BAY RIDGE — The 46th Annual Third Avenue Festival, the 35-block-long street fair that draws hundreds of thousands of people to the Bay Ridge shopping thoroughfare, will have more music this year than ever before, according to the event’s organizer.
“We’re going to have more bands and more stages. There’s going to be tons of entertainment,” said Chip Cafiero, who designed the schedule of events for the festival. Several stages where fans can enjoy their favorite bands and singers will be set up along the festival route. Expect everything from rock and roll to country to Broadway show tunes.
The Third Avenue Festival will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29 on Third Avenue between Bay Ridge Avenue and 94th Street, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Merchants of Third Avenue, the organization representing hundreds of store owners on the busy avenue, is the sponsor of the festival.
Children will love the festival this year, said Cafiero, who is a veteran festival organizer and has been working with the Merchants for decades. “We’re also going to have more rides for kids this year,” he added.
Kids will be able to get their faces painted and to meet some of their favorite costumed characters.
The festival features rides, games, sidewalk sales, outdoor cafes, live music, dance performances and much more.
Bob Howe, president of Merchants of Third Avenue, said he’s looking forward to this year’s festival.
“What is remarkable is that this will be our 46th annual Third Avenue Festival. It is one of the largest, safest family-centered festivals in New York City. It is an opportunity for Bay Ridge folks and folks from all over the city to enjoy a fun Sunday afternoon with a smell of sausage and peppers floating through the air,” Howe told the Home Reporter in an email.
Third Avenue is lined with hundreds of small shops and store owners often set up tables outside their shops on festival day to sell items.
Store owners see the festival as a great way to attract new customers to their shops, according to Festival Chairperson Charles Otey.
“We have the largest local merchant participation of any street fair in the city,” Otey said. “We have outside vendors, of course, but what makes our festival so special is that our merchants set up tables outside their stores and sell their items. They meet customers. People who come to the festival get a chance to see all of the different kinds of stores we have on Third Avenue. And they come back to shop here.”
Coupled with the 53rd Annual Ragamuffin Parade, the march featuring costumed children that takes place on Third Avenue on Saturday, Sept. 28, the Third Avenue Festival promises to be a highlight of the fall season in Bay Ridge.
The festival, by tradition, always takes place the day after the parade.