Bay Ridge

Third Ave. Merchants to give Summer Stroll tips

Scissura says successful event planners can help other groups

August 10, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes Summer Stroll organizers can advise other business groups. He is pictured with Sara Steinweiss, events coordinator for the Federation of Italian-American Organizations of Brooklyn. Eagle photos by Paula Katinas
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The Merchants of Third Avenue, the business group behind the highly successful Summer Stroll on 3rd in Bay Ridge, may be asked to help organizers of other warm-weather street activities in Brooklyn plan their events next year, according Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo Scissura.

Scissura told the Brooklyn Eagle that the chamber is considering convening a meeting where the organizers of the various Summer Stroll-type events around the borough could exchange ideas and help each other make their street fairs more profitable for their local merchants.

“We have many Summer Strolls in Brooklyn, but nobody does it like Third Avenue. Third Avenue leads the way,” he said. “I’d like to have a meeting where the bigger Summer Strolls, like Third Avenue, could give advice to some of the smaller ones.”

Scissura spoke to the Eagle as he was walking along Third Avenue during the Summer Stroll on 3rd on Aug. 7.

Bob Howe, president of the Merchants, said his group would be interested in taking part in a chamber-sponsored brainstorming session.

“It’s a great compliment paid to us by Carlo and the chamber,” he told the Eagle. “We would be happy to share ideas with anyone. We want all of the business areas of Brooklyn to succeed.”

Howe shared one secret to Third Avenue’s success.

“I think we do well because we engage the residents,” he said. “It’s not just our merchants who are excited about Summer Stroll. The residents love it, too. One guy I ran into told me it’s like a big block party.”

More than 100,000 people took part in Summer Stroll on Friday; the third in a series of four Summer Strolls the Merchants put together for 2015, according to the Merchants.

The Merchants organization represents the interests of 300 storeowners on Third Avenue between 68th and 95th streets.

Third Avenue between Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) and 80th Street was closed to traffic and a pedestrian plaza was created featuring sidewalk cafes that spilled out into the car-less roadway, live music and storeowners selling their wares from tables and booths set up at the curbs.

The two previous Summer Stroll on 3rd events took place between 80th and 90th streets.

The fourth and final Summer Stroll on 3rd for 2015 will take place Friday, Aug. 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Third Avenue between Bay Ridge Avenue and 80th Street.

All Summer Stroll-type events around the city operate under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and are part of the agency’s Weekend Walks program.

Under Weekend Walks, vehicular traffic is banned from a commercial thoroughfare for an afternoon or an evening and a pedestrian plaza is created to allow people to stroll down the avenue at their leisure. The organizers, usual business groups, liven up the avenue by inviting local musicians and dancers to perform in outdoor concerts.

There were 14 Weekend Walks events planned for Brooklyn between June 14 and September 26, according to the DOT’s website. Williamsburg, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Borough Park are among the neighborhoods that host Weekend Walks.

“They’re good economic engines,” Scissura told the Eagle. “These events give the local merchant the chance to attract new customers. I mean, look at all of the people here tonight.”


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