Summer Stroll kicks off with more music, more fun

July 21, 2015 Meaghan McGoldrick
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Ridgeites beat the heat in style on Friday, July 17 at the first of four Summer Strolls this season. Fresh off its third year, the Fourth Annual Summer Stroll on Third saw sunny skies and smiling faces as crowds sauntered the Third Avenue strip.

“Some people summer on the Jersey Shore or out in the Hamptons but for those of us who summer in Bay Ridge, we get together and celebrate on Friday nights at the Summer Stroll,” said organizer Justin Brannan, calling the first Stroll of the season nothing short of a success. “Now in our fourth successful year, there’s a small army that works behind the scenes to make it possible and we all do it out of love for our neighbors because it’s really a time for our neighborhood to shine. All of our amazing restaurants, small businesses, local artists and cultural groups come out to show all they’ve got to offer.”

Opening night performers included Narrows Community Theater, Jeff Samaha Theater Productions/Ridge Chorale (there to preview its upcoming performance of “Mary Poppins”), and students and teachers from presenting sponsor Adelphi Academy, among others.

For the first time since the Stroll’s inception, musical acts were given the chance to set up shop on a special center stage, located between 85th and 86th Streets – something many entertainers were happy to take advantage of. Others, like well-known Ridge performer Frankie Marra, made music outside popular watering holes (Marra chose The Kettle Black, 8622 Third Avenue, his home-stay each Stroll).

To boot, local artists like Alicia Degener were given the chance to strut their stuff.

“It is so great to be able to literally bring my artwork out for my friends and neighbors a block from my house,” said Degener, who displayed her paintings of popular Brooklyn landmarks between 83rd and 84th Streets. “It is beautiful and so encouraging to see Bay Ridge be so supportive of its local artists. Summer is a traditionally slow time of year for sales since people are on vacation so I am so gratified to be a part of the Stroll so I can go on vacation!”

This was Degener’s third year at the Stroll.

“I have a blast every Summer Stroll Friday because everyone is so enthusiastic,” she said, stressing that Bay Ridge’s art scene is truly blossoming.

This season will see three more strolls on Friday, July 24 between 80th and 90th Streets; and on August 7 and 14 between Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) and 80th Street, each from 6 to 10 p.m.

“If someone wanted to know what Bay Ridge was all about, I’d tell them to come check out the Summer Stroll,” said Brannan.

For more information on the Summer Stroll on Third, visit www.summerstrollon3rd.com.


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