It was one for the books on Sunday, September 28 as thousands of Brooklynites flocked to the Ridge’s Third Avenue strip to celebrate the 41st Annual Third Avenue Festival, an end-of-summer staple for the nabe.
“It’s really a beautiful day,” said Ridgeite Brenda Paris as she strolled the avenue with her daughter, and her friend. “It’s a different vibe from the other festivals and, no matter what, it’s always a good time.”
Not even the heat could stop the record 11 stages and 40 non-profit organizations from hitting the streets alongside veteran vendors and street-corner food carts.
“It’s a great day,” said singer Frankie Marra before kicking off a string of performances outside of Greenhouse Café, starting with local rock band Of Clocks and Clouds and ending with a special performance by Marra and his band. When he wasn’t emceeing, the local music-man was joining Ridgeite Barbara Slattery in raising funds for one of the Ridge’s biggest celebrations still to come, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
Bigger and better than ever before – something organizer Chip Cafiero attributed to the growing success of the Summer Stroll on Third Avenue – this year’s all-day affair also included on-site pet adoptions, sponsored by Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, as well as pony rides, back for the first time in two years.
“I think it really sparks a sense of community,” said festival first-timer Meghan Thatcher while treating herself to a deep fried Oreo, a Third Avenue Festival favorite alongside classic sausage and pepper subs.
Some of the biggest performances took place outside of the Brooklyn Market, co-sponsor of this year’s Center Stage alongside State Senator Marty Golden who joined local pols like Councilmember Vincent Gentile and Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny in shaking hands and strolling the fair. Other large stages included those outside Kettle Black and Dimensions in Dance.
The festival, 41 years young, spanned 69th Street to 93rd Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.