By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Christmas in August? Not quite, but the world famous Rockettes will be visiting Park Slope next week to promote this year’s version of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
The Rockettes will make a summertime appearance at People’s Pops, an ice pop store at 808 Union St., on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 5:30 p.m. to introduce “Rox Pops,” a new apple and cranberry flavored ice pop that was inspired by the precision dancers.
The dancers will join the store’s owners as they hand out free Rox Pops to customers from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
David Carrell, co-owner of People’s Pops, said he’s excited about the event. “It’s so cool to be able to partner with the Rockettes,” he told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “Aug. 13 is going to be a huge date for us. We’re going to be giving out 10,000 free ice pops!” he said.
The People’s Pops appearance will cap off a day of excitement for Rockettes fans as the dancers travel to various locations around the city to spread the word about the upcoming Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. The show, a perennial favorite of New Yorkers and the tourists who flock here during the holiday season, will have a new number this year, “Snow.” Performances begin Nov. 8.
The Aug. 13 promotion is being dubbed “Christmas in August” by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which is handling the event.
In the morning, the Rockettes and Santa Claus will unveil a one-of-a-kind ice sculpture inspired by the show under the Radio City marquee on Sixth Avenue and 49th Street.
Following the ice sculpture event, a Christmas themed bus, along with the Rockettes, will travel to various locations around the city distributing free “Rox Pops” as summer treats. The double-decker bus will finish its day at the People’s Pops, where fans can not only get free ice pops, but also pose for pictures with the Rockettes.
There will also be interactive and social opportunities for fans to engage with the Rockettes and win a variety of prizes.
“Rox Pops” will be sold at People’s Pops from Aug. 14 until the end of the season in October.
Carrell said he hopes the apple and cranberry flavor he put into the ice pop will evoke a special feeling in the person tasting the treat. “I want you to feel the same way you feel when there’s a cool breeze toward the end of summer and you’re getting ready for the fall,” he said.
Carrell spoke to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle by phone from the store’s kitchen, where the ice pop flavors are invented. “We love to experiment and come up with all sorts of wonderful flavors,” he said. The store uses seasonal fruits to create its ice pop flavors.
Carrell, who grew up in Miami, started the ice pop business six years ago with two friends: Nathalie Jordi, who was his prom date back in high school, and Joel Horowitz, a former roommate he met on Craigslist. “It was only a few steps up from starting your own lemonade stand as a kid,” he recalled.
“We were doing it on the side for the first three years, selling our pops out of a rented van. Then, three years ago, we found that we were successful enough that we could quit our jobs and devote ourselves full time to the business,” Carrell said.
There are four People’s Pops stores in New York City: the Park Slope location; on the HighLine; in the East Village; and in the Chelsea Market. Carrell and his co-owners employ 45 workers. The owners love being in Park Slope, according to Carrell. “It’s such a family place,” he said. All four shops are seasonal and are only open from April to October. During the rest of the year, People’s Pops is a wholesale business.
Carrell said he has been a fan of the Rockettes ever since he saw the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City during his first visit to New York 20 years ago. “The show is as important to New York as seeing the Statue of Liberty,” he said.