On the Avenue: Bay Ridge’s biggest weekend offers lots of fun for families!

It’s finally here! Bay Ridge’s biggest weekend kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 30 as thousands of costumed children and parents are expected to march in the 57th annual children’s Ragamuffin Parade, stepping off “on the avenue” at 1 p.m. from 76th Street to 92nd Street.

The following day, tens of thousands more families will attend the 50th Annual Third Avenue Festival, presented by the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc. in partnership with Councilmember Justin Brannan. The event, billed as “the biggest block party in New York City,” is organized by Festival Chairman Chip Cafiero and promises a number of attractions.

Among them is a special appearance by New York Mets legend Art Shamsky and, as this column learned at press time, his 1969 World Series champion teammate Ed Kranepool! The two icons are set to sign autographs for fans throughout the day through special arrangement with Matted Memories.

“Our friends Rudy [Saviano] and Lisa [Vincenzi] at Matted Memories are thrilled to be arranging a special appearance by not one, but two Mets legends,” Cafiero said. “In addition, there are going to be live musical and dance performances set up along the entire avenue throughout the day, plus rides and games for everyone to enjoy.”

The annual street festival closes Third Avenue to vehicular traffic from 69th to 94th streets each year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Maimonides Health serves as the premier sponsor for this year’s event. Contributing sponsors are Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, the Kiwanis Club of Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge, Jabour Realty, Northfield Bank and Right at Home.

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