It was another successful farewell to summer in Sunset Park.
The Sunset Park Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) put on its annual Street Festival on Sunday, September 16. The festival, which thousands attended, was graced with perfect weather as shoppers and strollers enjoyed the festivities that spanned from 44th to 59th Street.
There were entertainment and activities for children and adults, food and more.
“It was a smashing success. It was fantastic and everything I could’ve hoped for,” said Executive Director of the BID David Estrada, adding that the police played a big role in making the festival a successful one. “Some of our officers, mostly from the 72nd Precinct, were on post all day long at every intersection. They were all just having a fantastic time and relating well with the community. It came off without a hitch.”
For the youngsters, Eduardo Artica of the BID organized entertainment for the kids, including two individuals dressed as Superman and Batman to perform a show on the 54th Street stage.
The 54th Street stage also hosted a Zumba class, Latin Dance Studio, Regina Opera and more.
Other acts included ChumpuMajic, Payaso Pechuguin, Danza De Los Viejitos, Nuevo Hit (Danza de las Moras de San Pedro Benito Juarez Atlixco Puebla ), Dj Junito and Zumba Paquita Beltre.
The 44th Street stage featured musical acts for adults. Edgar Alvarez organized celebrations for Mexican Independence Day and brought acts such as Mexico La Migra and Combinacion De Mexico, marking the 14th straight year the festival has celebrated the holiday.
There were also rock and roll acts outside of Johnny’s Pizzeria and DJs at various locations along the strip, further adding diversity to the celebration.
For kids, there were also a baby Zumba class, bounce houses, a musician and a clown.
“Sunset Park really tries to have [the festival] be a reflection of the community and not just a commercial,” added Estrada. “We don’t farm out organization of this festival to one of the two or three companies that do the big ones In Manhattan or elsewhere, so you’re not going to see the same vendor selling the same thing every second block. We look for smaller ones and someone that does things like vintage clothing. There was the traditional Italian sausage cart that you may see at any festival but then three or four of the Mexican restaurants on the avenue took the space in front of their restaurants.”
Although the final attendance count wasn’t revealed, it was a huge crowd.
“You can stand on Fifth Avenue in the 50s and it’s sloping a bit from OLPH down so you can really get the full view, and people were shoulder to shoulder all across the avenue. It was the first beautiful summery Sunday afternoon in a while so that was a big plus, and the vendors are a big part of why people came out. We had a lot of local shops participate in front of their stores and we had vendors that come back year after year. They look forward to it and a lot of the visitors look forward to it as well.”