BARRY DALEY (9) Aquarius, photo by BARRY DALEY (7)

From the cocktails, to the food, to the decor, entertainment and fashion, this is an event we look forward to in the winter, while Secret Summer is the event in the summer. Keep an eye on Secret Summer and sign up for email updates as the next event on August 2nd has already been announced. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

– Stephanie Carino

Photos courtesy of Barry Daley, Lissyelle Laricchia, and Stephanie Carino

Secret Summer 3rd Annual Aquarius Festival