Celebrate good times.
For over two decades, Bay Ridgeites have looked forward to a long-standing family tradition. This year will be no different as the 22nd Annual Fifth Avenue Festival, sponsored by the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, will be held on Sunday, May 31 beginning at 12 p.m.
The family-friendly event features a wide variety of activities, such as rides, car shows, karaoke contests, popular local bands and plenty of food
“It’s such a community event,” said organizer Chip Cafiero. “A lot of local nonprofit organizations come out. It’s what makes community so strong. Basically the majority of people that come are from community. They really look forward to it.”
For the most part, regular attendees can expect the same festive atmosphere and activities. Some of the more highly anticipated attractions are geared towards children, as several of the rides typically attract the biggest crowd, along with face painting.
However, interest among businesses has increased from previous years. “Vendors and food spread out throughout the whole avenue,” he said. “We are running ahead of last year. There are more merchants along with new ones.”
Like most years, the only concern for Cafiero and the Fifth Avenue BID is whether or not the weather will cooperate. “The excitement has been good,” he said. “But the big concern now is watching the weather. Some of the vendors wait to decide what to do with the weather forecast.”
Businesses are also looking forward to the event. On the official BID Facebook page, popular local establishments have made statements expressing their excitement.
Anthony LoPorto of Bean Post Pub, who was recently voted Best Bartender by Time Out NY chimed in. “My favorite part of the Fifth Avenue Spring Festival is seeing all the old faces, friends that have either moved or have families now,” he said on the site. “Fortunately, they always seem to find time to make it to our festival for a drink or just say hello.” Bean Post will be home to one of the most popular attractions for adults, the karaoke contest.
Another fan favorite, the Pizza Eating Contest hosted by Rocco’s Pizzeria, 7818 Fifth Avenue, now in its 11th year, is ready for the contestants. “Our intention was to raise money for a special cause,” said Daniel Loccisano of Rocco’s. “We thought ‘what could be better than a pizza eating contest?’” According to the rules, in order to qualify, a contestant must eat an entire pizza in eight minutes. This year, Rocco’s is raising money during the festival for Pietro’s Fight.
“The festival gives everyone a chance to mingle with friends,” said Cafiero. “Families get the chance to be together and enjoy a day out. These types of festivals keep pulling the community together.”