PHOTOS: First of four Summer Strolls thrives despite wet weather

Despite some wet weather, crowds came out on Friday, July 14 to revel in the first of four Summer Strolls this season.

The event — a part of the Merchants of Third Avenue’s Sixth Annual Summer Stroll — once again transformed Bay Ridge’s Third Avenue into an epicenter of cultural exhibitions, performances, local merchants and more.

Friday’s Stroll spanned from 80th Street to 90th Street where vehicular traffic was closed from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. to accommodate the festivities which, according to organizer Ilene Sacco, went on despite the forecast.

“It went really, really well considering it was pretty much monsooning a couple of hours before it started,” said Sacco. “I never thought we were going to pull it off.”

Still, Sacco said, thousands of people hit the pavement for the first Stroll of the summer.

“There were parts that were so crowded, you couldn’t see anything but people,” she recalled. “It was really, really cool.”

The event, she said, serves more than one purpose.

“I think Summer Stroll is just an awesome event,” Sacco said. “I think it gets people out, it helps the businesses and it helps the community.”

As part of Summer Stroll’s welcoming environment, many of the restaurants on Third Avenue offered outdoor seating and — despite some drizzles here and there — the majority of the scheduled entertainers’ shows went on. “At 3:30 it was pouring rain and somehow, by 6:30, the gods of the Stroll were with us and it cleared up,” Sacco said, looking forward to the festival’s second installment, coming up this Friday.

Summer Stroll will take place between 68th Street and 80th Street on July 21 and August 11 and between 80th Street and 90th Street again on August 4, . For more information, visit

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