For the first time since its inception in 2012, Third Avenue’s Summer Stroll will have its very own main stage, which can only mean one thing: more talent.
The Fourth Annual Summer Stroll on Third will play host to more musical performances and local artists than ever before, announced organizers at a Monday, June 29 Merchants of Third Avenue meeting held at The Pearl Room (8201 Third Avenue).
It was the group’s final meeting before the main event, which will encompass the strip a total of four times this summer: on July 17 and 24 between 80th and 90th Streets; and on August 7 and 14 between Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) and 80th Street.
This year, the first two saunters will see a concert stage set up between 85th and 86th Streets. The closing strolls will see a similar set-up between Bay Ridge Parkway and 74th Street.
“It’s called the Third Avenue Merchants Center Stage,” said organizer Liz Amato adding that, in previous years, performers had to make do with curbside set-up. “What we’ve encountered over the years is that some group, for example the Dyker Singers, couldn’t come to perform because they didn’t have microphones and amplifiers – it was too much to bring,” she explained.
And so, Amato went on, with the help of State Senator Marty Golden’s office, the Third Avenue Merchants Center Stage was born.
“We’re going to set it up with [equipment] and have different acts coming,” Amato said, adding that acts such as Regina Opera, the Dyker Singers and a barbershop quartet have already been added to the bill. “We have a lot of people coming out because we have this, and I don’t think it’s going to take away from any other business, I think it’s going to add.”
Merchants President Bob Howe agreed.
“The stage is a nice idea because it gives small Bay Ridge groups the opportunity to perform without bringing equipment or [worrying about] electric or whatever,” he said. “It’s a good idea.”
All in all, the group – and its supporters – agreed, a bigger and better stroll is on the horizon, and the excitement is certainly in the air.
“[Community Board 10] is extremely supportive of Summer Stroll,” said Josephine Beckmann, the board’s district manager, citing no community complaints. “While we had some apprehension in the beginning, it turned out to be a great event.”
For more info on the event, which drew crowds in the thousands last year, visit www.summerstrollon3rd.com.