Fifth Avenue festival weathers the rain

The annual Fifth Avenue Spring Festival weathered the rain on Sunday, May 31 as thousands of Ridgeites raced the rain and flocked to the busy commercial strip for the Fifth Avenue BID’s 22nd annual afternoon out on the town.

According to organizer Chip Cafiero, the poor forecast actually ended up working in the festival’s favor.

“I thought the crowd was a little bigger than usual,” he said adding that, because the weather called for rain, fewer Ridgeites opted for a weekend away at the beach or a nice backyard barbecue. “Everyone stopped by the festival instead. Plus, it turned out to be a nice day.”

This year’s fair, Cafiero said, was thrown together in record time.

“I’ve got to call this one the miracle festival,” he said stressing that, despite being low on vendors earlier in the week (with a wet forecast looming), everything fell right into place – even with him, himself spending Friday and Saturday in Delaware for his daughter’s college graduation. “Everything turned out great.

“Everyone said it was going to rain all day,” he went on, “and we had not a drop until 5:45.”

In turn, Cafiero said, games and rides were flooded with people and the eventual change in weather was kind to merchants, street vendors and musicians alike.

“It’s always a pleasure playing music at a festival, and what better way than playing in our hometown,” said Bay Ridge resident and bassist Rob DeLorenzo. His band, August on Sunday, kicked off a slate of performances (also featuring heavy metal band AnAkA) outside of Fifth Avenue watering hole The Hideout, 8415 Fifth Avenue. “Great time, great town.”

Other performances included live bands outside of 80th Street’s Mussels & More and 83rd Street’s Full Moon Saloon, as well as Bean Post Pub’s treasured karaoke contest, among others.

Over on 78th Street, Rocco’s Pizzeria’s annual Pizza Eating Contest – a fan favorite – celebrated its 11th year, with this year’s proceeds going to local charity Pietro’s Fight.

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