Call it Bay Ridge’s big weekend.
The storied Third Avenue Festival – now in its 45th year – will once again encompass the thoroughfare on Sunday, Oct. 14.
The all-day event — which runs all the way from Bay Ridge Avenue to 94th Street, making it one of the longest in the borough — typically draws crowds in the tens of thousands as merchants, live bands and local entertainment groups hit the streets for a day of fun.
Those that saunter the strip this year will be met by merchants, non-profit organizations, city agencies, vendors and even an on-site pet adoption, sponsored annually by Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis and Pet Lovers United as One at the corner of 74th Street. Live music will take place outside beloved businesses like Chadwick’s, Brooklyn Market and Casa Calamari – to name a few.
Kids can enjoy complimentary face painting, rides and meet-and-greets with some of their favorite costumed characters, all organized by local merchants and organizations, while their parents sample some of the delectable food for which the strip is known and browse among the merchandise from its variety of shops.
According to festival organizer Chip Cafiero, the annual affair is one that means a lot to neighborhood residents.
“The festival is very important to Bay Ridge,” Cafiero said. “It brings the community together just like the Summer Stroll. Having these kinds of events makes Bay Ridge a small town within a big city.”
Last year’s festival, Cafiero noted, was among the biggest the nabe had ever seen. “It was the biggest festival we’ve had in years,” the festival guru told this paper. “We got it back to the number of vendors we used to have. The weather was great. The crowd had a great time — everything was perfect.”
He, and others, hope this year will top it.
“Each year, I always look forward to the festival,” added local supporter Mike Beitchman. “It’s a great day for families, friends and for Bay Ridge to come together and enjoy the live music, the great food and everything Bay Ridge has to offer.”
As always, the festival will take place the day after the neighborhood staple Ragamuffin Parade, which will hit the strip on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The Third Avenue Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine.
For a full list of activities, check out the festival’s Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/685690745151648.