The 23rd installment of Bay Ridge’s own Fifth Avenue spring festival hit the pavement on Sunday, June 4 despite a questionable forecast.
The event spanned 14 blocks from 71st through to 85th Street and ran from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during which time local residents, young and old, took to the streets for an afternoon of live music, festival food and shopping fun.
Entertainment included live performances by locally based bands outside some of the strip’s watering holes, karaoke contests outside of both Bean Post Pub and P.C.’s Bar, belly dancers outside of Le Sajj Restaurant, performances by local dance troupes, kiddie rides and more.
Vendors sold everything from jewelry and clothing to posters and other trinkets while food carts up and down the strip showcased their best eats, ranging from arepas and empanadas to the classic sausage and pepper sandwiches and the festival-favorite zeppole and deep-fried Oreos.
However, Rocco’s Pizzeria’s annual pizza eating contest – a tradition within the tradition – did not take place during this year’s festival.
Despite this, and on-again, off-again drizzles, organizer Chip Cafiero lauded the event — hosted yearly by the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District — as another success.
“It went very well,” Cafiero told this paper. “The weather held up. [We had] a few sprinkles here and there but it wasn’t what everybody was predicting all week.”
Weather aside, he said, there were no complaints.
“We had a good turnout; a lot of vendors came out and so did a lot of people,” Cafiero said. “There were no negative reports. People loved the music and the vendors, for the most part, did very, very well.”
Local resident Rosemarie Rizzo, founder of Rosie’s Confidence Corner — a local organization that focuses on anti-bullying initiatives, among other important issues — agreed.
“Chip Cafiero definitely has the sun gods on his side,” said Rizzo. “With cool breezes and clouds looming, this year’s fest was as good as it gets. Our Ridge definitely came out to play!”
“It was definitely another success,” added Cafiero.