41st Third Avenue Festival to be ‘best one yet,’ organizers say
The 41st Annual Third Avenue Festival will be the best one yet, the event’s organizers predicted. The festival, a 25-block-long street fair featuring everything from concert stages to flea markets, is set for Sept. 28 on Third Avenue from 69th Street to 94th Street from noon to 6 p.m.
The festival is sponsored by the Merchants of Third Avenue, a business group representing 300 store owners on the commercial avenue in southwest Brooklyn. The Merchants group met Monday night at Omonia Café to go over the plans for the festival.
“It’s shaping up to be a beautiful weekend,” said Chip Cafiero, who works with the Merchants to put together the festival.
Merchants President Bob Howe said Cafiero was asked to speak at the meeting to let store owners know “the do’s and don’ts” of the festival.
This year’s festival will have concert stages where bands and dancers will perform, outdoor cafes, rides and games for children, a wrestling ring and an antique car show, among other activities.
The main festival stage on Third Avenue and 81st Street will feature an ongoing stream of musical performances, including Disco Unlimited, which performs at shows across the country. Music lovers will be in seventh heaven, he said. “We’re having 20 bands,” he said.
The wrestling ring, to be set up in front of HSBC Bank on Third Avenue and 92nd Street, is also expected to draw large crowds.
All along the festival route information tables will be set up by more than 60 non-profit and community-based organizations, giving the event a small-town feel.
“The board agrees that’s what makes this community special,” Cafiero said.
The Third Avenue Festival, a Bay Ridge tradition, is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the avenue. It provides a great opportunity for store owners to meet new customers and present their shops in a positive light, Howe said.
“People will be strolling the whole avenue for the whole day,” he said.
The festival traditionally takes place one day after the Ragamuffin Parade. The parade features children marching along Third Avenue in homemade Halloween costumes. This year’s Ragamuffin Parade is set for Sept. 27 on Third Avenue at 1 p.m. The parade begins at 76th Street and ends at 92nd Street.
Cafiero said the weekend could turn out to be a bonanza for Third Avenue store owners because parents who bring their children to the parade often return the following day for the festival.
“This is the best festival in the city,” Cafiero said.
As proof, he offered up the fact the city, which issues permits for street fairs, has allowed the Third Avenue Festival to take up 25 blocks when other street fairs have been reduced in size. In addition, the city allows the Third Avenue event to remain open until 6 p.m., while other festivals are required to close at 5 p.m., he said.
But Cafiero had a warning for store owners and vendors. “At 6 o’clock, it’s got to end,” he said, adding that the closing time is a firm directive from the city. “You have to stop vending at 6.”
Here’s a block-by-block line-up of festival events:
On the 6900 block, there will be a stage outside Circles Restaurant with performances by Chasing Souls, Tony Travis & Friends, Karen & Mary, Steve Triglianos, and At The Ready. Also on this block, there will be a classic car show and children’s rides. On the 7000 block, the Canny Brothers Band will perform at Yellowhook Grill. The Yellowhook Grill will also have an outdoor café. There will also be pony rides for children on the block.
On the 7100 block, there will be children’s rides. There will be a stage show presented by Gateway City Church and activities for children on the 7200 block. On the 7300 block: you can find pet adoptions courtesy of Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis. BRAVO will be on the 7400 block. On the 7500 block, the Narrows Community Theater will perform outside the Salty Dog Restaurant.
There will be a DJ and Dance Performances at Dimensions in Dance and an outdoor café at Omonia Café on the 7600 block. On the 7700 block, there will be an outdoor café and a stage show outside the Greenhouse Café featuring Clocks & Clouds, Sha Doobie, Radio Daze, Out Of The Blue, and Frankie Marra & His Band. On the 7800 block: you can find craft and merchandise vendors. On thre 7900 block: there will be marshal arts demonstrations at NYC Tae Kwan Do. Giacomo’s Restaurant will have an outdoor café.
On the 8000 block, the band Social Zoo will perform. The festival’s center stage, sponsored by state Sen. Marty Golden and Brooklyn Market will be located on the 8100 block. Disco Unlimited will perform. There will also be raffles and prizes. On the same block, there will also be a giant slide, other rides, and the FDNY Smokehouse.
On the 8200 block, there will be an outdoor café and a DJ at the Pearl Room Restaurant. On the same block, there will be pet adoptions. Craft and food vendors will be set up on the 8300 block. On the 8400 block, there will also be an outdoor café and DJ outside Sofia’s Restaurant. On the 8500 block, Doc Butler & JC Cobb Band will perform at Ridgewood Savings Bank. Vicolo’s Restaurant will have an outdoor café.
There will be live bands on the 8600 block at Kettle Black, as well as an annual fundraiser at Panache and outdoor cafes at Casa Calamari and Ho Brah. On the 8700 block, there will be a DJ and dance performances at Beyond Dance. On the 8800 block, there will be outdoor cafés at Cebu and at Trace.
Merchandise vendors will be located on the 8900 block. On the 9000 block, there will be a DJ and dance performances by Brooklyn Dance Center. On the 9100 block, there will be a giant flea market. Paneantico will have an outdoor café.
A live wrestling ring sponsored by TKO Kickboxing will be set up on the 9200 block. The block will also have a flea market. On the 9300 block, there will be children’s rides and a fundraiser at Harde’s Wines & Liquors.
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