Annual Sunset Park street fair bids adieu to summer with huge turnout

Sunset Park bid adieu to the summer season with a rocking festival that has been a part of the neighborhood since 1999.

The Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID) hosted its annual Fifth Avenue Street Festival on Sunday, September 18, much to the delight of locals.

“It went phenomenally,” said Renee Giordano, executive director of the BID, adding how smoothly prepping for the event went this time around. “This year, we made a concerted effort to make sure cars were not parked on Fifth. Besides posting it on social media and giving out flyers, the police put up lots of signs and barricades.”

Giordano applauded the 72nd Precinct for the job it did. “The police did a great job watching out and reminding people that they couldn’t park [on Fifth]. The streets were was nice and empty and we started on a good note.”

Although attendance is always high, this year seemed to up the ante. “It was very crowded,” Giordano said. “There were lots of people. Almost all of the spots were filled with vendors and businesses. It was just incredible how many people came out.”

Highlights of the day included the festival’s fixtures, such as live musical performances on a stage set up on 44th Street, food, games and rides for kids. Even Pikachu made an appearance.

Some new attractions and old ones received extra attention. “The fashion show hosted by Anay’s Boutique was beautiful. They brought a big stretch limo. It was a ton of fun,” Giordano said.  “Even the non-profit organization booths were filled.”

The 72nd Precinct provided fingerprinting for children and the FDNY had a recruitment booth. Favorites also included the vintage Jackie Gleason bus and the Brooklyn Public Library van. Literature and assistance were also provided for domestic abuse victims.

According to Giordano, there were many festivals taking place around the city, but this one seemed to be in the spotlight. “It was very busy. I understand there were other popular events around the city and I was told that ours was one of the more popular ones,” Giordano said. “A lot of work gets into it but it’s worth it. Even our staff, as tired as they were, enjoyed it.”

Many attendees applauded this year for being the best one yet, Giordano added. “Everyone says it gets better each time,” she said. “I laugh and say, of course. But I think it really was. As I walked around, it seemed more people were engaged with every activity.”

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