It was the perfect time to stroll along the boulevard.
On Sunday, June 2, Bay Ridge’s Fifth Avenue Festival brought out the neighborhood, as friends and families enjoyeda glorious day under sunny blue skies and perfect temperatures.
Sponsored by the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, the festival stretched from Bay Ridge Avenue to 85th Street like a giant block party with food, games, entertainment and special events taking place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
There was ethnic food of every kind as vendors happily served everything from pizza, falafel and sausage sandwiches to a wide array of desserts including ice cream, cotton candy, cookies and fresh squeezed lemonade.
Large crowds gathered at 80th Street to listen to the group Colonial Road perform outside Mussels & More. The Bean Post Pub at 76th Street sponsored a Bean Post Idol talent competition hosted by Rocco and DJ Davey Doors. And Bay Ridge Pizza at 7704 Fifth Avenue was the place to be as the eatery celebrated over 40 years in the neighborhood.
Elected officials and community leaders enjoying the festival included U.S. Rep. Max Rose, State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, City Councilmember Justin Brannan, Assemblymembers Mathylde Frontus and Nicole Malliotakis, New York State Conservative Party Chair Jerry Kassar, Brooklyn Conservative Party Chair Fran Vella-Marrone and former Republican Party Chair Craig Eaton.
The festival had many outdoor cafes, including one at Schnitzel Haus, a German eatery near 73rd Street where kielbasa sandwiches sold at a brisk pace and the band Rick Eckerle and the ArchAngels performed. The Brooklyn Dance Center entertained strollers outside of Rocco’s Pizzeria at 78th Street and there were belly dancers performing outside of Le Sajj Restaurant at 82nd Street.
The smell of gyros, grilled corn on the cob and deep fried Oreos permeated the air. There were local artists selling paintings and drawings; Bay Ridge Rocks had a booth at 80th Street where kids could create their own unique rock designs and Boy Scout Troop 13 was on the same block collecting cell phones for soldiers.
And there was even an Elvis sighting, proving once and for all that the king is alive and well in Bay Ridge.