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Photo courtesy of Ijaira Gonzalez
Photo courtesy of Ijaira Gonzalez
Conjunto Imagen performs during the annual Brooklyn 24th Street Festival.

Summer is winding down, but that didn’t stop Sunset Park residents from enjoying the 10th annual Brooklyn 24th Street Festival. The day-long party, held on Saturday, August 19 on 24th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, featured everything you’d want in a festival, including music, games, food, activities for kids, and celebration of culture.

“The Brooklyn 24th Street Festival was a very successful festival,” said event coordinator Hector Gonzalez. “In the 10 years that we’ve been doing this, we’ve always received a great response. One of the activities that people were happy with this year was the dominoes tournament. It was one of the highlights of the festival.”

Along with competitive games of dominoes, music played a major role in the day.

“We had three Latino bands play music,” he said. “People were dancing, the young and the old, and everyone was having a lot of fun. We had more people dancing and more who came to enjoy the music than in the past 10 years. It was a great turnout. Although there were other big festivals in the Bronx and on 18th Avenue, the response was massive.”

Gonzalez added that the tradition means a lot to Sunset. “It is meaningful to the community because we celebrate heritage. The Latino culture is well centered in Sunset Park and this venue is a celebration of that culture. We will continue hosting this type of festival. People throughout the year stop and ask me when the next festival is.”

Food vendors also played a big role with delicacies such as rice and beans and cuchifritos tempting attendees. Inflatable rides were also available for kids. J.W. Cortes, who appears on the hit Fox show “Gotham,” was also on hand.

Camaraderie also played a role in the day. “People come for the music but then they see faces that they haven’t seen in many years and they turn the festival into a meeting place,” Gonzalez said. “They love the dancing but they also stay a little longer after the music to regroup after the time in which they haven’t seen each other.”

The bands, however, stole the show, which included bachata and more. “Conjunto Imagen is an internationally known band and they were the headliners of the festival,” he said. “People came to the festival because they knew they’d be there.”

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