BY GABRIELLE GUZ
A roaming magician from Coney Island USA, a non-profit arts organization, might have uttered “Abracadabra” multiple times on June 28, as 8 to 10,000 people showed up to enjoy the fun-filled weekend walk on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, along 75th to 85th Street.
Sponsored by the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, the FUN on 5th Weekend Walk offered an array of activities for children and adults, as well as the opportunity to browse works from local artists, take in live music and performances, and indulge in outdoor dining.
Amanda Zenteno, executive director of the BID, said, “It’s all about bringing the community together. We work with our Fifth Avenue merchants, artists and community organizations to create a family-friendly atmosphere.”
A coloring contest, a photo booth funded by Investors Bank, slime-making workshops from the Urban Steam Lab, demos from K-Spirit Tae Kwon Do, tasting tables from Rocco’s Pizza, interactive bubble performers, unicyclers and giant inflatable rides all decorated the streets.
Meanwhile, bakeries and restaurants — like Bean Post Pub, Rocco’s Pizza, Skinflints, Mussels and More, Bay Ridge Diner, Le Sajj and Tacos El Nopal — arranged outdoor seating for hungry diners.
Live music streamed from Bean Post Pub, Mussels and More, Salon Briana, and the Hideout. Among the performers at the various venues were Tony Travis and Friends, Acoustic Head and South Band & Friends, Tommy Anderson, and Circadian Clocks as well as Brewster Moonface.
Among the artists selling their paintings and handmade jewelry were Marianne McGinnis, Therese Rispoli and Ruth Dallas, Ray Santana, Marilyn Saewitz, Wala Burghol, Alicia Degener, Ellen Coleman Isso, Joseph Macannuco, Leslie Nemet, Janie Samuels, Robert Paternostro Jr. and Arthur Melnick.
According to Zenteno, it was especially wonderful to have the children participate in the Bay Ridge Scavenger Hunt. “They were so excited and enthusiastic,” she said.
“To see the families so active on Fifth Avenue was amazing. I heard stories from the kids who learned how to make giant bubbles and played with new friends at the game stations,” Zenteno said. “They would stop by our table just to say how much fun they were having.”
The next Fifth Avenue weekend walk will take place on Friday, July 26, from Ovington Avenue to 81st Street, beginning at 5 p.m.