Preparations are well underway for Bay Ridge’s biggest weekend of the year – the annual Ragamuffin Parade on Saturday, Oct. 13 and the Third Ave. festival on Sunday, Oct. 14. Thousands of residents and visitors will flock to the neighborhood for the much-anticipated festivities.
The annual parade is sponsored by Ragamuffin, Inc. and features thousands of colorfully costumed children dressed up as everything from superheroes like Spiderman and Wonder Woman to “Walking Dead” zombies. It runs along Third Avenue from 76th Street to 92nd Street.
This year’s grand marshal is Leo Lykourezos, owner of Leo’s Casa Calamari at 86th Street and Third Avenue. Michael Esposito and Ted Nugent, owners of Cebu restaurant at 8801 Third Avenue, were named men of the year.
The day after the parade, Third Avenue becomes a giant 24-block-long street fair with sidewalk sales, music performances, games, rides, dance performances, outdoor cafes and more. Sponsored by the Merchants of Third Avenue, the festival runs along Third Avenue from Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) to 93rd Street from noon to 6 p.m.
On Sunday, Sept. 30, the Ragamuffin committee held its annual luncheon at the Bay Ridge Manor. A packed room of elected officials, community leaders and small business owners attended including U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, state Sen. Marty Golden, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, City Councilmember Justin Brannan, New York State Conservative Party Chair Mike Long, Brooklyn Conservative Party Chair Fran Vella-Marrone and 68th Precinct commanding officer Captain Robert Conwell.
“On behalf of the Ragamuffin committee, I extend a very warm welcome and a huge thank you to all of you for attending our annual luncheon,” Ragamuffin President Arlene Keating said. “Your presence here today, in addition to our generous sponsors, allows us to continue the Ragamuffin Children’s Parade, a Bay Ridge tradition entering our 52nd year.”
Keating introduced the honorees who were each presented with certificates of merit and proclamations from Donovan, Golden, Malliotakis and Brannan.
Children can pre-register for the parade, or register on the day of the parade between 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Academy, 74th Street and Third Avenue.
Costume judging will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. before the march begins at 1 p.m.
Ragamuffin Inc. will award prizes to the children judged to be wearing the most creative costumes.
All kids will receive some kind of gift, according to Ragamuffin. In order to be eligible for a gift, a child must have filled out a registration form prior to the parade and must have completed the entire parade route all the way to 92nd Street.
Pre-registration forms can be returned to a child’s school or mailed to Ragamuffin, Inc. 9728 Third Avenue, Suite 504, Brooklyn, NY 11209.