Fifth Avenue Festival to bring out Bay Ridge’s best

Bay Ridge boasts aplethora of cultures, cuisines, businesses and musical talents –and the annual Fifth Avenue Spring Festival, sponsored by the BayRidge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, showcases themall.

This year’sfestival, scheduled for Sunday, June 5,from noon to 6 p.m., willextend from Bay Ridge Avenue to 85th Street. The festival willinclude more merchants and vendors than in past years, according toChip Cafiero, the event’s organizer.

“The responsewithin this past week has been tremendous,” he noted.

“It’s acommunity-oriented event that brings out a lot of the non-profitorganizations and their new membership there,” Cafiero said. “[Ithelps] keep the community strong.”

Rocco’sPizzeria at 78th Street will hold its traditional pizza eatingcontest, and an ice cream eating contest will be held at 74thStreet at 2 p.m.

There will betwo new stages at the festival, and the Frankie Marra band, dubbed“Brooklyn’s Hottest Bar Band,” will be performing at 84th Street at1 p.m.

Numerouschild-friendly activities will be available, including rides, facepainting, pony rides, candy apple-eating and clownshows.

“The bands andthe kids’ rides are usually always crowded,” Cafierosaid.

Attendees canaddress their health and safety needs at the BRAVO First Aid andNYPD Command Center booths, and they can gain their fill ofentertainment at a karaoke contest at the Bean Post Pub and a bellydance and DJ show at LeSajj.

The HomeReporter and Brooklyn Spectator will be out as well,with clowns to entertain the children and free balloons. Inaddition, free newspapers containing the festival schedule will behanded out.

The FifthAvenue Festival would not be complete without a variety of ethnicfoodstuffs, and this year’s celebration will include such offeringsas Greek, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and Yemeni food, along withsausage and peppers, and what Cafiero calls the “good old Americanhamburger.”

A great deal ofpreparation went into this festival to ensure that the day runswithout a glitch.

“We startplanning right after the previous year’s festival, but the realplanning begins in December,” Cafiero said.

Besides anoverall successful event, Cafiero hopes for “good stoop weather,”as several past events have fallen on rainy days.

“Weather is thekey to it all,” Cafiero said.

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