Sunset Park goes ga-ga at annual Fifth Avenue Festival

Hiyaaaa! Seven kids, aged seven to 15, held court between abouncy slide and an obstacle course at the southeast corner ofFifth Avenue and 59th Street early Sunday afternoon. Clad in redand black, the Amerikick Sunset Park students were demonstratingmoves they’d learned in class to a sea of awed peers and chucklingparents.

For these kids, their favorite part of the Sunset Park FifthAvenue Street Festival is the chance to share their moves withpotential students. For the thousands of other festival-goers onSeptember 18, the allure was in the food, the music, the shopping,the games and the carefree fun.

I like to run around with my cousins, said five-year-oldJaileen, who took in the sights and sounds atop her grandfather,Abel Fernandez’s, shoulders. Now we’re going to the bouncyhouse.

My favorites are the empanadas and the tacos, said life-longresident Betty Yu, 27. In past years, there were more food stalls.Now there are more businesses that bring stuff out. It’s good toknow that businesses are booming, though.

Local business owners agree. All this stuff is overstock, saidFernando Pedrero, whose family runs All Star Savings at 469 53rdStreet, of the school supplies that attracted little kids and theirparents. It absolutely helps us with our inventory because we’reon a side street and this helps us get rid of stuff.

For Frank Xu of VC Games near 56th Street, the festival is anopportunity to motivate people to come out and enjoy theatmosphere of fun, food and activities.

It’s the people. I like to look at them enjoying everything,said Xu, who organized a video game competition this year that hadover 80 kids of all ages facing off for the chance to win an Xbox360 and Kinect motion console. It’s once a year. Somehow I thinkit’s better than Christmas.

The festival is organized by the Sunset Park BusinessImprovement District (BID).

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