Bay Ridge welcomes Third Avenue Festival

Third Avenue will be alive with the sound of music andmerrymaking on Sunday, October 2 at the 38th annual Third AvenueFestival, organized by the Merchants of Third Avenue (MTA).

The event — which stretches from 69th Street to 94th Street –runs from noon to 6 p.m. and will feature dance and musicperformances, numerous restaurant and vendor displays, and evensome wrestling.

It’s the best festival anywhere, said event manager ChipCafiero. I go to a lot of festivals and this festival is uniquebecause of the merchant participation. We have 100 merchantsparticipating.

According to Robert Howe, MTA’s president, it is the continuingcommunity support for the event that makes the day special.

The unique thing about this festival is that it has been aswidely attended 38 years ago as it is today, Howe said. It hasbeen wildly popular in Bay Ridge.

Howe, who claims to remember all 37 of the previous years of thefestival, believes the timing of the event has been critical to itssuccess.

It’s really the first opportunity to get out and bump intopeople that you may have not seen since April or May, heexplained. It’s an opportunity for the neighborhood toreconnect.

Home Reporter sales manager James Griffin, whose fatherFrank Griffin founded the newspaper in 1956, pointed out that theevent is part of a major weekend in the borough.

Between the Ragamuffin Parade on Saturday and the festival onSunday, that is the biggest weekend that happens anywhere in BayRidge, he said.

And increasing the odds of this year’s festival being evenbigger, the forecast calls for sunny skies and mild temperatures.According to Cafiero, the conditions are critical.

We have more vendors signed up than usual because of thefantastic forecast, he said.

But beyond the vendors and performances, the day offers a simplepleasure for Howe.

I enjoy sitting at a handful of the local restaurants’ tablesand people-watching, he said. It’s a great people-watchingopportunity.

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