On the Avenue: Rainy weekend inspires a new Sidewalk Stroll on Third Ave.

When life gives you lemons, trade them in for something new! In this case the lemons came in the form of torrential rains on Sunday, Oct. 2 that rendered much of the 49th Annual Third Avenue Festival a washout. With live entertainers and most attractions having no choice but to cancel at the last minute, there wasn’t much to do “on the avenue” for the few brave souls who braved the elements.

“There’s nothing we can do about the weather,” said longtime Festival Chairman Chip Cafiero. “It’s the first time in 49 years that it rained that badly to affect things, so we have to be grateful we made it this long.”

While the day’s result may have been beyond his control, Cafiero did say something he can control is the planning for next year’s event.

“All it means is that next year we’ve got to be bigger and better than ever before. It will be our 50th year, so we’re going to make it special.”

On the bright side, the disappointment felt by tens of thousands on that rainy day has led to the creation of “something new” taking place this weekend: A Fall Sidewalk Stroll organized and presented by the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc.

“After last weekend’s rain, we wanted to be sure to take advantage of the great weekend weather coming, and what better way than to ‘stroll’ everyone’s favorite avenue!” a statement from the association read. “Join us as we celebrate our community and all of the unique small businesses that make Third Avenue so special.”

Cafiero made sure to point out that this event will not feature “open streets” of any kind and that all promotions and activities will be taking place on the sidewalk along Third Avenue.

“Look for storefronts that have the flyer in their windows and who share #fallstrollonthird on social media. Those will be the businesses participating in this special day and offering promotions,” he said.

With temperatures expected to be in the 70s on Saturday, here’s hoping that crowds come out to support their favorite neighbors in business!

* * *

Even though the rain held off long enough for families to gather “on the avenue” on Saturday, Oct. 1, Ragamuffin Parade officials had no choice based on the forecast but to modify their plans and reduce the mile-long march down to a single block.

However, within that one block there was plenty of fun to be had. Adorably costumed children were still able to compete in Ragamuffin’s official costume contest, and winners were honored at the reviewing grandstand — a large stage set up between 75th and 76th streets. Music filled the street and a special performance by the talented dancers of Horizons Dance Center entertained a nice-sized crowd.

Ragamuffin Parade Committee President David Annarummo (center) is flanked by Vice President Rose Gangi (left) and event emcee Carlo Scissura. Eagle Urban Media photo

“It was an extremely difficult decision, especially after waiting so long to get back to normal after COVID,” said Ragamuffin President David Annarummo. “But we made the best of a bad weather forecast and created a space for everyone to come out and enjoy a block party that captured the true spirit of Ragamuffin.”

One of the largest contingents came from Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, 8515 Ridge Blvd., which is currently celebrating its historic 160th anniversary year. Members of the decorated private school’s senior class proudly held Adelphi’s parade banner, joined by a group of costumed lower school students and staffers that stretched across the entire street.

Faculty, staff and families from Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn made an impressive showing at the Ragamuffin block party, stretching across the entire street. The iconic Bay Ridge private school recently kicked off its historic 160th anniversary celebration. Photo courtesy of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn

Cafiero, who also serves as director of community & external relations for Adelphi, was glad to see so many Adelphians brave the elements and participate.

“Adelphi had one of the biggest groups at the block party, which was great to see. It was a nice mix of students, families and staff that filled the block and made a great impact,” Cafiero said. “As Adelphi celebrates its 160th anniversary, I know our Head of School Iphigenia Romanos is looking forward to continuing to be involved in all the exciting events that Bay Ridge has to offer throughout the year.”

Third Avenue Festival Chairman Chip Cafiero (rear, fourth from left), who also serves as director of community & external relations for Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, poses with members of Adelphi’s senior class and some adorably costumed lower schoolers behind the academy’s parade banner. Photo courtesy of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn

Annarummo spoke highly of the block party’s other large group — the dancers from Horizons, who performed a zombie-themed number.

“Hats off to Horizons for coming through and putting on a tremendous performance featuring tons of talented kids in full makeup and costumes,” he said. “They put a charge into the crowd and had everyone cheering with each and every move.”

* * *

Let’s “Light it Up Pink” for breast cancer awareness!

The Dr. John Kehoe Breast Center, 9711 Third Ave., will be hosting its annual “Light it Up Pink” event “on the avenue” on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will honor five courageous women who are currently battling breast cancer.

Music, drinks and hors d’oeuvres will follow next door at Kitty Kiernan’s. Guests are encouraged to wear pink to show their support. For more information, call 917-200-4049.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.