Sunset Park to say farewell to summer with annual festival

Sunset is preparing to say goodbye to summer with a giant party.

The Sunset Park Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) is gearing up for one of its favorite traditions, the Fifth Avenue BID Street Festival, which will take place this year on Sunday, September 17.

Held since 1999, the festival will span from 44th through 59th Streets along Fifth Avenue and will once again feature activities for the entire family.

“It’s something that everyone looks forward to,” said Executive Director of the BID Renee Giordano. “We start hearing from people in December and January. They want to know the dates. Vendors check it out ahead of time and put it on their schedule. It’s always crowded so we must be doing something right.”

The day will include the staples of most festivals in Sunset, such as food, games and entertainment. However, this year, the festival is bringing a major kid-oriented addition to the festival.

“This year, I finally found a petting zoo,” Giordano said. “We used to have it at the beginning and it was great. Kids loved it but the city regulations were so strict. I found a petting zoo called Pony Express Entertainment and they work in Coney Island and they do it on a city street. That’s exciting for us.”

Kids will be sure to have their pick of activities. “We will have bouncy rides, a bookmobile, face painting, sand art and games,” Giordano added.

There will be two stages, one at 54th Street and the other at 44th Street. Regina Opera will be among the performers as well as a variety of bands, giving something for adults to look forward to.

In addition, said Giordano, “There are going to be lots of bargains for shoppers, and information from local organizations. Then we’re going to have Mexican food and Ecuadorian food, almost any food you want.”

The festival has always played a significant part in Sunset Park. “We’re just happy to be able to do this for the community,” Giordano said. “People come from all over and come back just for this. It’s an end-of-summer and school-starting kind of thing. It’s a nice segue into fall.”

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